What is sport?
It’s a heartbreaker, a gatherer of arseholes, homophobia and sexism all mixed up in a ball of hatred bound by flags of all colours and alcohol. It’s the worst of humanity, cheating to win, taking payments under the table, deliberately crippling other players. It’s survival of the fittest, $250k a week, destroyed by television, beholden to gambling and punched into young minds that it matters. It’s a load of balls, a grass stain on the world, an itch that can’t be scratched and a false feeling of superiority. It’s the dregs of society, lording it over your neighbours, smacking the television, spewing of bigotry and an elbow in the guts. It’s the stench of sweat, a jockstrap of emotion, a knife in the back and a killer of dreams. Sport is nothing.
It’s also beautiful, intelligent, wondrous and magnificent. It’s an unexpected victory, a last second winner. It’s a hug with a stranger, a bond otherwise never formed. It’s a Davie Cooper dribble, a united front in times of tragedy, a joyous gathering, a playing field leveler. It doesn’t discriminate. Songs are sung in harmony, it brings cultures together and forces prejudices to be faced. It’s the biggest day of your life, an autograph in a book, a Cup Final of emotions and an opportunity for anyone to succeed. It’s uplifting and never judgemental. It’s a shared language, a uniter of countries, a triumph of will and a game-changer. Sport is love, sport is life. Sport is everything.
It’s all of these all at once. You can’t separate the good from the bad, but you can try and be only one of them.