By Adam Wakefield
A big part of sport, as with most things in this crazy world of ours, is the way we treat ourselves and the opposition. Honour, respect and all that giddy stuff that we learn to admire in kung-fu movies and TV shows like Heroes, for example, are impressed upon our fragile little minds in the hope that we become ‘better’ than the previous version of ourselves. I mention all these verbose words (marmalade is another that comes to mind) because last weekend I experienced a person who made me realise that it is just not cricket (pardon the pun) to be a less than worthy schmuck anywhere, especially on the sports field.
I was playing cricket for Rhodes’ mighty 4th team, the Shrews, and I met the most unsportsmanlike example of girth ever to gracefully wander past the boundary rope. This gentleman managed to suck the life and joy out of what had been a very good game, which was comparable to the feeling of overwhelming sadness when you tip your glass of beer/vodka/etc for that one last sip to find that your glass is, woe is me, empty. This man, and there might have been more inside of him judging by the size of his boep, was rude and an embarrassment to the game of cricket which I love.
The point I am making is that when we cross that sideline, you are representing yourself, your team, your varsity and more importantly THE game itself. Growing up, we were repeatedly told by those who moulded our morality that no one is bigger then THE game. I have learnt, especially in the two and a bit years spent frequenting the streets of Grahamstown, that if you try to perform a poor Donald Trump imitation on the sports field, the game has a funny way of saying “The bus is full. Bugger off”.
How the game does this varies. From losing, breaking a leg, or having your ego crushed like egg shells in a blender, the game will find a way. You, or the person next to you reading this, might have just passed a comment like “This guy is talking big, smelly excrement”. All I can say to you is, and sports clubs around campus will be happy with me for saying it, go get involved and just do something, anything but when that moment arrives of overwhelming sadness, I will be sitting in the stands watching you suffer fools and quietly say “Ha!”
To actually bring things back to reality, and my over-laboured point, be the best and most honourable (sigh, yes I know) sportsperson that you can be because sport was designed so that we can have fun and maybe a quiet drink afterwards. If you are representing Rhodes, and you encounter someone who is being less than sporting (another pun!), suck it up and get on with the game. Your chosen activity will find a way of providing that humbling equalizer that rude people so richly deserve. Being a toss on the sports field is just not kosher, and I’m glad to say that at Rhodes, you would have to search very hard to find any.