OPINION

The BBL is the fast-food option at summer sport's buffet

Picture: Rick Smith
Picture: Rick Smith

Long-term fans may smile nostalgically at the term "too much sport is never enough" but is it still so?

Clearly, the answer's yes, if you are obsessive. Seasons now roll into each other and the footy off-season that you once dreaded is now barely recognisable - particularly now you can virtually stalk players on social media.

The abbreviated versions of sports (rugby sevens, rugby league nines, AFL X and every other form of cricket) can be cynically regarded as marketing opportunities.

But have administrators, driven by the almighty dollar and no doubt hefty television rights contracts, taken it too far?

Have they not quite been able to see the metaphorical tongue planted firmly in Roy and HG's collective cheek?

For so many genuine reasons, the 2000 Sydney Olympics were heart-stoppingly memorable. Not just for running and jumping faster and higher and all that, but for the sheer innovation of The Dream with Roy and HG.

Largely known through Triple J, the hosts were not previously nationally celebrated. But they became so, after their late-night "alternate" Olympics TV show.

It was all about the Olympic Games, however it made a relentless mockery of the very same.

Remember the mascots bombing competition? To have Millie, Olly. and Syd (known to Roy and HG as Dickhead) leap from the 10m diving platform only to be upstaged by our rogue hosts' anti-hero mascot Fatso the wombat was pure genius. Don't forget, it surely needed some sort of approval from the five-ring circus.

The tongue in the cheek was about as broad as Fatso's backside.

And here's the crucial lesson for sports administrators: it worked so damn well because there was a distinct end and an equally distinct beginning.

Let's be frank, Cricket Australia's BBL is the fast-food option at the summer sports buffet. Who the hell even remembers who played last night?

BBL09 was one week shorter than last season's competition. And yes, it's still too bloody long.

As an exercise in marketing it serves to offer up some colourful wham-bammery to the uninitiated. Kids love it; parents love it, rock-solid cricket fans, well, they're a bit on the fence. So here's a tip: market it to the people who love it! Adjust the schedule so the prelim final isn't played on a school night at the cavernous MCG. Simple.

And yes, don't forget, people in regional Australia have summer holidays, too.

Janine Graham is an ACM journalist