Diving reached new heights last summer when Tom Daley, representing Great Britain at the Olympics, made his way towards the rafters of the aquatics centre. The affable youngster gave great pleasure to the watching millions and earned a bronze medal. Having overcome family bereavement and bullying throughout his school-life he showed resilience and demonstrated that the sport is in good shape. ITV’s decision to commission Splash, the primetime diving/reality show, seems to evidence this.
Aquatics centres are intended for diving. When we see it on football pitches, in adherence to the win-at-all-costs mentality, it makes one wonder what direction the game is headed. I enjoy it though. These incidents add intrigue to games. The Theatre of Dreams (Old Trafford) is quite a fitting title. We watch the spectacle in anticipation of flashes of delightful skill, outrageous refereeing decisions, surging attacks, crunching tackles and to listen to the public musings communicated via communal chants.
So, do we really want our game ‘sanitised’? Made ‘fit’ for kids to watch? Does the game only reflect what goes on outside of the stadia?
I am interested in readers’ thoughts about the relationship between the game and everyday life.
What aspects of the game do we see imitated in everyday life?
The debate exists and is neatly reflected by the discussion around goal-line technology. Some argue that the discussion points are the essence of the game, others bemoan the decisions that punish the best efforts of countless teams throughout the game’s history.
If we endeavour to ‘clean up’ the game, where do we start? Should we even try?
Featured diving image by Roberto_Ventre at flickr.