ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS is a great Australian. He won two Davis Cups, reached the finals of Wimbledon and the US Open – and like the rest of the country, he was smacked as a child.
Though he wasn’t always popular and humble like he is now, Lleyton Hewitt was smacked.
Bill Shorten was smacked.
A new report released by the CSIRO and Melbourne’s RMIT suggest that there’s a common link between successful and humble people, which is that they’ve all been delivered a swift, broad-handed blow across the buttocks by a parent at the end of their rope.
Scientists have been able to ascertain through a number of experiments and observations that Kyrgios probably wasn’t smacked when he did something wrong on purpose as a child.
Lead researcher Glenn Vicks from RMIT agrees that the 20-year-old tennis superstar could gotten away with murder as a young prodigy.
“From the data we’ve collected, Nick could’ve pissed in a cup and thrown it on somebody, a complete stranger even, and wouldn’t have faced any consequences,” he said.
“During his time at the AIS in Canberra, he could’ve ripped off John Newcomb’s moustache and used it to clean his laptop keyboard – and he’d still be allowed to stay there.”
“He could’ve even looked his parents in the eye while he pissed the bed. Nothing.”
Another great Australian who’s publicly acknowledged that he wasn’t smacked as a child is former prime minister Kevin Rudd.
Questions began to arise about whether or not Rudd was physically reprimanded by a parent as a child when he started crying after his own party dumped him for Julia Gillard in 2010.
“That’s correct. I wasn’t smacked as a boy,” recalled Rudd. “In retrospect, maybe if I was, I would’ve handled the whole situation better. Like Tony is doing now, just sitting on the backbench taking potshots and throwing shade at the poon who knocked him off.”
The threat of being smacked is often used more effectively that the smack itself, says the paper. That’s a fact that rings true for arguably New Zealand’s highest over-achiever, Richie McCaw.
“Growing up in rural Oamaru, you better believe I was smacked as a youngster,” said McCaw. “My old man would give me six if he caught me entering a ruck from the front.”
“I think it helped me stay grounded. Even Australians would agree that for everything I’ve achieved, I don’t go around boasting about it.”