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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 in fact often means the exact opposite.

Titus O’Reily, the sports historian Australia neither needs nor deserves, examines why our nation’s sportspeople can do terrible things yet be so readily forgiven.

In this Great Southern Land, a sportsman can be excused almost any sin if he is elevated to the mythical status of being a ‘good bloke’. So, what does it take to earn the title of ‘good bloke’? And can female athletes be good blokes too?

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 corrupt cop who gave us the race that stopped a nation, to the Australian boxing champion who refused to train – not to mention the sandpaper-loving Australian Test cricket team – Titus reveals the key archetypes at the heart of our greatest sporting scandals.

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

'An indispensable voice for serious fans, who need to be reminded to take sport a little less seriously.' Inside Sport

Formats & editions

  • Audio Download

    9780143792802

    October 29, 2018

    Penguin Random House Australia Audio

    RRP $27.99

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Audible AU
    • Google Play Audio AU
    • Kobo Audiobook
  • Paperback

    9781760892852

    August 20, 2019

    Penguin

    304 pages

    RRP $22.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Dymocks
    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Trade Paperback

    9780143785224

    October 29, 2018

    Michael Joseph

    304 pages

    RRP $34.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Dymocks
    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781760143596

    October 29, 2018

    Penguin eBooks

    304 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle AU
    • iBooks
    • Google Play EBook AU
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks

Extract

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
Article
Forgiving the Good Blokes

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

Also by Titus O'Reily