http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/06/28/1056683947563.html Ron Barassi might well have been the most courageous player in the history of Australian football, and he answers the question with a quote from his original coach and mentor at Melbourne, 50 years ago. "Norm Smith used to say that courage is the mastery of fear and it's right," said Barassi this week. "If you're not scared, you don't need courage. You are conquering a fear. I think these people who say they don't have fear in the first place are probably idiots. The ones I admire are the ones who are conquering the fear." Barassi insists that courage is a relative concept. He also disagrees with the old-timers' feeling that players are not as courageous as they used to be. "The proportion of players with courage is higher than ever," he said. "The bar's been raised." Barassi says a little fear is not such a bad thing, a point he established over lunch many years ago with Sir Edmund Hillary, conqueror of Everest 50 years ago. "I asked him about fear and he said: 'Ron. There's no way I would go up there with a guy who's not scared. If he's scared, I know he'll be careful about it and not stupid with his risk-taking'."