Playing the game

Yesterday should have been a cornucopia of sporting excellence, and so it was for the most part: the T20 cricket final in India, Leicester City's fourth in a row football win by one goal to nil, the starting lap of the Bahrain F1 - all brilliant spectacles if so very regrettably and so very deeply flawed by the behaviour of those involved; the abso9lute opposite of sportsmanship. I cannot be alone in not wanting to see - indeed being embarrassed by the absurd triumphalism of modern day professional 'sportsmen'.

Cricketers hurling foul-mouthed insults at each other on the back of a game infinitely better than its players.

Footballers rushing and hugging and rolling around and, yes, even kissing man to man when a ball finds the opposition's net whether by intent or assisted by chance. 

One F1 'team-mate' sneeringly and unlovingly decrying the well-earned victory of another. (My grandson could drive any of their beautiful machines as fast as do either of them, with opportunity and training, and would behave properly in the process, I sincerely hope.)

Yes, I do know we live no longer, if we ever did, in a world of gentlemanly fair play. But the spectacle of these hugely overpaid 'stars' performing like the guttersnipes they are - this is in no way appetising.

It hurts me most of all to see my own sporting hero, having lost a tennis match, publicly smashing his racket time again and time again in a mind-numbing fit of blind petulance.

I think I'll stick to watching snooker where I can see talented players, often from the most disadvantaged of family backgrounds perform in emotionless silence as if life depends on winning yet shaking hands with respect at the end of the game - and that's the end of it, 'til next time.

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