I continue to be amazed by the Australian obsession with sport. This is to the detriment of other fields of endeavour such as academic achievement, culture, business prowess, for example.
Football, tennis, swimming and cricket take up half the news broadcasts. Yes, it’s nice to be active and run and jump fast or whatever, but that does not make a nation great, in my opinion. After all, these are just games and yet in Australia they take the place of all other achievements.
In fact, if someone is talented in medicine or learning, then that success is disregarded. But if that same person can score a few runs in cricket, then he or she is venerated. This explains why so many “Australians of the Year” have been sportsmen and women.
The disappointing feature of all this obsession is that there is lots of scandal and drug cheating with performance enhancing products, so that it becomes difficult to respect and trust the whole business.
Moreover, if a sportsman behaves abominably then he is forgiven whereas if that same person were to behave like that in the business world he would have been fired. I’m referring, of course, to some of our footballers and currently to some of our better known tennis players.
In my opinion, Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios bring shame to our country. They may play tennis quite well but what a couple of spoilt brats they are! They are short on sportsmanship or dignity in their playing.
What a contrast to the tennis players of the past who made us proud and did not embarrass our nation!
In all seriousness, I am so disgusted by their lack of character that I barrack for their opponents whenever they play a match.
For crying out loud, sport is sport and life is something else, but when sport adopts the mantle of religious fanaticism, it becomes ludicrous. I hope that one day we will value the important fields of human achievement more than some foolish bugger’s ability to kick or catch or chase a ball.
It does remind me of Emperor Vespasian’s dictum that one should keep the masses amused, hence the Colosseum