Listening with only one ear this morning, to the the usual tripe and propaganda bilge from the BBC, care of their Toady Programme. The original discussion, as far as remembered, was about how teenaged girls would jump into hysterics over some spotty-faced Boy band, and how this differed from people watching a rugby or football match. The presenters and some bloke were talking about sport, and how it was ‘understandable’ for a grown man to cry if his team had lost, or won for that matter; but this ‘emotional response’ was totally different to a bunch of adolescent females showing off their hormonal urges as a group.
Now, as for myself; I just cannot understand the whole idea of ‘my team’ or being ‘the winner’, or the ‘best’: or whatever is shoveled out by the sports-lovers lobby, which of course is vast and all-pervasive. Sport itself, in all its forms, is just another Industry, and all its individual tendril offshoots are dedicated to doing one thing, and one thing only, to take your cash, and endeavour to get ever more of your cash, and business’ cash, and tv and broadband cash, to enrich the Empire whilst delivering: exactly what? Emotional release? Team loyalty? Admiration of individual endeavour? Let’s face it, sports fans are just as deluded as any other mass entertainment audience. When the Chelsea fans roar their approval, what are they actually stating? That their team is better than their opponents? That they are ‘winners’? What actually have they, the spectators, silly, deluded people that they are, really won, or achieved? When an Olympic crowd of eighty-odd thousand cheers a victory in a distance race, are they applauding the winner, or are they stating that their country, and its political philosophy, is somehow on a higher plane than the runners who came second, or last? What I am asking, in admittedly a roundabout way is this: What’s the Point?
So your team wins, or the runner comes first, or the penalty-taker misses, or whatever god-forsaken physical activity which you hew to makes the headlines on the back pages of some gutter-press production. Why the glorification? Why the deluded doom when the ‘Team’ is headed, inexorably, for the demotion area of the League? There seems to be a total lack of awareness that, for every winner, there must be a ‘loser’. I remember reading some ‘pop-ed’ piece where the female writer came home on a Saturday afternoon to find her fiancè lying on the floor, beating his fists into the carpet, whilst moaning ‘Liverpool lost!’ Big deal! The governmental, with the emphasis on the ‘mental’ part of that word, push when the Olympics were being touted around as the saviour of all things British is but typical of the hype surrounding sport and its promotion. The Olympics would give new emphasis to inclusivity, and general health, along with all the usual mealy-mouthed phrases from the lowest of the low: an ex-Government Minister.
The words which shape the phrase ‘role-models’ are used, especially in football, to determine who is being hero-worshipped by the plebs this month; but just let us examine those who are being touted as the ‘role-model’ for impressionable youngsters in today’s shabby little universe. The likes of Ryan Giggs, of whom I wrote “a footballer whose ‘clean-living’ image was parlayed into a huge array of sponsorships was found, after the removal of not one but several ‘super-injunctions’ was found to be leading such an amoral lifestyle as not only carrying on a liaison with some prostitute, but also to have had sex with his brother’s wife over an eight year period: is portrayed as a role-model; no wonder men of my generation shake their heads in silent sorrow.” In my younger days, our
heroes were heroes, worthy of the name, but that sort of individual wouldn’t stand much chance of reward in these days of instant glory, and of fame for fame’s sake. I wrote of a young man who was being touted as the ‘next great thing’ in football, but I also wrote of that same youngster as being an amoral thug who threatened a contemporary with violence because his friends had been charged on evidence given by this young man. The footballer was named Ravel Morrison; and I musingly asked if an elderly man would post a picture of Ravel Morrison on a blogsite some twenty-three years after his death? Somehow, I doubt it!
The huge business of Sport, whether it is football and the fatally-corrupted & -flawed FIFA, or Athletics and the dope-ridden IAAF; cricket, and the fantastic numbers of Indian enthusiasts; or any one of a dozen differing sporting endeavours, are all inextricably linked with cash, with sponsorship, with the huge deals for global television. But again I ask the only question which counts: What’s the Point? Does it really matter if one man or woman runs faster, jumps longer, or moves a ball more skilfully than his opponent? Apart from individual earnings, that is? Why this adoration of certain people because of either a natural or learned ability to perform certain manoeuvres? Why the fevered following for a team of a certain city, or even a locality; despite there being hardly any native sons in that team? When I was much younger, my Dad and my brother went to all Newcastle home matches, and there they could watch and cheer men who came from the same villages and vicinity as the fans. But could a similar family identify with a team today? I doubt it very, very much indeed!