Excesses in sport
I know that there will be some who will say that that old idiot is delving into his past, and ranting as usual. This is true, this is true, because I feel that in a lot of cases the aggrandisement of the school or the individual sets precedents over the general good. A young friend of mine was telling me about the conditions at the school her son goes to, where ability in sport is seen to be more advantageous for the individual, than an overall full education. She was describing how her children, while good at sport, and enjoying sport while not training to the excesses which other children were, who were the in the top echelon of sportsmen and sportswomen. She said this was more the case with respect to rugby, than it was to any other type of sport. She pointed out that the time when the school was in serious competition with other schools, the gymnasia, and other sports facilities were taken over by the rugby team, to the detriment of the rest of the school. She further went on to say that the boys who were playing rugby at high-level, were being given high levels of muscle training to enable them to achieve their goal, and she felt that this at that age is both psychologically and physically detrimental to the child’s future. She said they were like grown men rather than schoolboys. In my day, 1920s and 30s, we were hardly trained at all, told a few basics, and then left to get on with the game. As I played rugby at an average level, I was still playing it fairly robustly, with the inevitable bumps and bruises, and my physical modification if any, resulted from the daily period in the gymnasium, with a good shower afterwards, rather than the rugby. Obviously we wanted our school to,win when they played in competition, but I don’t remember us getting into the level of hysteria that seems to follow top sport, even at school level,
Recently I have been watching rugby on television and come to the conclusion that it is no longer a sport, but a business, and sportsmanship as we knew it is sacrificed to winning, and at all costs, I can go back to the end of the war when sport started to emerge once again, as a spectator event, rather than merely for pleasure. But the levels that people attained, or even sought, were well below what people are achieving today, because today the rewards are incredible. Then, footballers were not paid in thousands of pounds a year, or indeed millions, they got a small stipend every week, if they turned up. My father-in-law played for a local team in one of the lower leagues, and the majority of the players were amateurs at a high level.
In so many things we have become Americanised, and the attraction of the almighty dollar I believe is seeping into our country, through the back door which really is just Skye television. Having watched television quite considerably since I was injured, I find their outlook to be rumbustious, extraordinarily crass, noisy and extrovert. If their serious films are to be taken seriously as an indication of their desires and outlook, with copious killings in the first two minuets and every person depicted in the picture, and even the women, capable of throwing a 16 stone man over their shoulder with their knowledge of Kung Fu, I question whether it is only I who wishes to have a reasonable amount of honesty and consistency in a story, rather than some childish make-believe?
I have discovered recently that I am not alone in my criticism, but also many other ordinary people are beginning to question not only their politics, pricing, honestly as a whole, and where all this is leading us in the future, when we will not be picking up the bill, but those who are still at school, unfortunately, will be, in my youth we were able to leave the front door open without any fear. Criminality was at a very low ebb, and rarely within reach of the average citizen. With no television the only advertisements we had were in newspapers, and they were of a very muted type. Today on television people are making extraordinary promises, false statements to the individual, and what I consider to be criminal proposals, , all in the name of commercial expediency. It is not an accident that the television volume goes up to incredible levels every time the advertisements start. It is all to do with our equivalent of the almighty dollar.