It wasn’t because Tasmania played the poorest cricket I’ve witnessed in many a year, although I’m sure that contributed, it was the fact that the cricket was a sideshow and most of the crowd didn’t seem to mind or even notice.
They were more enthralled by the fireworks and giant Bunsen burners, the scantily clad dancers, the earbusting snippets of wallpaper music and the gaggle of sponsors’ harlots perennially circling the perimeter throwing worthless landfill to the begging patrons than the sporting contest itself.
I could explain through many a detailed anecdote the general apathy and cricketing ignorance of the vast majority in my near vicinity but one exchange I heard from a family walking through the cold concrete corridors of the Southern Stand at match’s end sums up the general attitude succinctly.
A lad, aged around 12 decorated in merchandise with hands full of sponsor’s clutter, turned to his Dad and asked, “Who won?” His Father answered, “I think it was the red team from Perth.” Mum then chimed in with, “Are you sure? Tasmania got them all out, didn’t they?” The boy then said, “Doesn’t matter, the cricket was boring anyway. Hardly anybody hit a six.”
Tonight I saw the future and let me tell you brothers and sisters, it is murder.