Ben Shine / Sam Perry / TSR Debate / Uncategorized

TSR Debate: the validity of Tour de France fans

The Sporting Regard is on the verge of a comeback, but like all champions returning from knee surgery/summer in Ibiza boozing with their model girlfriends and fellow English Premier League players, we need to sharpen our skills before we’re ready for competition.

So we have decided to hold an internal trial match in our most favourite of the Academic Decathlon’s disciplines – no, not dramatic recitations of Shakespeare. We’re talking about debating.

It’s man against man (mano e mano, if you will), mate versus mate, wit against dim-wit.

There will be no winners and losers, just some jostling for bragging rights at the TSR water cooler. 

And the topic of this intermural pre-season joust?

When it comes to the Tour de France, should Australians embrace the peloton of blear-eyed, lycra-swaddled fans of le Tour, or should we form a breakaway to ensure their form of smug, esoteric and exotic fanaticism is kept at arms length?

To put it simply, should Australia get on board with le Tour, or should we stay away because it is too fucking foreign?

First up, Sam Perry on le Tour: At last, a sport for people who don’t like sport

There is a foul, literary smell managing to somehow pollute the teeming wasteland that is my social news feed, and it has nowt to do with babies or food.

It would seem July is the time when our sporting equivalent of the champagne socialist comes trotting in for a tipple of casual sporting passion in the name of le Tour. Late night newsfeeds drip with faux-sincere bursts of delight – ‘le Tour is back! Yay!’ and other similar dross.

It’s time to call out these sporting charlatans for what they are: vain shysters who covet the association with all things French – yes, thinly-veiled fraudster Francophiles posing as sports-lovers for roughly 4 days, unless Cadel does something.

Genuine cycling fans: this affects you more than anybody. Your outrage should be palpable. You have been lumped in with these day-tripping PR journeymen. You know that once the peloton hits the mountains, these swindlers will be riding in the slipstream of the next uppity sporting trend: probably Wimbledon.

Rest assured none of them can catch, or throw a ball.

Yes, that’s a bit snobby – but as they say in the unforgiving world of the sporting marketplace: un oeil pour un putain oeil. You should probably know what my Google-translated French means.

The great obscure Sydney folk singer Perry Keyes got it when he sung about the Sydney Swans. ‘At last, a football team for people that don’t like sport. Only joking – sort of.’

The mob I’m talking about have taken it step further – they adopt whole sports for a matter of days, hoping to represent some sort of charcuterie of cycling knowledge.

My final message is this: jog on shysters. Even though my newsfeed already smells like a glass of diarrhoea, your flowery prose is the worst kind of crap. 

Francophile? More like Wankophile…

Typical TDF fan
Typical TDF fan

In response is Ben Shine Peter Fitzsimons’ bandanna…

Ah Le Tour

It reminds me of one warm summer’s evening I spent promenading down the River Seine with my petite copain, casually sharing a bottle of rouge as we discussed the hustle and bustle of political goings-on in our local arrondissement – except on le Tour the participants promenade all across France, and instead of drinking wine they drink water (infused with nandrolone), and the politics they engage in is one of team positioning, slip streaming and strategic urination breaks.

"France equals culture, you boofheads"
“France equals culture, you boofheads”

Highbrow concepts and italicised French words such as the ones above may appear foreign and threatening to most Australians, but that will soon change as thousands more enlightened Aussies begin to switch their TVs over to SBS to get their daily fill of Gabriel Gateau and the world’s premier road cycling event.

This trend is important. As we enter a more globalsied world, Australia needs to engage on the world stage, diplomatically, economically, and more importantly, culturally. As they say, you’ve got to break dim sums with the Chinese before letting them buy your cheap mineral resources. And guess what – in the new world order, cycling talks. It’s true. To prove it here are two facts:

1.     Everybody in the world cycles. Even the Chinese.

2.     Nobody living outside of Victoria and South Australia knows when it is an appropriate time to yell out “ball” during an AFL match (this includes Swans fans).

So next time you’re using extra-curricular recreational activities to build rapport with your foreign business associates in order to ice a 7-figure deal, do you want to reach for an Orica Green Edge jersey in your bag, or will it be the tired, worn-out Melbourne Demons guernsey?

Huh? I can’t hear you.

Say it again.

Yeah. That’s right motherfucker.  You pick the lycra. Welcome to life in the 21st Century. Now fucking move along.

……………………

Right… Where were we?

Cycling opens doors. And le Tour opens the biggest doors on the biggest houses, in the biggest streets, in the biggest towns, in the… You get my drift.

Narrow-minded Australians who don’t get behind the Tour de France are holding the country back. In fact, in France we have a special term for them – hateurs – people so feeble of mind they cannot comprehend the beauty, complexity and artistry of Le Tour and thus resort to silly and tired solipsism.

Here’s the take-home: You either get behind le Tour and embrace modern, cosmopolitan Australia, or you’ll be left in the peloton while the rest of us breakaway to a bright, globalised and prosperous future… You fucking knuckle dragger.

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