THE SIDELINE EYE with Sports Editor Denis Howard

19-08-2019 by admin

Denis HowardIs it just me or are top sportspeople getting paid too much money?

It is the only reason I can come up with as to why, firstly Adam Scott and now Bernard Tomic, have withdrawn their availability to represent Australia at the Rio Olympics.

Scott said he would not be available to play golf for Australia due to wanting to spend time with his family.

Usually I could say fair enough, but not in this case.

Scott said his decision was made as a result of “an extremely busy playing schedule around the time of the Olympics and other commitments, both personal and professional.”

Making himself unavailable because he is too busy is un-Australian.

Here is an idea, miss a tournament in the lead up to the Olympics and go and see family then.

Compared to many players on the US PGA tour, Scott’s schedule is miniscule.

He picks the tournaments he wants to play and for people who work normal jobs, you would hardly call it busy.

This year Scott has played nine tournaments, including last weekend’s Players Championship, adding up to just more than 30 days of play.

Yes, he has practice rounds and sponsor days which add to that total, but he is playing golf!

I know a few people, including myself, who would love to be too busy playing golf.

Scott is loath to miss a tournament in the lead up to Rio because he gets paid in those, unlike the Olympics.

He has amassed more than $5 million just in prize money this year which does not include appearance fees and sponsorship dollars.

Using a busy schedule as an excuse is pretty weak.

Scott was an Australian I would have liked to see representing the country at the Games, Bernard Tomic less so.

Not assured of even being selected, Tomic announced he will not be available for the Australian team as he will be playing a tiny ATP Tour event in Los Cabos, Mexico.

The World No 22’s possible selection in the Aussie team came under scrutiny after he deliberately lost a match point in Madrid before saying he did not care because he was worth $10 million.

Making himself unavailable seems to be a pre-emptive move before Tennis Australia could leave him out of the team.

There was no certainty Tomic would not be selected, but I must say I am not disappointed with the result.

Sure the guy has plenty of skill, but if his talent ever comes close to the size of his apparent ego he will be a world beater.

When representing Australia in Davis Cup, Tomic’s record of 16 wins and just four losses is exemplary.

His decision to not be available appears to be a childish stunt to try and show who has the power.

Tomic, like Scott, claims his busy schedule was the determining factor in his unavailability.

And like Scott, Tomic determines his own schedule.

These guys, who make a fantastic living off their chosen sports, might like to take a minute and think about the poor athletes who have busted a gut for four years trying to make the Olympics on very little money, and only just missed out.

Personally, I would have no issue if neither athlete represented Australia again.

Look at our own Scott Westcott who had to battle for 16 years to make his Olympic dream come true.

It is athletes like him who I will be cheering on in the future, not those who place no value on representing the Green and Gold.

I can’t wait to hear all the stories of how hard our Aussie athletes had to fight to make the Olympic Games.

They are the ones with true Australian spirit.

– – – – –

As I do every year, I would like to wish everyone a happy St Totteringham’s Day.

It did not look like Arsenal fans were going to be able to celebrate this year with Spurs two points ahead going into the final round.

Tottenham played relegated Newcastle and were expected to win.

In the biggest choke since Greg Norman at the 1996 Masters, Spurs lost 5-1 to a Newcastle side who played the final third of the match with 10 men.

It has now been 21 years since Arsenal ended a season lower on the table than their North London rivals.

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