A Very Sportress Christmas

BY DAN

This has been a really fun year for the Sportress. We’ve been at this caper for over four years now, cranking out these hot takes. We are yet to reach the heights that we originally thought this blog would take us (I mean, Grantland shut down, and the Guardian doesn’t seem interested in a our Raiders views). Rather than the takes, the clicks or the notoriety, what we’ve gained in 2018 has been infinitely more valuable.

Wait for it. You’re going to enjoy this.

It’s the friends we’ve made along the way.

Over the past few years we’ve started to get immersed in the wonderful world of the Canberra Raiders internet. From the brilliant feedback of the people that click these humble pages, the argument on the Greenhouse, the banter over at the “We Bleed Green” Facebook page, or the defiant enthusiasm of Raiders twitter, over 2018 we’ve gotten to know more and more of you.

Sidebar: Here’s a hot take. NBA twitter is often regarded as the most ‘fun’ of all sports twitter. It embraces the ridiculous of the sideshow the game can attract, and parlays that with a pretty strong set of values that is beats the more reactionary members of its sport with. NRL twitter is the closest thing in Australian sport to that. It’s a lot of fun.

It’s one of the beautiful things about sport. It puts you in contact with people you may never have otherwise talked to. It gives us a sense of community, of shared purpose, that is so often stripped away by a society that is increasingly fragmented by forces beyond our control.

We should always embrace that. Too often sport is considered the ‘basic’ person’s answer to ‘culture’. Placing sport and other cultural expressions in a binary relationship is a mistake. Our sport is part of our culture. It’s not perfect – any reflection of our society is inevitably flawed. But in a world that gives us so few opportunities to share our little piece of this world with others, it is unquestionably good.

Christmas is actually a little like that. For so many of us, Christmas is the only time of year we let down our guard and let people know how we feel. Maybe it’s taking a neighbour a bottle of wine or some chocolates. Maybe it’s smiling at the stranger in the street dressed in a Christmas outfit. Maybe it’s the random comment of a friend that actually lets slip that they’ll miss you over the break.

Or maybe it’s making a video

To steal from my one of my favourite Christmas specials of all time (Community, Season 2), “the meaning of Christmas is that Christmas has meaning.” Much like when turn up or turn on our beloved Raiders, Christmas is a rare opportunity we get together as a group and say “it’s OK to care”. For the Raiders it’s about believing that this rag-tag bunch of geniuses will one day reach the promise land. At Christmas we, as a wider community decide that a better world is possible. I don’t know which is more naive, but it’s better we don’t give up on either.

So, because it’s Christmas, let us just say that we’ve loved writing our takes this year. But more than that, we’ve loved getting to know you all better. Hopefully in 2019, we can build this community a little bit more and take a few more opportunities to show we care.

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone.

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