Displays

Reads: 31  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Footsteps, yarns and little fibs

It's rugby season again and sometime I don't like what I see.

Displays

Hollywood has done a disservice to us all by giving us the wrong impression about lots of things for the sake of drama. For example big as they may have been, science rules out the possibility of dinosaurs roaring, roaring, they say is more of a mammal habit. But the audience must be scared, or the dollars don’t flow in. In nature, to assert dominance, males often make themselves appear larger, like African elephants displaying their ears. But in the end, most animals want to bluff opponents rather than fight them, but it they must fight, they will. Birds, cocks… use colour, sound, dance, attractive nests or even gifts to woo a mate and they too are prepared to fight if they must.

Hollywood is wrong about gorillas too. They don’t beat their chests because of aggression, they beat their chest as a way to communicate. Gorillas bare their teeth and give a sort of roar when they’re angry.  Although mankind likes to think of ourselves as superior to other animals, something curious has developed. Like the missing link, Hollywood’s version of The Hulk links him closer to their version of gorillas and less like what his body should portray. Yeah that’s Hollywood… but hang on… don’t some sports people show the same sort of aggression… on the playing field?

Back in the day when my rugby heroes scored a try, they remained humble, and stoically ran back to their side of halfway as if nothing had happened… not even breathing hard. These days, try scores act like Hollywood’s version of an angry gorilla, or emulate The Hulk! Even some tennis stars do the same, yet it’s not common in golf, netball or other sports I watch. Were my rugby heroes, the likes of Colin Meads, Sid Going or Brian Lahore doing harm to their mentality by not showing emotion? Certainly it didn’t turn out so, smacks to the head probably does more harm. But is this display of emotion is a growing trend, so is it a release of tension that might be mentally good for them, or merely show-person-ship? I have no idea, but to me it seems to be a bit over-the-top.

There has been criticism of the All Blacks, our national rugby team, for performing a haka before a match and most Kiwis enjoy seeing it, as do some overseas crowds. Some teams try to respond in some way, to take away the power of the haka, like the Pacific Island teams doing their version of a war dance. One team blew kisses. We expect the haka to be respected… and often it is. The usual haka the All Blacks perform was written to represent the victory over death, and nowadays hakas are performed in New Zealand and elsewhere to signify New Zealand. Hakas were performed as a challenge, either to boost morale or to intimidate the enemy, so it’s fair to question its role in sport… aren’t the national anthems supposed to boost morale? Kiwis see the haka as a part of our unique history, but a curious thing happened before the test match at Twickenham 11 November 2018, to counter the haka, the English crowd drowned out the All Blacks by singing Swing low sweet chariot… which is a song written by Wallis Willis referring to the Underground Railroad, the freedom movement that helped people escape from Southern slavery to North America and Canada.

The haka performers glare at their opposition in an intimidating way, similar to the way some tennis players do. Remember the tall Russian tennis player who was criticised for doing her groaning while serving? Nobody seems to mind the intimidating gorilla-glare that often follows after a long rally during modern tennis matches. Sportsmanship to my way of thinking is: fair and generous behaviour or treatment of others, during a sporting contest. The Olympic oath agrees: We promise to take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules and in the spirit of fair play, inclusion and equality. Together we stand in solidarity and commit ourselves to sport without doping, without cheating, without any form of discrimination. We do this for the honour of our teams, in respect for the fundamental principles of Olympism, and to make the world a better place through sport.

‘Sports help children develop physical skills, get exercise, make friends, have fun, learn teamwork, learn to play fair, and improve self-esteem, and parents should take an active role in helping their child develop good sportsmanship’… all well and good, until money comes into it. Sponsors want to support winning teams; stadiums and sporting equipment are expensive, no longer does a rough-hewn plank rate as a cricket bat or a wooden box serve as wickets. And everyone can referee better than the referee, but few of them step up to do the job. Players become aggressive, self-centred and self-opinionated, spouting advice about stuff they have no expertise, but because fans look up to them, what they say becomes gospel.

It’s perfectly fair and reasonable to show emotion and celebrate victory, just as it is to show a level of sadness at defeat, but we have to learn to take defeat in our stride because it’s a major part of life. The gorilla-growl of athletes, is emulated by young up and coming sports people which is a put-off for kids who are less inclined to want to dabble in that sort of thing and so they miss out on something they would otherwise enjoy and benefit from. I’m afraid though, nothing will change, because such antics make popular television, so where is civilisation headed?


Submitted: June 03, 2021

© Copyright 2021 moa rider. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:


Facebook Comments

More Editorial and Opinion Essays

Other Content by moa rider

Short Story / Memoir

Short Story / Memoir

Short Story / Memoir