The most tedious thing in sport?
There are so many contenders it looks like the slack pack up the back of a City to Surf. Look at them dawdling there, in their uniform greyness, as they prepare to torpor their way to the tunnel, dull their way to Double Bay, bore their way to Bondi. These contenders, include commentators uttering cliches like, "that was not the start they were looking for,"; players blowing kisses to their gods after they do something on the field; journos giving breathless accounts of "secret meetings", which come complete with photos. And let's not forget the dull rugby matches, which turns on both sides manoeuvring for penalties; meaningless revenue-driven, one-day matches for the Australian cricket team in India that no one will remember in a week, and the Auckland Warriors, just generally.
But the winner for MOST boring?
I know it, and you know it.
It has to be the ubiquitous, the endless, the ever-present, post-match press conference, whereby, on cue, the losing coach mutters dark epithets that all boil down to one thing: "We wuz robbed, and it was the ref wot done it."
Is there a more predictable utterance in the history of the world, that is less likely to actually point to a genuine injustice?
I say, no.
I say, bring it in tight, you bozos, you inveterate criticisers of the referees, you endless whingers. There is something you need to be told, and I am just the man to tell you: SHUT THE RUCK UP! No one cares, OK?
You lost. Deal with it, cop it on the chin, do whatever you have to do, but don't carry on in so tedious a manner, and ...
You think, in this instance, you actually have a genuine right to grievance because in this particular case, their winger really did put his foot out/knock the ball on/ score from an offside position/ fail to ground the ball?
You want us to look closely, because it demonstrates beyond all doubt that the ref is an incompetent git at best, corrupt at worst, and either way part of a conspiracy backed by those in the bunker and an entire sporting organisation to deny you and yours the victory you so richly deserved, after an entire season of such hard work?
I will look at it, but on one condition only:
That is, that you have a demonstrable track record of also criticising the referees when the decision favours you.
Oh, come on. This is football. And ever since Christ played fullback for Jerusalem, and Pontius Pilate awarded a try to Damascus when everyone reckoned that Moses put his foot over the line, there have been decisions that could have gone either way. But read the Bethlehem Times. It's over. It's in the paper. Moses did score that try, and Damascus did win. And it has been that way ever since. Line-ball decisions are taken all the time by the whistleblowers and, yes, it stands to reason that they will even occasionally get some of their decisions wrong.
And so I ask again.
When was the last time, coach, that you frothed at the mouth, carried on like a pork chop, and galloped around on your moral high horse, bashing the referees, the bunker and the entire organising body of the sport ... when a wrong decision in question favoured you?
You what? You can't give an example of you even conceding that a wrong decision went your way, let alone getting angry about it?
Well, how the hell can you muster such moral outrage now? You are asking us to believe that a man as expert as you, in a game that delivers as many contentious decisions as yours, never saw decisions favour you? Bullshit, but you said nothing, then? Exactly.
So spare us your outrage now. You have no right to it. You may respectfully note that you think the ref might have got the decision wrong on this occasion, but that's it. Anything else is craven hypocrisy of the highest order.
What is worse, it is TEDIOUS.