In a few weeks, intramural sports will kick off with football and soccer. So what can we expect? Goals, blood, guts, thunder, fantastic skill and the odd mistake. But, alas, not much sportsmanship. As a serial criminal on the soccer pitch, and sometime offender on the basketball court in Shad, I wouldn’t pretend to be the best person to preach respect for others on the pot-holed turf behind the stadium.
Last year, in a soccer game against NB, I almost came to blows with a guy I’d never met, because he hacked me down whilst I was ‘protecting’ the ball with my elbow. The rest of the game consisted of choice words of ‘encouragement’ and tackles verging on the wrong side of dangerous. I walked off the pitch steaming mad and glared every time I saw him in the corridors of Aldrich. And then at Priscilla, a few gins to the good, I bumped into my enemy dressed in a gold dress, which complimented my silver sequined heels and a leopard-skin bra very well. Finding we had black fishnets in common, we made up with a manly cuddle and words of contrition.
Why bore you with this? Because aggression on the pitch is integral to the game and is nigh on impossible to eliminate, even with Community Standards. But remember that when the game finishes, the grown-up thing to do is to go up to the player you’ve spent the whole game baiting, shake his or her hand and make up. No need to wait until you’re wearing a dress and high-heels.