Protect and Defend

Welcome to my blog, Protect and Defend. You don’t have to understand me. You only have to agree with me. I can live with losing the good fight, but I can not live with not fighting that good fight at all. - Publius

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Daily Rant

Let them play sports! I believe this might be one of the easiest solutions to the problem in the Middle East. As simple and ridiculous as it sounds it also seems to be one of the most productive ways to give the people of that region something to do with their time other than strapping on bombs to blow themselves up. Look at our own country. What are the people in this country talking about right now: The President’s State of the Union Speech, the Abramoff Scandal, the Alito Hearings, or the Osama tape? Nope, it’s whether the Buss will win Superbowl XL, or will TO go to the Broncos, or which college football team has the best recruiting class, or will the Rocket return to the Astros, or can Kobe break 100 points. Look around the world. In the UK soccer rules, Canadians are excited about the return of the NHL, Germany is gearing up for the World Cup, Italy has the Winter Games, Beijing will host the 2008 Olympics, and throughout the Caribbean, Latin and South America children run around trying to be the next Pele or Tito Ortiz. This is what is missing from the Middle East. Since they already hate western culture, exporting our celebrities with their music and movies will not work (I don’t see Brokeback Mountain scoring high in Tehran), but people everywhere love sports. Sports are an escape and can create a national cohesion in a productive manner that is healthier than religious zealotry. For all that is wrong with sports in America, the world loves sport; it is just a matter of galvanizing the people around the correct sport. As soccer is the world’s game, the US should try to create youth soccer leagues in Iraq, set up Boys and Girls Clubs to teach Iraq children cricket, boxing, track and field, or basketball; get the parents to watch their kids play sports and get the children to do something with their lives that doesn’t involve marching through the streets carrying AK-47s and burning American flags. India and Pakistan are bitter rivals and yet both countries come to a stop when they play each other in cricket, Iran prides itself in its Olympic wrestlers, and Cuba showcases its baseball skills and boxers in world tournaments and the Olympics. What the Middle East needs is not instant regime change or economic sanctions, what the Middle East needs is Sports Center.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting point. i would take it a step further, and suggest that future conflicts be settled through sport as well. A series of mutually approved events, with the country that wins a majority of them named the winner. No blood, no mess, no death, just competition. The country with the better athletes is the winner.

Thu Feb 02, 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Publius said...

Oh that it were so easy. But, I doubt in 1939 if Hitler would have put his best athletes in competition with the best athletes from Czechoslovakia, Poland, France, or Russia. Nor do I believe that Osama bin Ladin is putting together an all al-Qaida team either. Wars are fought because bad men do bad things and bad men in power do worse things, it is then that good men must make sacrifices to protect those who can not protect themselves. Because of this, your idea though utopian is quite naive. War is hell, and although I am not an advocate for it, it sometimes is the last resort and only option to stop those who wish to do others harm.

Sun Feb 05, 11:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it is Utopian, I realize it's not a viable option. But, saying that we could solve problems by giving these countries sport is equally so. Besides, sport is already available in the Middle East. I'm pretty sure Iraq competed in the World Cup tournament and even upset a favored team in the process.

Mon Feb 06, 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger Publius said...

Yes, sports are available in most Arab countries, but promoting sports and giving these people something to do with their free time other than protesting or marching against the “infidels” is a much better release than what currently occurs. And creating an Olympics-style means to prevent war would only lead to corruption. Did the Soviet Union really have better athletes than the U.S. or did they have better steroids and doping techniques? Sports will not solve the problem but there is no one magic solution to this problem either. To lay any foundation requires the first brick, and sports could be that first brick in many of these countries. Sports remind us that we are not all equals, that some people are stronger, can run faster, jump higher, or throw the ball farther. The creation of individualism leads to the foundation of individual rights. In countries where individuals and individual rights are sacrificed for the “good” of an ideal, sports showcase the individual who achieves his individualism not from who he knows or who his parents are, but what he can achieve personally. In countries where personal freedom can not be achieved through social or economic means, sports offer the only viable alternative.

Mon Feb 06, 11:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Soviets had better athletes because they scouted children and essentially drafted them into the Olympic Program, and those children did nothing but prepare to be Olympic Champions. They would have won whether they used steroids or not. They were better prepared. Spotlighting the individual through sports is a slippery slope. Look at players like T.O. and Kobe, both outstanding athletes, both strong individuals, both considered to be extremely selfish, and definately not team players. A big part of participating in sports, at least in team sports, is giving up individual glory for the benefit of the team. Or, sacrificing the individual rights for the good of an ideal.

Tue Feb 07, 05:43:00 AM  
Blogger Publius said...

True, but great teams are not one man. The Steelers were not just Big Ben or the Bus. And the Bulls did not win championships until Pippen, Kerr/Paxson, and a host of others were a part of the team. Kobe only won a championship with Shaq, Horry, Fisher and the like too. And taking the Kobe and TO example, yes they are more famous but look how the media vilifies them as well. A lot of media coverage and a lot of water cooler talk surrounds these two. In countries where the discussion is about killing the “infidels” giving them something as trivial to discuss like a TO or a Kobe is still a lot healthier and less destructive to this country.

Tue Feb 07, 10:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, I thought I responded to this, but it didn't take, apologies if I end up repsonding 2x. Basically, you just said what I said. These players have to sacrifice some individual glory for the betterment of the team, or sacrifice the individual for a group ideal. You can't force them to become big sports fans, it's already available to them, and seemingly, they aren't taking to it.

Tue Feb 07, 12:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Tue Feb 07, 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger Publius said...

Blog Administrator note: the preceding comment was deleted not because of content but because it was posted twice.

Tue Feb 07, 11:11:00 PM  

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