A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Rugby no longer a sporting game

Rugby used to be played by gentlemen. Not necesarily gentle men, as most are bruisers, but by those who knew how to play the game by the rules with honour and fair play. Since games have become sport it seems these sports are definitely no longer games. They are businesses run for the investors with the players aiming to get as much out of it as possible. They are a bit like bankers. A modern day rugby player expects a decent "bonus"!

So does it come as any surprise that monstrous cheating has been going on? Tom Williams is a modern day rugby player. He faked an injury to allow fly-half Nick Evans to return to the field in a Heineken Cup tie against Leinster. Williams' face had been deliberately cut after the Leinster-Harlequins Heineken Cup match to hide the fact he had used a fake blood capsule to make his mouth look like it had been booted in. Now ex-Harlequins director of rugby Dean Richards has been banned from coaching in European competition for three years for his role in this fake blood injury.

Rugby is no longer an amateur game. But some professional sportsmen are behaving like rank amateurs, with total disregard to decency and fair play. As the 21st century progresses, clubs are no longer clubs and the fans and supporters are becoming customers of entertainment companies. With large sums of money floating about, it is these games that are seen as easy sport for the financiers and wheeler-dealers. Wimbledon's tennis has changed as much as Rugby's football. I well remember Jimmy Connors going into a rant. There was a hushed pause as Connors weighed up the rights and wrongs of abusing the umpire. A loan voice suddenly rang out from the crowd, plummy and to the point. "Come along, Connors, play the game!", whereupon the fiesty American took his eyes off the umpire and walked over to the Englishman and very nearly whammed his racket onto the critic's head.

I don't wish to see a game return to it's cloistered roots but neither do I feel modern day games players should behave in a less than sporting way.


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