I cop plenty of flack, hate mail, industry colleague cold shoulders and the wrath of accreditation boards for having views that may not align with the preferred cricket narrative.
Yes, I don’t like match fixers or drug cheats. That Wasim and Warne and M Waugh are all in that bucket, bad luck. It was their choice to be arsehats. I think Anderson is overrated…. well, was overrated. I’m softening. Sachin’s record stumbles when objectively scrutinised and he committed perjury in regards to Monkey gate. Channel Nine is ruining the game. Cricinfo is difficult to navigate. McCullum gets praise for being a beacon of light yet has cheated on the field. Sreesanth was cleared by a court so should be free play. Amir should not be. The ICC needs to have independent board members. Cricket Australia’s links to gambling are a disgrace and presented in a willfully misleading way.
I also make jokes. It is a legitimate form of communication. Like satire is. Like poetry is. Like musical theater is. Like novels are.
Most of my jokes aren’t funny, but they amuse me.
However, some people like to deliberately take offence at jokes and shout abuse from the rooftops. I feel sorry for these people. Humour is so important in life.
Some call it trolling. But that’s a huge misrepresentation and a poor perspective. I simply call it independent thought.
No, I’m not perfect either. But if someone finds my life that interesting, let them start a website and podcast about it.
I have worked hard over the last four or so years to build my own cricketing soapbox.
No one handed me the Dennis Does Cricket website. No one handed me the Can’t Bowl Can’t Throw podcast. No one handed me my video camera or this Facebook following. No one was forced at gun point to join my mailing list. No one pays for my hosting fees, my time spent learning how to do this stuff, maintain it or gifted me a microphone.
I didn’t just turn up unannounced at Shikhar Dhawan’s house to interview him, or find Lalit Modi’s home number in the yellow pages or have pieces magically appear in print organisations world wide or plug in my headset and appear on sports radio shows in the West Indies and South Africa.
All of this is because I got off my slowly growing arse and had a crack. As anyone can. As many do. In all walks of life.
Ok, I may have received a little help with my twitter following, but I didn’t ask nor pay for it. Twitter just decided to recommend me to new users.
I’m proud of the fact that people choose to have firm views about my work. It means it is cutting through, being read and being heard. The world doesn’t need anymore vanilla boring follow the formula reporting. It’s like death by elevator music.
Unfortunately, we now live in a world where those that think they are right believe that those that oppose their view are racist, or trolls, or bigoted, or nazis or any number of other words that have been used to describe me.
The art of objective debate is quickly being lost. Rather, personal attacks is seen as normal or required.
What is wrong with us?
Being abused used to bug me. Get under my skin. I’m only human.
But now I see it as a badge of honour. It means you read my stuff and it forced a reaction. Much better than reading something and forgetting about it two seconds later right?
So to those that interact with me, negatively or positively, thanks for supporting my journalism. I try my best to engage with anyone who engages in a polite manner.
Be firm with your views. They don’t have to be the same as mine. Most times, they probably won’t be. But that’s ok. In fact, it’s awesome. I’ll respect you for it.
Imagine if we all thought the same way? What a disaster that would be.
Fall into the name calling trap, and I’ll probably ignore you. Have I ever called you a name?
For without having a view, you are simply reporting. And what does reporting really add to any debate?