I unexpectedly came across this article and couldn’t help but post it.
In 1951 the best Richmond player in the game against Footscray was to receive a tonne of firewood from Mr. R. Ahrens of Toolern Vale. Richmond fans seemed happy to reward their players for good performances, in earlier weeks other fans had gifted things like potatoes and butter.
Those were the days weren’t they? When footy players lived on the same planet as the rest of us and actually had jobs. Can you imagine a top-level footballer being happy to receive that as his reward for a good game these days?
In Australia our professional football players are paid a great deal of money. Not as much as other football codes around the world, very few of ours get the millions, but still, at the top-level they don’t have to worry about where their next meal is coming from, that’s for sure!
Even if they don’t get paid the big dollars there is still the media and endorsement path to supplement their income. Not only that, it appears they rarely have to pay for entry or drinks on a night out….
Here is a short clip of Australian footy in case you have never seen it played before. (The team with the black guernsey and yellow sash is Richmond)
My Australia Day post yesterday suggested that there may well be a large amount of people chucking a sickie from work today after the celebrations of Wednesday. It was no surprise to see that at Bunnings today the crowds were just like a normal Saturday. Pity it’s a Friday.
Although Australians have raised chucking a sickie to an art form, I am sure it is something that happens around the world.
There are a few reasons for taking frivolous days off, hangovers feature highly, good surf is another. Probably the other major reason for unnecessary days off is sport, and we can mainly blame you guys in Europe for it. Why, you ask? When the Tour de France is on can we watch it at work? No. The World Cup? No, we have to stay up all night to see them. The tennis? Same. When the Aussies play cricket in India do they do it on a Saturday at lunchtime? No. Grand Prix around the world are never at a decent time either, again, we have to stay up all night. They even started running the Melbourne Formula One Grand Prix later in the evening to accomodate you northerners, instead of in the afternoon when it is traditionally best to have a barbeque and watch cars crash on telly with your mates!
Most Australians like sport better than they like work. Who can blame us, really?
This article from 1921 shows that a sport induced sickie is hardly a new thing. Thirty wheelers from the coal mine at Wonthaggi all took the day off to go and watch the boxing, so parts of the mine were unable to operate.
In 1934 the Wonthaggi coal miners went on strike over conditions and wages. They stayed out for five months even though there was little money and times were hard. I wonder if they would have gone back to work any more quickly if Wonthaggi wasn’t so close to the beach?