The sacred fields of the dark heart

What happens on the field stays on the field is a time honoured phrase that we sporting people use to maintain the sanctity of our sport. Its a mantra, a kind of Hail Mary we mutter to the offending parties after things get a bit ugly on the weekend, so that the ugliness doesnt flood out into our daily lives.

The sacred battle ground of the playing field is a special place where the normal values of society are more flexible; where we are allowed to bare our teeth and vent our spleen. Where we can say things in the heat of the moment that we wouldnt dream of uttering over the kitchen table. We can hurl missiles at irksome adversaries and even throw ourselves bodily into oncoming opponents. If we werent on the sacred pitch, the haloed park or the field of honour it would be an assault, but out there we are safe to show a little bit of the beast that lurks beneath the mask of civility.

Throughout history there have been special days when the normal rules of society are discarded and people are allowed to expose their primitive desires and appetites without the fear of being publicly vilified or imprisoned. These traditional celebrations like Beltane and the traditional Fools Day allowed individuals to transgress the normal rules of society, to question authority and indulge in fertility rites. In recent centuries these extra-societal days have been strongly discouraged by the authorities, though they are making a resurgence, because its impossible to completely civilise humanity. After all, under the Armani suits, and despite all the waxing of legs and plucking of eyebrows, we are beasts. Omnivores, who regularly devour the flesh of other creatures, and rut wildly to ensure our species survives.

The heart is often dark about the injustice of it all and we dearly want to throw off the veil of deference and shine in all our dark might over a crushed opponent (insert maniacal Loon laugh here).

To truly and without reservation admit that we are killers, hunters who take life so that we may live, is a great and honest release. Okay, sure Im a vegetarian, so its a bit different, but I still like to gloat over the odd uprooted carrot. And the sense of domination is still there, its just a bit more, umm... bucolic, thats all.

Sadly it seems the younger players arent being educated about the keep it on the field dictum and they take the game a bit too seriously and out into ordinary life. Its vital for the continuation of the games we love to keep our animosities on the field. Thats part of the unspoken spirit of the game; if we dont restrict our assaults to the field we undermine the history and continuation of the game by involving the authorities. We must keep the faith or our games will become just another subjugating force in our lives. Sport is a great freedom dont compromise it. Let us never speak of this again.


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