The benefits of sports mania

Yesterday, I wrote about how much I am bored and fed up with sports mania. From soccer mums to ranting football fanatics and silly people who go to the races to show off their outfits, it is a part of life that leaves me cold. But, as with everything in life, there is another side to all this.

In some parts of the world there are revolutions, massacres, kidnappings and assassinations on a daily basis. There’s a lot of excess rage out there and sport is a good way to let off steam. Not just by doing it, but also by watching it.

In my humble opinion, it’s an excellent way of keeping the masses occupied. Roman emperors built arenas to entertain the masses. They captured gladiators and forced them to fight for their lives for the amusement of the fine people of ancient Rome.

Imagine you are a Roman citizen with a mortgage, a wife who is nagging you, children who get on your nerves and the threat of Germanic hordes to the North. Naturally, you would be stressed out. Now a clever emperor could sense the tension brewing and he would be afraid that you and your mates would decide to depose him. So he provides you with a fantastic Colosseum, a sort of Suncorp or Telstra stadium so that you can go there and have a good old temper tantrum in the company of other tormented souls.

You come home exhausted from the shouting, your video camera chocker block full of pictures of decimated Christian limbs and sated lions. Your wife might have been with you so she’s too worn out to nag. You’ve left the kids with your Nubian slave so you’ve had a break from the pests. Your testosterone levels have dropped and the world looks rosier, doesn’t it?

I am of the opinion that people should be kept busy so that they don’t have too much idle time to think about the state of the world. Otherwise they would want to do something about it and then we would have summit meetings, new philosophies and revolts. These are dangerous things and most of them lead to nothing but bloodshed. Isn’t it preferable, therefore, to don a coloured scarf and matching beanie, paint your face with several colours, shout obscenities at a referee and come home relaxed?

If you follow my “logic”, it’s quite possible that the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad would still be open for business, had the Aussie cricket team not refused to go to Pakistan.


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