I’m not very sporty. Which makes me sort of an abomination in the eyes of many other Aussies. It’s not that I’m not active, I love the gym and going for runs, but team sports don’t really interest me. Too much hinges on the other people on your team, and I like to win or lose on my own terms.
But there is one sporting event that gets me going as much as every other Australian. The Melbourne Cup. For those of you not in Australia, and lets face it, thats all of you, the Melbourne Cup is a horse race held on the first Tuesday of November. It literally does stop the nation. Work places have televisions going and bosses will excuse their employees for an hour or so, for nibblies and chatting. Most workplaces also condone, if not outrightly encourage some gambling in the form of sweeps. It’s also an excuse for the girls to dress up to the nines, and hell even some of the guys. A bit of bubbly gets consumed, and for the 3 or so minutes that the race lasts, the entire nation holds its breath.
The only thing I could compare it to (and if I am making gross generalisations here, you only have your sitcoms to blame, oh and Degrassi High :P) would be the Superbowl for you Americans, and the Memorial Cup for Canadians or maybe for you Canucks, the championship for that weird sport that actually has a broom as a piece of sporting equipment. (seriously Canadians.. “curling”?? What the hell???)
This years winner was Dunaden. And for the 19th year in a row (we also bet during high school (year 7), that is the extent that this race actually grips the country) I have not backed the winner.
But the Melbourne Cup is always a good day. You get to see the pretty girls in their pretty outfits.
You get to stand around making uncomfortable small talk with the people you work with and you get to drink alcohol during working hours.
And for three minutes you get to yell and shout at the television.
What more could a growing boy need?