It is often said that a lot of Australians suffer from Tall Poppy Syndrome. Having a go at and finding fault with someone simply because they are at the top.
This does not seem extended to sport however. In fact quite the reverse.
In Australia as long as you are a winner on the sporting world stage, you will be hailed a hero no matter what your actions or words.
For example a little whinger like Lleyton Hewitt.
Long do we forget the infamous statement he made a few years ago “all Australian fans are stupid”
Little attention do we pay to his off court tantrums, refusing to attend interviews and other events he knew he that he was contractually obliged to do, blowing them off because he just didn’t feel like doing them.
The attitude seems to be that as long as he is winning he will do as he may.
Similar can be said of Anthony Mundine. Seldom have we seen such an embarrassing ambassador of Australia since Pauline Hanson.
In a pathetic attempt to emulate Muhammad Ali, he became even more of an ignorant loud mouth than he was when playing Rugby League. Even going to the ridiculous extent of coming back from overseas as a converted Muslim.
Let us also not forget his comments over 9/11, inferring that America brought it on themselves. Stating this even as the bodies were being counted.
A series of bouts against boxers of no great standing saw him eligible to compete for the Australian Title. This he won to his credit, however it succeeded in only further bolstering his much over inflated ego making him even more unbearable.
Fortunately being knocked flat on his ass in America brought him back to earth slightly (I still have the newspaper photo of him lying on the canvas). It even saw him thinking of giving up boxing once he realised he was now playing with the big boys.
Further to his credit however he worked very hard and is now World Champion and as such, all previous sins have been absolved in the eyes of the Australian public.
It seems however that sport is not the only arena in which we are able to forgive a winner.
Watching the Panel last night, I see that we are now a little excited at the possibility of an Australian Pope. George Pell has been “promoted” to a Cardinal and as such is on the short list for Pope.
Could even his sins be absolved should he become a winner?