Wednesday, 20 January 2010

If someone tells you 50 is the new 40, take it from me, don’t believe them! Fifty is 50. Fifty is old!

Since I’ve entered into my second half-century here on planet Earth, it’s like someone has flicked a switch in my body, told it to fly the white flag, submit meekly to middle age and would the last one to leave please turn the lights out.

My knees are sadder than Tiger Woods and I’m left pondering what sporting options are left for me while I bide time until I’m called to that great rugby paddock in the sky.

Long-distance running, if I’m to believe my physio, is no longer an option. Shame that, because I’ve had some great adventures from running. Mind you he also told me that gardening was bad for my uncooperative cartilage, so his prognosis was not all bad.

I’m not a good enough golfer to devote all my energies to world’s most challenging yet frustrating sport. And, let’s be honest, the only joy of the gym is the satisfaction of knowing you’ve burnt off some the calories you consumed over the bar the previous evening.

Heck, I’ve even weakened and contemplated bowls, even though I constantly rib my old rugby mates, who’ve happily taken up the sport, that it’s a holding pen for the cemetery.

However, any thoughts of a sporting future in bowls have now been firmly cast aside. Just like Gary Lawson has been cast aside by Bowls New Zealand. How could I possibly contemplate participating in a sport which cruelly devours its own, eats its young!

Lawson has now won 10 national titles and stands alongside the legendary Nick Unkovich as our greatest bowler, probably our best when you consider Unkovich won eight of his ten titles in the fours.

Who cares if Lawson and mates manipulated one end in a game of bowls to give themselves a better chance of winning a tournament for their country. If we’re going summarily execute those who toss games, let’s also hang Graham Henry for his rotation and reconditioning policy, the Black Caps’ top-order batting lineup every time they pad up, the Warriors for daring to take the field in the NRL and, while we’re being unkind, most male equestrians for crimes against manhood.

Think hard Kerry Clark and Bowls New Zealand. Your sport is bereft of icons. Don’t cut off at the knees the only one you have. Bowls needs Gary Lawson more than Gary Lawson needs bowls!


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