Whatever happened to Tennis and all games of Gentlemen?
The noble expression about how you play the game is a Greek historian’s fifth-century B.C. reference to the Olympians. He wrote, “Tis not for Money they contend, but for Glory”.
This saying resurfaced in 1927 when the great sportswriter Grantland Rice wrote, “For when the great scorer comes to write against your name, He marks not that you won or lost but how you played the game.”
When the great scorer does come to write about last weekend’s number one match at Wimbledon, I truly hope he marks the score cards of everyone at the match accordingly.
Never in my life before have I felt so sorry for a sportsman. Never before have I seen so many affluent people in one place all baying for their favourite.
I am sorry but the truth will out and I found this spectacle, for I could not call it a match, too painful to watch. The cheers and raised fists were terrifying. I spend all my life teaching my children not to be aggressive and then they must aspire to this behavior?
Is aggression now the modern word for achievement?
Andy Murrays opponent was shown from the start he had no right to win this competition. This was the right of Andy Murray.
Weren’t all those hundreds of people watching telling him that with every shot.
Every time Andy Murray scored the shouts were jubilant. Every time Novak Djokovic scored a ripple of begrudging consent flowed through the ground and the aggression, baying and air punching with tight closed fists escalated.
This was reminiscent of watching films on ancient Rome, where the Christians are being fed to lions in the pit of the Colosseum. The baying for blood was running through the ground like electricity and outside thousands gathered to watch the spectacle and add their shouts and air punching to those privileged enough to have made it into the inner sanctum.
Did Djokovic really believe he had no chance, did he think if he did not lose the game he would be ripped apart by the lions of society for daring to take something which he should not have?
If I had been Novak Djokovic I would definitely have thought I had no out.
I see this behavior as totally unsportsmanlike.
This is not how you play cricket and by default therefore not how you play tennis.
How do we teach our children that they play for the sake of the game when now the only thing that appears to matter in society is who wins.
We have heard this week how suicide amongst young footballers is a problem, failure is a problem today as all those who fail to reach the pinnacle of being the top dog are discarded by the system as being of no importance and thrown on to the scrap heap.
This puts the majority of the population on the scrap heap.
Very few are actual winners and sometimes they are made winners by the powers that be, in that field, to enhance themselves. In other words those who win are being used and all those who are discarded have been badly used and abused.
It is time people started playing the game for the sake of the game not for riches and enhancements, for the media and those whose livelihoods depend on the rich and famous being the rich and famous.
Twitter is an arch perpetrator of this lifestyle, where followers only follow those at the top of the tree. Anyone else is ignored on the great big scrapheap.
Yes bring back the game of gentlemen and while we are at it lets bring back the game of gentlewomen also. Lets just bring back the game for all I see now is adoration, idolatory and dismissal of the majority of good hard working people.
While watching that final last week,(I could not watch the end as it was too aggressive for me), my grandson sitting with me, who is a brilliant sportsman himself but a gentleman on the sports field, said a very profound thing.
Because we are ordinary people, because we see the system for what it is, we were both there watching the tv in a remote corner of Wales and trying telepathically to instill some hope into Djokovic, we knew against the odds, but we accepted that as the norm. My grandson turned to me and said,
“Mam, I wish we could talk to Djokovic and tell him, all those people in there are against him, but come outside Wimbledon and loads of the country are behind him”.
We were behind Djokovic because we did not see it as fair play, we did not see it as a level playing field.
Life is not a level playing field but you can make your patch far more level by not playing the idolatory game and by looking at events and noting exactly what is happening. Think about your son, your daughter, not all of them can be the best in the system we have, but they can all be the best in our eyes and they are.
Keep your Colosseums, keep your bloodbaths, we will not bay for the blood of someone who is not British, we will be open and let the best man win. Not the most aggressive followers.