The bizarre odyssey to India and the Commonwealth Games of New Delhi are over by a week — everyone is safely home or onto the next gig.
Herein lies the culture shock that sport has come to embody. Instead of marvelling at hordes of athletes of all shapes and sizes obsessed with performing in adverse conditions and with pride on the line, the focus has turned to a few petulant professionals who dominate our attention because of the complaining they do and the cheating they engage in.
What’s up with Wayne Rooney?
Since when does a player hold a great club like Manchester United for ransom because it won’t buy the most expensive stars in the galaxy of international soccer? Rooney won’t play because he doesn’t get all the new toys for his sandbox. It reeks of the spoiled child who pouts in the corner when there aren’t enough presents under the Christmas tree.
Is that what sport has become? You can’t have a winner unless you buy it?
Maybe Rooney should get on with the task of pulling up his socks and earning the millions he’s paid in order to make Manchester United a champion again. Perhaps he should lead by example and employ his enormous gifts that make him one of the world’s best footballers in order to make an actual difference on the field of play.
Why do NFL players complain because they can’t be headhunters anymore?
A Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker is whining because the league fined him for trying to rip someone’s head off. James Harrison, a highly decorated player, is threatening to retire because the NFL is attempting to change the culture of cheating. He says he can’t be as effective and aggressive without going after helmets.
Who is he kidding?
The Rugby Sevens were ferocious in India. There was full speed, open field, tackling that was both spectacular and thrilling. The New Zealanders, all clad in menacing black, were plenty aggressive as they demolished their opponents without the benefit of padding.
And oh yeah, they never went for the head ... never.
Maybe it’s simply a case of reverse culture shock, but modern professional sport has a different hue when you look at it through jet-lagged eyes.
It seems like it’s less about what happens on the field of play than off it.