Here’s an opinion I’ve got. I’ll be honest, it’s not fully formed and I’m not even sure I subscribe to it but it is there, niggling away at me.
This is my Jerry Maguire moment, so...
I find it strange how much vitriol pours out when people talk about sportsmen or teams cheating. I find it strange because, ultimately, sport doesn’t matter. It’s just a distraction from the reality of life (bit bleak that – soz LOL but seriously, soz).
Sport is merely a massive reality soap opera in which we are all complicit. Referees, fans, regulatory bodies and even anti-doping agencies each play their part.
Think about it like this, what does your team winning and losing actually mean? I’m not saying we don’t enjoy or despair of it – we definitely do - but we must also know that, in the grand scheme of things, it’s irrelevant.
Win one season. Lose the next. So on, so forth. So what?
Who cares if Suarez dives or bites? If he genuinely makes you angry, you really should ask yourself some questions. Such as, 'is this what I want to spend my short time on earth being passionate about?' Like him or not, he’s provided more entertainment than Gary Neville ever has – that includes when he’s fiddling about on his tactics board (which I also enjoy).
So what if Lance Armstrong took drugs to win the Tour De France? It’s only cycling and nobody give a shit about cycling anyway. No, just kidding, I’m sure there are folk that care about it (weirdos, mostly). But, how many really care? How many now care because of the attention Lance Armstrong attracted to the sport? (for the record – the ‘but what about cyclists who lost out on revenue because of Armstrong?’ can get tae fuck. I’m not interested in that angle at all).
So what if
Barcelona have (allegedly) cheated by taking PEDs? We marvelled at the theatre they provided us with and it was unparalleled
for a while. And that’s all it is - theatre. Not life and death. Not even close. We were entertained - is that not what we want?
Do you think any team in the higher echelons of world football is clean? Do you think your heroes care about you? If you do, you’re basically a Belieber and they are the worstcunts in the world.
So, all I’m saying is, don’t get bent up about it.
Well, don’t get
up about it. There is an appropriate level of opprobrium to keep your interest stoked and that’s what you
must strive for, young grasshoppers. I’m not advocating sociopathic sports fans but a balance should be struck.
I enjoy the majesty and the travesty of sport in equal measure. At full time in a closely fought cup final, or a last day, relegation battle – I'm immediately drawn to beaten team (knowing coverage of the victor will be abundant in the coming days). I relish the deflation, the tears and the instant regret. I’ve felt it before. I know it’s gut-wrenchingly horrible but I also know it’s only temporary. We need the tragedy as much as we need the triumph. Each emotion is belittled in the others’ absence. The full gamut of emotion is what keeps us hooked on sport. Not only the joy and the good and the moral.
It’s just a TV show. The difference is, it's us, the viewers, that provide the narrative for it rather than scriptwriters. And that narrative is skewed heavily by individual and collective perception. So, when it's over, switch it off and enjoy something else. A conversation. A moment of meditation. A wank. Whatever.
I acknowledge, too, that this ramble doesn’t mean anything either. But that sweet, sweet catharsis soothes my soul.