Lady Luck is not getting a look-in these days
TIPPING POINT:Only those with a sub-Nietzschian belief in the triumph of will, can claim there isn’t a whole lot of luck involved in sporting success
IT IS Gary Player’s fault that luck currently gets such a bad rap. Player famously said more he practised, the luckier he got. Thomas Jefferson was similarly dismissive a few centuries ago, and before him no doubt some Greek bod in sandals and a sheet proclaimed an original of the species on fate’s irrelevance.
Anyway, the end result is luck is a cop-out when it comes to explanations for winning and losing. Even Roy Keane got in on the act with that “fail-to-prepare” cant. But he was simply parroting Alex Ferguson. Player is the modern original. Player is a golfer – natch.
Golfers love that stuff. There is a clubhouse type that believes their particular part of the suburb can always be bent to their will: everything in its place, and everyone too, from dictating what clothes otherwise reasonable adults are allowed dress themselves in, to shaping a left-to-right fade, to deciding on the moral uprightness of the membership: these are challenges to overcome with resolution and clear-eyed determination.
And it’s all bogus. In fact it’s worse than that. There’s a narcissism at the heart of such an attitude that contains an overwhelming arrogance. Believing you can overcome through will alone the arbitrariness involved in stomping around this piece of floating rock is a delusion for the uber-up-their-own.
But such Ubermensch are plentiful, and getting more so. Maybe it’s the digital age; all that virtual pliability that’s turning billions into goggle-eyed social-inadequates whose solitary BEAST-ability to LOL while peering intently into 3-D nothingness at thousands of BFs makes those of us less app-literate want to get BAKED off our TITTs.
Here’s a shout to all you computer geeks out there: controlling a iPad is one thing: reality is another. And if stomping solo is an inherent lottery, then doing so when also dependant on the vagaries of a bouncing ball should be a humbling reminder that control can only ever be taken so far.
Except it isn’t like that, is it. In fact acknowledging the reality of sporting luck, or fate, or whatever term suits, is enough to provoke character suspicions; like you’re looking for excuses, or are simply plain bluffing.
Take for example the penalty shoot-outs that have provided many of the highlights of a generally excellent Euro 2012. Only those devoid of imagination could argue taking a spot-kick in such circumstances isn’t a test of nerve. But only those with a sub-Nietzschian belief in the triumph of will, can claim there isn’t a whole lot of luck involved too.