Is Sport overrated?

 

7659422-3x2-340x227Child detention

Northern Territory detention centre for children

It wasn’t all that long ago when men and women were sometimes referred to as ‘sport’. Howyergoing ‘sport’? wasn’t all that an uncommon way of greeting. It sometimes still is used. Most countries enjoy playing sport but many if not most  men and women in this country hold the view that sport in Australia is absolutely sacrosanct and not to be fiddled with. Per capita we used to win more Olympic medals that most other countries. Thankfully that has come down somewhat lately.

In fact, going to the school halls of both public or private schools one gets the impression that schools are there mainly to teach students sport. Those large varnished boards nailed to the hallowed walls at school’s community entrances have the best of student’s sporting achievements all carefully emblazoned in gold-leaf lettering. One looks in vain for the best Math or English language students. The more prestigious the school, the more attention given to sport.

Perhaps the economy is impacting those expensive boarding schools now, but in the cinema we  get shorts in which schools advertise their academic menus which more often than not feature boys, and sometimes girls, scrumming around with balls or hockey sticks. I have yet to see school advertisements whereby a book features or a student is pensively looking at a painting.

This why it is so heartening to see that cricket is coming to its senses. Apparently some ‘tours’ are in doubt. There are payment disputes. It is all too complicated for some of us to get to the finer points of the ins and outs. I have always found it a baffling game of two teams wanting to get ‘in’ only to then, when finally ‘in’ ,wanting to get ‘out.’ With the dispute still not solved there is a good chance we will enjoy a nice Christmas without the tedious drone of cricket scores filtering through the vertical blinds.

But, the real bonus, nay, the icing on the cake, is one of our tennis players openly admitting he is ‘bored’ with hitting the tennis ball. What clear-sighted honesty. Such boldness in admitting that hitting a ball backwards and forwards isn’t all that it is cracked up to be. Surely, the king is starkers underneath all that emphasis on sport. A footballer who hit another one out cold has now been banned for life playing his ball- sport and is charged by police. Sport is clearly overrated when belting each other on and off field is the norm. Look how often enraged tennis players chuck their rackets. They take it all too seriously. Calm down boys and girls, smell the roses!

In a previous post I suggested that winners should be those that come last. It would calm sport down to what it should be. A concern and care for the opponent rather than a selfish need to be a ‘winner.’ I know that we are all urged by our Government to be winners and not losers but a fact remains that per definition a winner is just a single person. It is a silly aim. How does that fit in with being a country that prides itself on being egalitarian and just?

Look at that sad spectacle of a previous female champion tennis player, reduced now to simpering loudly against those that want to get SSM married. She has lost love for her own kind and that just isn’t  good ‘sport.’ No matter what physical sport one pursues, it is all doomed to slacken with age. And then what?

Our attitude to the refugees on Manus and Nauru sits strangely in all this chest-beating of what it means to have true Australian values. It just isn’t good sport, is it?

What it means to support and stand up for Australia. Have those values been allowed to drift away? Are the values of an Italian or Pole so much different? It all smacks of a silly form of nationalism. I noticed Trudeau from Canada publicly and loudly telling the world Canada  welcomes all refugees.

What would I not give for our immigration minister Dutton or our leader Turnbull to come out strongly for the refugees and for once show what it means to be a ‘GOOD SPORT’ and allow them to live in Australia instead of all the horse trading with America.

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10 Responses to “Is Sport overrated?”

  1. DisandDat Says:

    Well put. The obsession with sport is spreading world wide. But like stated, Oz sports people per capita fight for plenty of Gold and “Sport university” is well funded. Prior to “the games” there is talk of the need to increase the winning medal tally from the previous four years. Very little on the enjoyment of sport, the mixing of cultures or comparing how important sport is featured in other lands.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      One tries to come up with a reason on why so much misery still exist. I look at the above photo of that young man strapped in this restraining device and ask how on earth this happened?

      I look at our leaders and Australia, wondering how even today hundreds of refugees remain detained or locked up under terrible conditions on far-a-way islands that are run by Australia and overseen by private guards paid for by Australia. This sore has been allowed to fester and is running in its fourth year.

      Is the link connecting these cruelties our obsession with competitive/combative sports? Are we so hell-bent on winners and losers?
      How easy would it be to allow those refugees their humanity and let them come and live their lives here.

      We can’t call ourselves ‘good sports,’ and yet allow that to happen under our noses and apparent general approval, can we?
      It is a contradiction.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. stuartbramhall Says:

    It’s all a matter of bread and circuses – sports is how they keep the masses pacified and prevent them from overthrowing the ruling elite.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      All that running around never attracted me. I tried with several different ball games. I did like gymnastics and was reasonably agile in that branch of sport.
      The best sport of all is just walking. We never tire of that and it doesn’t attract that creeping boredom that ball games hold. For mature adults to go chase a round object is so futile. At least with a brisk walk one gets from a to b.

      Like

  3. berlioz1935 Says:

    We once attended “Speech Night” at the end of the school year. You should have seen the trophies that were handed out for sporting achievements. They were so huge they would have made a Wimbledon winner proud. For academic achievement, the winners were handed out a piece of paper. I was disgusted. The school did not train those young sports boys and girls. Still, the school took all the glory.

    The Olympics is going downhill as well. They have only cities applying for 2024 and none for 2028. So one will get 2024 and the other 2028. After that nobody knows.

    Australia always counts the medals before the games even start and then they are disappointed when they don’t achieve. The media clamours for an investigation in what has gone wrong.

    I used to run and liked it and I miss it now that my body is not able at all. Team sport I never liked as it is too much a sport for a closed group of people.

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Why is it that drugs, gambling and alcohol features so much amongst sports, Peter?
      Perhaps because many of the sponsors connected to sports want to advertise their products.

      It isn’t as if the sports viewers are keen on participating in sports. Most often they are on soft lounges eating packets of chips drinking Cokes, growing ever fatter.

      I am often embarrassed when asked about a latest football score or names of tennis players and show complete ignorance. It is culturally not acceptable to be sport ignorant. Indeed, to get accepted for Australian residency status I would probably fail. I do know the name of a famous horse (Phar Lap) and cricketer. ( Donald Bradman.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Big M Says:

        I’ve always been sport ignorant, or rather, disinterested. People think it mudt be because I don’t understand the rules so try to school me, but I know the rules, having been publicly educated in the sixties and seventies. Ah, then you must be a closet poof. Yes, that’s right. An appropriate comment from an idiot sycophant who only follows cricket and thugby.

        I do like winding up rugby union fans by conflating it with rugby league. Oh no, completely different is the reply, league is for the working class!!

        As for the Olympics, I don’t give a fig about highly paid, drug addled bludgers who will never repay their debt to the government.

        Liked by 2 people

      • berlioz1935 Says:

        I like watching the Tour de France. Here too drugs played a big role. Ten years ago the German bike team fell into disrepute because of drug taking. In the meantime, new riders have come up. I hope they are drug-free. We both enjoy the ride through the beautiful French countryside.

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        I am too, very ignorant of sport. It wasn’t always like that but sport saturation on the TV doesn’t help. That awful rugby commentary from that garrulous man, shouting as if with a mouthful of garnet paper.
        My experience playing basket-ball left me severely suspicious of competitive ball games, Big M.
        I liked playing with marbles when very young. I loved how those marbles got those decorative objects and colours within the round glass.

        Like

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        The Tour de France has at least the advantage that no one is chasing around each other trying to knock someone out cold because they hold a ball.
        Another advantage of it is the beautiful scenery which you pointed out, Berlioz.

        Like

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