It’s with great difficulty as yours truly tries by all means to wrestle and hold back tears of joy, ecstasy and above all, a certain measure of massive disappointment, wheel-barrowed by a pinch of bitterness scrolling down my advancing cheeks.
Dear readers, yours truly is damn sure that many of my trusted partners that have been following this particular weekly sports column simply titled Shooting from the Hip, without failure, would scorn to own me in a lie if I dare “brag” that some of you would NOW stop reading newspapers from the back pages when the author finally takes a bow from the game of inking sport articles, excuse the pun!!
As the old saying goes, there’s always a beginning and an end to any journey and mine as a pen-pusher, particularly at New Era has finally run full circle as this will be my final piece of ‘Shooting from the Hip’ after uninterrupted prompt deliveries, stretching over a marathon period of 15 years.
Hold your horses, I’m not retiring as a sports journo or disappearing from the scene – just retreating into a much needed long overdue hiatus to recharge the batteries whilst in the interim backtracking to my traditional passion of strumming and twisting the strings of my lifetime trusted companion Ebanez guitar, playing live music with the Sigera Fusion Jazz Band, before embarking on projects of national interest within the sporting industry.
When yours truly arrived at New Era in 2007, the ultimate mission was to revamp and transform the back pages of the daily publication into much more competitive reading material and move out of the traditional locker rooms reporting – venturing into the space of what’s going on beyond the field of play.
Nonetheless, one must admit it was quite an extremely tough assignment but we managed to pull it off and survived the journey quite well, though we often trampled on many people’s toes – terribly leaving behind strained relationships and unhealed wounds with regard to personal attachment.
There have been some nasty confrontations with certain sport bodies under the stewardship of those hardcore conservative administrators, punctuated by sheer arrogance and self-entitlement to supremacy.
When yours truly looks back, the much-despised process of transformation has been a bone of contention, specifically amongst the elite sport codes where those pulling the purse strings point-blankly refused to embrace the spirit of unification and inclusion in sport.
These blokes have made it their sole province to conveniently marry development with transformation – two entities that are worlds apart, so to speak.
Blatant racism and systematic demographic discrimination against certain minority groups are still rife in our midst if one takes the sorry plight of the oval ball game (rugby) into consideration.
Rugby is without a shadow of doubt the most successful code amongst our many sporting disciplines – yet this particular component is systematically grounded, treated like an orphanage object and does not enjoy the respect and recognition it so dearly deserves.
It’s a known fact that ‘larneys’ still reign supreme in the corporate world but somehow always reluctant, or rather unwilling to pump moolah into entities where they have minimal power or full control.
As it stands, rugby is predominantly run by people whose skin pigmentation is for some strange reason considered semi citizens of the Land of the Brave. I rest my case! ADIOS!!!