Well, if the band Regurgitator is right when they sing 'Music is Sport' then i guess part of my last post about 'artistic endeavours' should be here? Given that my music making ability is about as bad as
my sporting prowess, I guess they are, at least partly so. I've never learnt to play guitar or the drums for a lack of coordination and maybe a little tone deafness, usually the only singing i do is in the shower when I think nobody's listening. Dont get me
started with dancing, it really shows I have two left feet. All this fits with my sporting ability...but lets talk about others first up. Heres a little poem I wrote quite a while ago on the back of an Olympics mired in doping allegations.
Go for Olympic gold
When the medal tally’s already sold
Highest bidder won the race
Every pack has an ace.
Up goes the cheer
For a hard-edged athlete's near
But was it because they’re bold
Or simply the syringe that they hold.
star might raise the medal
But whats really pushing the pedal
Is it the designer potion in their veins
Or a chemical imbalance in their brains.
Their performance blitzed the field
Many a sample signed and sealed
The results may take years yet
Shape of things to come is fair bet.
sign of the day
olympians battle for big pay
A sad indictment behind the podium stand
Nevertheless makes a celebration grand.
Swimmers, runners, cyclists too
All with a large support crew
Having not one willing to cheat
Is just too much of a mammoth feat.
Sport.. it seems is the drug of the masses.. and well, once again we see an example of those who
perform at the top of their field disgraced by doing drugs. Thanks a bunch Lance...but who are the real dopes?? Who really believes that the human body can go faster, higher, longer, etcetera etcetera than it does now? Is it the man who sticks a needle in
his vein or the doctors/coaches/sports administrators who let it happen or worse promote it to their charges on the sly? Or is it the viewing public.. the ordinary Joe who watches from the sidelines and feels good when their favourite team or individual wins?
We shouldn't be surprised by Lance or any athlete doing drugs, should we?? I mean, some people will do almost anything for fame and fortune, won't they?? Not me...
You see, i have
an old mountain bike, one that i got from Kmart or Target or somewhere i cant remember it was a long time ago but I do like to ride it every now and then. Seems like every time i do i've got to pump up the tyres first and blow the cobwebs away but that's how
it is. I dont like riding up hills but going down can be fun. Word of warning though, you probably shouldn't go down too fast, jam on your brakes and expect to walk away uninjured... been there done that and the result is twisted handlebars and some painful
grazes.. OUCH!! Luckily, heroes like me wear helmets... Anyone remember that old chestnut of an advertising slogan?? Heroes wear helmets.. whenever they fly... Flying is important to note here!
The professional or wannabe professional riders seem to have an attitude about them which speaks of arrogance and aggression. Maybe its the tight lycra and too many things bulging?? The funniest part is that I have a good friend who's really into it...
cycling that is! I've socialised with some of these cyclists and on the surface they seem okay but their conversation always goes in one direction.. to individual performance, times and weight and wind speeds etcetera. Lets not forget the cost of some of these
bikes alone.. Now that's totally out of this world!!
I tried many sports growing up, mostly talked into them by concerned parents who thought of it as a way of socialising their only
child. The only socialising it did though was to know my place in the hierarchy and that was as last picked or a benchwarmer. What starts off as a friendly sociable activity always seems to turn competitive with the high-achievers lording it over the rest.
You see it in so many sports and activities and it starts young with some parents desperately wanting their kids to be the next so-and-so.... I dont think anybodys promoting the next Lance Armstrong now though?!
The following is some sporting activities that i have tried and you will see the pattern...
Soccer – the world game is great to watch when professionals
do it but for an uncoordinated teenager its probably not the best sport to kick off with. I never did kick a winning goal, I was lucky if i even got a kick let alone a goal, oh i could dribble a bit but kicking a goal was beyond me at the time. You know, i
could play socially with friends and kick a ball around the yard all day but get me on the field and bending it like Beckham was totally out of my league. Shame, cause i do like to watch the World Cup and talk it up with friends!
Tennis – another one where hand-eye coordination was nowhere to be found when it really counted.
Handball – i used to love
this game when i was a kid and sometimes it loved me back. I spent hours hitting the tennis ball against the laundry wall. Ah, the good old days when things were simple.
yeah, i know, enough said but i did make a lot of marks in the turf and i once got to drive the buggy – Sweet!
Tenpin Bowling – I'm not limp-wristed but this just kills,
more recently I gave this a good go on WII and I am da man... if only i could do it for real!!
Volleyball – actually, i tried this game a number of times growing up and even
with some blokes from my old workplace, mostly socially and i enjoy it but when it starts getting competitive.. No Way Jose, over and out.
Squash – i can play, its been a long
time since i entered that arena but it's intense – a great workout!
Shooting – see my post re 'Gun Culture...' I used to shoot, at a range under supervision, i wasn't
bad but i didn't set the world on fire!
