Sunday, March 18, 2007

Its just a game

Or is it?

I kind of wondered about that today after reading that Pakistan's cricket coach Bob Woolmer died in Jamaica this morning. One can only speculate as to what really happened until official statements are made but you've got to wonder.

Pakistan one of the supposed stronger teams in world cricket go down on St. Patrick's day (Saturday) to the Irish in a shocker. Knocked out of the Super 8's barely a couple of days into the Cricket World Cup tournament. Oh man! Who, even if you were Irish, would have imagined that outcome?

The first thing that popped into my head yesterday whilst following the games online as Pakistan lost to Ireland and India another powerhouse team lost to lowly Bangladesh was wow cricket truly is a game of glorious uncertainties as its often billed. The second thing that popped into my head was I really feel sorry for those Pakistani and Indian players and coaches. I mean us folks in/from the Caribbean take our cricket seriously but no way near as fanatical as those from the sub-continent. I think the only thing that can compare to their zeal for cricket is the South American passion for futbol.

Yep, I was thinking, those players may be in some trouble at home. Heads will roll and knowing of some of the previous reactions by fans when those teams have lost games well I figured I wouldn't want to be any of those players or their families right about now. Indeed reading the news today where one player's home was attacked in India and there were protests in Pakistan calling for the arrest or death of the coach and captain I just wasn't really that surprised by the reactions. Yea those reactions are a bit over the top but similar have happened before.

Still I thought yea its all just a game isn't it? Its just some stupid fans really don't get that point and realize that its really not about life and death.

But in this case with coach Bob Woolmer it looks like it was about life and death. His death. I mean I can't say definitively that it was the stress of losing and seeing his team knocked out of the competition, or the thoughts of facing the music back in Pakistan that killed him but on first glance that would seem to be the case. One day he's a loses a game, the next he loses his life. Life... and death sure are funny ain't they. Puts a lot of stuff in perspective. When you lose a game you always have a chance to bounce back somehow although it may take some time. However when you lose you life? Well ain't no real bouncing back from that one I suppose.

Its all fun and games until someone gets hurt they say. Well someone did get hurt, hurt so much they died so have the fun and games stopped?

Woolmer was a coach so sports was his job and maybe we can chalk this up to job stress. Wouldn't be the first chap to die from that nor will he be the last. Still for all the money and prestige and endorsements and pride involved we still just think of sports as just sports. Its supposed to be intense but not that intense that you die. Its still supposed to be about fun. You give your all on the field and in your preparation to be on the field but its still just a game isn't it? We don't think too much about the folks who take it that much to heart. The folks who lose sleep and weight, and whose blood pressure rises or whose health suffers from sports do we.

I still say its all a game but damn if a game, its results and its repercussions don't put life in perspective.


Crankyputz said...

How did I know we both would blog about this today??

Luke Cage said...

J, actually I'm surprised that this doesn't happen more often. Do you see how stressed those coaches in just about every phase of sports look?

These dudes really shoulder a whole lot of burden to make their teams good, keep them good or take them to the next level. I can only imagine what their home lives must be like. But I didn't know about this story. That's a tragedy.

Anonymous said...

Cricket is some serious stuff. I remember in college (not too far from you - but that's classified info) how the international students would be up at 3 am to watch it from their home country and then sleep in and miss class.