Laurie Axtens - Call of the Loon

Beloved reader, I crave your indulgence, to read these passing fancies of mine. I know, and have oft been told, that the Loon writings are pompous, self-indulgent and most indecently, not about sport. I should like to take this opportunity to respond to these unfounded and ridiculous assertions, not because my email server lost every article I was sent since last Wednesday, but because I take umbrage at the suggestion that sport writing could be anything but self indulgent.

Sport by its very nature is self indulgent. Thats why we do it, because its the only opportunity left to us, as a highly aggressive omnivorous species, to express our agro in a socially acceptable way. Furthermore, these raw outpourings of aggression arent just quietly accepted with a polite cough behind a coyly raised hand. No way. The crowds of agro omnivores that come to watch love it. They bay for blood and bellow out songs about bringing back the biff, while in their midst, sit the crushed and broken warriors of the last rounds, dreaming of revenge.

We are flesh eaters, by and large, and one of the most violent, acquisitive and self destructive creatures on the planet. Only a couple of centuries ago my forebears were running down out of the hills with their blood drenched claymores held high above their screaming painted faces. Their freezing butts tinged blue as wode below their billowing kilts as they rushed toward the redcoats, berserk with rage. I still go berserk and Im sure Im genetically predisposed to it.

The other day I felt my blood boil during a game of table tennis. I know, its tragic, I should see a psychologist. Anyway, this bloke in the crowd sledged me just once too often, so, in a fit of white hot fury, I pelted him with a table tennis ball and gave him a mouthful.

To be honest, I find these little spaz attacks highly embarrassing, but my childhood mates found them not only amusing but rather useful. As kid I played rugby league and my team mates would pack into the scrums with me and punch me in the head until I lost my temper. They thought I played better footy when I was going berserk. Bastards.

The blood stains of history are written into our genetic make up and it takes a constant dedication to communication to overcome it. The Cambodians still hate the Vietnamese, even though they saved them from the Khmer Rouge, because of wars that happened thousands of years ago. The Jews and the Muslims as still killing each other, centuries after Mohammed declared peace between the two religions. And the deep south of America still thinks yanky is a four-letter word. In short, we are a disturbed species who still somehow believe that violence can solve problems.

Sport in itself doesnt help people overcome the violence inherent in their nature, but it does let them express it in a way which doesnt involve gadusha rockets and depleted uranium bunker buster bombs. Its a chance to indulge in agro with rules that ensure it doesnt get out of control. How it is possible to write about sport without indulging the indulgence that is sport completely evades me.

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