Skirmish – well, dont those little paintballs hurt and leave nasty welts when you get hit. Running around a field once dressed in camouflage
gear I soon realised what a crap soldier i would make! I went there with friends from an online gaming community and i reckoned we should have all stayed in the virtual world!
to think of it, does computer gaming count as sport?? It should, because that is the pastime of many. If you've read my first post.. you will know that I was introduced to the world of online gaming by a work colleague and for a while I played 'Battlefield:
Vietnam' and started playing 'BF2', at the same time I was playing 'Need for speed: Hot Pursuit' on PlayStation, all with mixed results. A lot of PC games depend on skill/reflexes but also on the power of your computer and internet connection. Lets just say
I blamed the latter for my lack of expertise, usually i was cannon fodder, would get shot and then have to wait to respawn!! If only real soldiers had that ability eh? I did have my moments but they were few and far between. I did enjoy the online banter and
comradery of the other older gamers. I always found that no matter how good the plan of attack seemed to be pre-game, as soon as you entered the field the plan went to the dogs.
– well, lets just say, i can swim and i know the strokes but as for going the distance thats another story. I use to like going to the beach although i very rarely did but i had a moment where i was caught in a sweep or rip and quite frankly it has made
me less eager to return. Besides, all that sand in your boardies and coming out looking like you've just done a round or ten with Mike Tyson.. no thanks.
yeah, gave it a go once or twice but soon gave up and went home. When you spend more time on your arse than on the deck its time to put it away. Its a little off-putting when you dont have good balance.
Snooker/Pool - I love these table games, I have always wanted a pool table but lack of space has always been a problem.
Table Tennis/Ping Pong - I got pretty good at Nintendo
Wii Table Tennis even beat the champion, if only after a mammoth effort and a lot of practice. I have played the game for real too and enjoy it.
While we're on the subject of
table games, what about Board Games such as Monopoly Scrabble or Chess? I have often spent hours playing these particular games with varying degrees of success. The competition can still be quite fierce, I do remember a particular
game of Monopoly with a friend in our lounge room which ended in a stalemate. We could not agree on a rule and ended with both players walking away from the board. That board sat there for ages until one of us finally packed it up.
For all this, I do enjoy watching certain sporting events such as the annual State Of Origin football series i.e Rugby League – the battle
between Queensland and New South Wales. Though i now reside in the ACT, my state of origin is Queensland so i barrack for the 'mighty Maroons' and say 'boo to the Blues'!! Watching this game usually involves drinking a beer or two or three... strangely I like
it when the two teams fight on the field and you hear comments like "bring back the biff" but when I see people on the streets going toe-to-toe or more likely one king-hitting another it is shocking and extremely disappointing. It looks like the
biggest selling drug for most sports fans is alcohol and this product can have disastrous side-effects i.e random violence, drink driving etcetera....
I like watching the big events
sometimes, mostly on television, such as the Bathurst 1000 – the V8s, the World Cup and the Olympics, especially those events where Australia has any hope of a medal. I'm proud of my country's sporting achievements despite our small population and my
own lack thereof. I believe that Australians are, as a whole, a sports loving people. This is a country where a single horse race stops the nation, namely the Melbourne Cup.
But to think that a number of players and officials across the sporting fields are involved in drugs and related allegations such as match fixing should be a concern. Its heartening to see that the Australian Crime
Commission is looking into it seriously. All those topline athletes who are role models to so many and the reason some join the particular sport are paid so much and have so much attention thrust upon them. The fame and fortune seems to be a drug
all by itself but that just leads to other activities for some. So, keeping fit is generally a good thing but being ultra-competitive often puts individuals in a downward spiral.
However, I would rather see more attention and accolades for scientific achievement in the areas of medical science and for academics, authors and artists than for sports personalities whose sole claim to fame is often that they can kick a piece of leather
around a field better than the rest of us. Perhaps we are more, in the words of TISM, “interested in..apathy”? Why are we bored by academia, tired of medical breakthroughs but will cheer endlessly when someone wins their seventh or seventieth medal?
I, myself have been known to support the underdog and cut down the tall poppies, although i really don't mind if the Maroons win many more series. Sport has its place and has been a venue for raising awareness of other issues in society, here is another poem
I wrote about a protest at an Olympics...
A raised black hand
Lifted in defiance
Sent a sharp backhand
Given the circumstance.
Supporting the cause
Back in the home state
Meant breaking the olympic laws
Making officialdom irate.
That simple act
Of clenching a steely fist
Lit up a dark fact
And pierced an unholy cyst.
Now there’s another blight
But unlike then, there’s a t-shirt
For the people take up the fight
Not just over a piece of dirt.
For freedom of religion
Is the order of the day
Race earns more than a smidgen
Of time locked away.
It seems competition and competitiveness brings out the best and worst in people. These concepts rear their ugly heads in many fields not just on the football field or the cricket pitch. In the field of work/employment/career/job there is much competition
and competitiveness but who's really winning?? Stay tuned for my next post on this very subject titled 'A working stiff...'
Til next time sports fans....