First, sports started off as recreation, a pastime that grew in competitiveness down the centuries. They have played a major part in the lives of humans, from the time we were striking stones together to the current age where we have a slightly advanced option of a lighter. With sports came winning and losing. And with that, cheating, match fixing, et al. If it was invented by a distraught mother as a balm to be applied to her son’s particularly nasty loss, kudos to her, for it has worked.
Fondly referred to as the ‘sportsman spirit’ by proud coaches and waxed eloquently by flossed commentators, this particular spirit seems to have entirely vanished from the current sporting world.
Kickstarted by the expose on the Pakistan cricket team’s alleged match fixing, the week was brought to an end by alleged drug use by Indian athletes. I doubt if mothers will now remind their kids of sporting spirit after a particularly harrowing loss, lest be misinterpreted as a thumbs up on drug abuse and match fixing. Maybe we need to coin a new term for this elusive spirit. ‘Sporting specter,’ anyone? Now that’s alliteration.