Sporting contests have enthralled and entertained human beings since the earliest of times. Today sport has become something more than just a pleasure and pastime – it’s now a national obsession in many countries. Fans and supporters, as well as media presenters, appear to revel in the excitement and drama almost to the point of delirium. In ancient Greece sport was a preparation for the business of warfare, and the original Olympic Games were designed to test the performance of athletes to gauge their effectiveness in battle. Athletes that distinguished themselves were seen to uphold the virtues of excellence and elevated to the pantheon of the gods as heroes, inspiring others to reach their potential. The ethos of this sporting life continues, although the material rewards for success for the sporting superstars of today are astronomical, magnifying for some the desire for victory at any price.
Sport is upheld as something pure and untarnished because of its original ethos of virtue and right conduct in the face of adversity. Anything that might sully its image, particularly drug abuse, is immediately pounced upon by the media with intense scrutiny into the personal lives of those in the public eye. Cracks are now showing in the veneer with corruption scandals involving FIFA, the world governing body of football, having recently made the headlines. The media seem to be able to handle corruption and bribery in sport but are somewhat reticent when it comes to broadcasting the sexual undercurrents of the sporting life. This is because sexual energy is the force behind the corporate greed of business and the manipulation of sponsors that control the sport behind the scenes. Through sporting affiliations the fans and consumers of the products are able to become more associated with their sporting heroes. Also, wherever there’s sport there’s booze. Watching a game without a beer or two, or having a drink after a match, is as much a part of the sporting ritual as anything. Alcohol provides the means in many cases for the worst excesses of sporting violence, on and off the field.
The sporting life in our culture is reverting back, not to the golden age of heroes and nobility (except in the individual) but to the lowest domination of the human condition. Have you noticed how the winning racing drivers at the end of the race shake up the bottle of champagne and drench each other and the fans with the fizz? It’s the release of the sexual force that is ejaculated into the world. This force externalises as a negative reaction in existence through the degeneration of sportsmanship. One of the most disturbing things I’ve seen in recent times is women’s boxing. What on earth has happened to coerce the female principle of love and mystery to repeatedly punch another woman in the name of sport? I don’t mean to be critical of the women who actually participate in the boxing bouts, but as a symbol of the times it is a denigration of love on earth. Sport has lost its virtue and now reflects back to us, the viewers, the graphic images of tortured faces and contorted grimaces of athletes and fans. We want more and we’re going to get it. Cage fighting and even more brutal forms of combat are coming. Perhaps this sounds familiar, with echoes of the gladiators and the screaming mob baying for blood in some ancient amphitheatre. Nevertheless sport has its place and it’s there to be enjoyed. More importantly, sport provides the respite for a global audience from the atrocities and hideous condition of the world.
It’s a wonderful thing indeed to watch an athlete or a game that involves skill, courage and tenacity. Virtue is the finest energy in the human body. The impulse to be a sportsman or woman is the desire to externalise, through the grace and strength of the body, these finest qualities of humanity. The spirit in which a game is played and the way adversity is vanquished is edifying, not only for the participants but for spectators alike. We love it, because to see it is the recognition of our own virtue and uniqueness. This sporting life, as an aspect of human culture, will continue to dominate the headlines and interest of a global audience. Perhaps someday a hero will arise to inspire the world as in the ancient times. Perhaps that hero is you.
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