Love this quote on sport. George Orwell. “Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence. In other words, it is war minus the shooting.” It is a legitimate call. For some sport is everything – “Sport… is life… and the rest is a shadow” (anonymous in Horne 1964: 40). For some sport is, just as Orwell proffers, simply a socially acceptable channel for violence. And for some sport is just irrelevant – “Sport is superficial, fleeting, anti-intellectual, and trivial” (Stebbins, 2007) and “Sport is the toy department of life” (Howard Cossell in Lipsky 1981: 46-47).
As for me sport should stand for pure human challenge – an intrinsic pursuit to surpass a previously established level of performance. However more often than not it fails to uphold such an ideal. It is simply an activity constrained by time and space and wrapped up in a gratuitous and unnecessary logic. Exciting yes. Sometimes. Yet in the grand scheme of things meaningless. And meaning is everything.
Regardless, I enjoy delivering lectures immensely. And debate is the key to a good lecture. The quotes above are a fantastic way to initiate a debate in lectures on sport.
Additional Information On Primary Quote – Author: Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950), known by his pen name George Orwell. English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic. His work is marked by lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and commitment to democratic socialism.