Monday, 29 June 2009

a requiem for Roy

Did anyone see Roy on 60 min last night?

It is not a big secret that i have been a big fan of his cricket, and sympathetic to his problems, but i was scratching my head as to the purpose of the segment.
It is obvious that he was given the opportunity to tell his side- assisted somewhat feebly by his girlfriend- as well as giving the "reporter" a chance at taking Symonds on the guilt trip that he (reporter Liam Bartlett) felt Australia wanted to give him. Typical 60 minutes rubbish? Why should i be surprised?
What i was particularly surprised about was, when Roys girlfriend mentioned that his drinking accelerated during the Harby crisis, why didn't Bartlett ask about how Symonds felt about CA's support of him during that time?

For me, this was the fulcrum of Symonds demise, and was missed by Bartlett. Sure, CA gave him a lot of chances, but i feel that they let him down when all of the BS with Harby was in full swing. CA basically capitulated and lost their chance to nail Harby to the wall over his unacceptable behaviour- behaviour that the rest of the world expects Australia and Australian crowds not to perpetrate! All because CA didn't call BCCI's bluff of threatening financial recompense if India went home; If they went home, surely THEY are in breach of their tour contracts! Gutless CA!

Symonds certainly struggled to come up with plausible responses for his final demise, and was told as much by Bartlett:

ANDREW SYMONDS: Yeah. I mean like, don't get me wrong, I had the form to prove that, and that's exactly how they probably would have been thinking.

LIAM BARTLETT: And they were right. On tour in London four weeks ago, he went to a pub to watch the first rugby league State of Origin match of the season with half a dozen team-mates.

ANDREW SYMONDS: I love Origin football and for me, with Origin football comes a few beers.

LIAM BARTLETT: He knew a single drink could sink his career. But that didn't seem to matter. The agreement says you're not allowed to drink in public.


LIAM BARTLETT: I take it you read it before you signed it?


LIAM BARTLETT: And you agreed to it?


LIAM BARTLETT: But you had a few anyway?


LIAM BARTLETT: Six, seven, eight - at what stage do you think to yourself, "That's it - this could get me thrown off the Australian team?"

ANDREW SYMONDS: I was wrapped up in watching the football and then when I got back, yep, I knew then.

LIAM BARTLETT: You really expect me to believe that?

ANDREW SYMONDS: It's not about convincing you. Not at all. It's not what I'm here to do.

LIAM BARTLETT: That's all they were asking you to do?

ANDREW SYMONDS: And I broke that, I broke that with them.

LIAM BARTLETT: You couldn't do it?

ANDREW SYMONDS: I didn't do it.

I must admit, that i am no fan of Liam Bartlett and the ethos of 60 minutes "journalism", so the fact that Roy didn't offer an 'excuse', just a statement of acceptance of his failure and was blunt (as in his 3rd last remark) with Bartlett made for more uncomfortable yet rewarding viewing on my part.

The questioning was at least more in line with the AJCE- Australian journalistic code of ethics- and far more removed from the typical sycophantic/sacrificial style normally on the show; what i wonder is, will Symonds himself see how much he appeared to be resolved without a fight to his demise, or at the end of the day the IPL paycheck IS better than a baggy green. I can only imagine how i would look at myself if that was the way i came across at the end of the piece.

stoph verismo

down the wicket

60 minutes interview


  1. I didn't see the interview Stoph, thanks for providing some transcript.

    I have no sympathy for Roy, I don't think any guy has received so many chances following disciplinary stuff than he has. I realise that blokes in the 80s would go out and get blind midway through a test and there'd be nothing said about it. But this is a different era where all of them are bound by limiting 'rules'. Even though Symonds' boundaries were different to the others during the 20/20 'world cup', how hard is it to just stick to it for a couple of weeks and give yourself a chance of playing in the Ashes? If he couldn't even do that then the baggy green can't mean that much to him, at least not as much as rugby league and booze.

    By not putting himself up for a Qld contract (but wanting to be a 20/20 freelance corporate capitalist sell-out) I think he is saying two things. Firstly, he is not intending on trying to play for Aus again. Secondly, he is chasing dollars. I can understand the former (although it's very disappointing he doesn't want to/ feel he can or should play for his state) but the latter proves some 20/20 cynics correct. This may be an isolated case of a boozehound going for quick and easy cash, but if we see players who aren't surrounded by controversy following suit then cricket has an enemy: and thine enemy's name is Twenty Twenty.

  2. that's fair enough Lefty. I suppose my empathy stems from my battles with substance abuse.

    I totally agree that he has been given (probably more) chances than he deserves, my main point were that CA didn't back him enough when he was slighted- Bloody Harby (can't believe i liked him before that series!), and point 2 much the same as your second point: weakly accepted his fate with Aus, happy to be a gun for hire. I wonder how convinced people would have been, or if some attitudes changed if he'd said, "I know i'm written off by CA and the public, but what i am going to do now is be the best and most professional cricketer in the world, and hope that i can change peoples thoughts on me with the goal of being worthy for reselection."

    i doubt anyone would buy it, but...

    with all of that in mind, your last line is spot on.

  3. POTD for:
    then cricket has an enemy: and thine enemy's name is Twenty Twenty.

  4. Cool Stoph.
    Honestly throughout Symonds' 'indiscretions' I haven't really considered him having problems with alcohol. Irrespective of what Roy's type or level of issue with booze is, if he can't control his actions with it he has only one option. The humanitarian in me of course wishes him well

  5. the full 60 minutes interview is the link at the bottom of the post.

    The frustrating thing for me is that he believes he is only a "binge drinker" and not an alcoholic, when he as let his abuse ruin a very large part of his life- that is alcoholism. And he can never improve if he doesn't recognise that.