Time to break link between alcohol and sport
TIPPING POINT: Should something as generally positive and healthy as sport be seen in bed with alcohol and all its attendant health risks?
WHEN DID “PC” become such a term of abuse? Lips curl when those couple of letters pass through them, usually sneeringly – “Peee-Ceee” – as if the accused automatically has to be a soft-headed lentil muncher with crusty hair. Honestly, you’re better off saying “SS” these days, even “HR.”
Of course “Politically Correct” isn’t a lonely traveller down the road of linguistic opprobrium. It’s usually accompanied by “Nanny State” or “Gone Mad” or “Too Far” or “What Next – Rights For Fish?” And it is true language has taken a terrible pounding from the right-on brigade. The evidence of how it can be used to obfuscate and disguise is all around us, and will continue to be so, going forward, until language is terminally inconvenienced, ie dead.
But excesses in one sector are hardly justification for rubbishing an overall process, especially one which fundamentally comes down to the entirely honourable aim of somebody not being allowed feel better about themselves by peeing from a great height on someone else. Happiness is generally tough to argue with – unless it involves the unhappiness of someone else. Yet that intellectual bunny-hop appears to be a yawning chasm for those opposed to the proposed ban on alcohol sponsorship in sport.
It’s fair to say James Reilly has rather more pressing concerns on his mind and something that can effectively be put on a long finger until 2016 is unlikely to dominate any political agenda for some time. But it remains a fundamental issue for sport and its finances.
So, let’s be clear, so nobody is factually unencumbered: having booze and sport so blatantly linked together in the public consciousness is minimally-cranially- developed, ie dumb. And it’s dumb for a very simple reason: because young people are mostly dumb; very dumb. They’re also gorgeous, and bright, and wonderful, and self-obsessed, and a bit scary sometimes, but youth by definition is mostly as clueless as a cow’s arse.
That’s what being young is all about; being dumb, and finding out; not anything academic, but about girls, and boys, and getting wasted, and . . . well that’s about it really, isn’t it? Getting laid and getting hammered. Or at least thinking about it, all the time. Only the precocious few manage to follow through on all their impulses but that hasn’t stopped every red-blooded teenager that has drawn breath spending every waking minute not spent staring at their own navel consumed by thoughts of getting out there and getting out of it. And because they’re dumb, and cocky, and know it all while at the same time knowing very little, they are vulnerable. So it’s not entirely shameful to ponder what might be done to ease things for them a little bit.