THE Rugby World Cup is under way and it is refreshing to see a game that still embodies the real meaning of sportsmanship.
True, the players spend 80 minutes knocking seven bells out of each other, but generally there is no malicious intent displayed, only the desire to do whatever it takes to achieve a favourable result, with disappointed losers congratulating their opponents and the victors applauding the opposition off the pitch.
Broken noses and fractured fingers are no obstacle either, with injured parties receiving rapid on-site attention from the medics before continuing on with the game. Blood is the most common bodily fluid on a rugby pitch, not the snot and phlegm prevalent in a football match.
At the time of writing there has been one major upset and a few other surprises. Doubtless there will be more, but what has come across loud and clear is the love of the game and the pride players display in wearing a shirt in their country’s colours. The awe and pride that the Uruguayans exhibited when they ran out on to the Twickenham pitch for the first time was marvellous.
Contrast this with the video displayed across social media last week of the professional footballer who rolled around the pitch in ‘agony’ after an opposing player playfully flicked his ear.
Then you have the annoying affectation of many footballers when they come on to the pitch, by crossing themselves before looking to heaven.
Do they honestly believe God is watching them, wearing his Arsenal/ Liverpool/Man City football jersey and saying ‘Get in there my son’? Besides everyone knows, God supports Reading.
The clenched fist was once the exclusive trademark of the black power movement at the 1968 Olympics, but these days it seems to be the accepted victory salute of often grim faced victors in athletics, tennis and other sports. What happened to the simple joy of a job well done?