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Ridiculous Australian tales of sporting stuff-ups and forgiveness by the bestselling author of A Thoroughly Unhelpful History of Australian Sport.

In sport, the term ‘good bloke’ doesn't mean what it says. Like ‘fun run’, it often actually means exactly the opposite.
Titus O’Reily, the sports historian Australia neither needs nor deserves, examines why our nation’s sportspeople are so readily forgiven for doing terrible things.

With ridiculous tales from Australia’s chequered sporting history, A Sporting Chance dissects the scandals big and small, the mistakes made in covering them up and the path athletes tread back to redemption. From the Essendon supplements saga and the sandpaper-loving Australian cricket team to whatever it is Nick Kyrgios has done now, Titus reveals the archetypes at the heart of our greatest sporting scandals.

There’s the corrupt cop who gave us the race that stopped a nation and the boxing champion who refused to train. There’s the cashed-up businessmen who bankrupted clubs and the commentators who can’t get their foot out of their mouth. And of course there’s the good blokes, like Wayne Carey, Matthew Johns and Shane Warne, who it seems we’ll forgive for absolutely anything.

In his rambling and at times incoherent style, Titus asks the question: are Australians really that forgiving of their sporting heroes? With the rise of social media, women’s sport and the drive towards greater equality, are the good blokes of Australia’s sporting landscape an endangered species?

Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback


    October 29, 2018

    Michael Joseph

    304 pages

    RRP $34.99

    Online retailers

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    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Audio Download


    October 29, 2018

    Penguin Random House Australia Audio

    RRP $27.99

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  • EBook


    October 29, 2018

    Penguin eBooks

    304 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
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It will come as no surprise to Australia’s 24 million sports fans that our sunburnt continent is home to one of the most dominant predators the world has ever seen. In our tropical rainforests, grasslands, eucalyptus forests and dry deserts, bounded by the Indian and Pacific oceans, this predator is king – free to roam without the restrictions that hold back many other species living in this ancient land. That creature, of course, is the Star Athlete.

Star Athletes have always flourished in this country, because they supply the people with the one thing they need to survive: sporting glory.

Some of these athletes enjoy stellar careers and go on to become model citizens. But others are caught in an all-too-familiar cycle of winning, crisis and forgiveness. These athletes are a mutation known as the Good Bloke, a dangerous subspecies of the Star Athlete, much like Indominus rex, the hybrid dinosaur in Jurassic World.

Continue Reading
Forgiving the Good Blokes

Three go-to defence mechanisms for sporting ‘Good Blokes’ who’ve done wrong.

Also by Titus O'Reily