Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Lauren Theisen and the Football Ferns

12 June 2019

Michael Bott

American sports-writer Lauren Theisen resorts to ‘National Enquirer’ type insult journalism, when she labels the Football Ferns “the cockroaches of women’s international soccer”.

The Ferns come from one of the smaller nations in international football. For years they have struggled with resourcing, recognition and exposure. However, what they may lack in the largesse of the cash rich teams from larger nations, they make up for in personal dedication and passion.

In sports, there is excitement when an underdog achieves the upset. Against the odds a small team pushes and achieves greatness. This makes for sporting memories. Following in this tradition our Football Ferns are heroes!

To strive to be one’s best, to display a dignity, decency and graciousness in both victory and defeat are the hallmarks of leadership and greatness.  This contrasts with those who believe the goal of sports is winning at all costs. To prefer the put-down of those who are passionate and push for greatness over adversity, speaks more to the character of the writer than it does the to the object of their derision.

The lessons learned from the field do translate into society, and perhaps all of us could do with reflecting on that.

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