Gavin Maclure's Musings

My take on politics locally, nationally and internationally

Is football a sport?


I start by saying, again, I am no fan of sports, but what I am a (big) fan of is hard work and graft. I am a meritocrat, plain and simple.

Before the Olympics started, a friend of mine was teasing his followers on Facebook by challenging why certain sports were now classified as Olympic sports: e.g. tennis and indeed football. After watching some of the Olympic Games, only one sport didn’t deserve to be in the Olympics, especially considering the money thrown at it, and that is football.

Over the last two weeks, I was very impressed by the dedication, effort and pure talent on display by our British athletes, all of which I had never heard of (apart from Bradley Wiggins and only for obvious reasons). For four years, the likes of Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah and Samantha Murray have trained day in, day out, getting up at 6 o’clock in the morning to run several kilometres before continuing with their gruelling training regime alongside studying for A-levels and university exams. Leaving aside the fact footballers can’t read or write, they certainly do not train as hard as athletes, preferring to lie-in in their multi-million pound mansions in Cheshire and Chelsea.

Then after all that hard training, the athletes have taken part in their chosen sports at international level and have beaten the world’s competition. Let me repeat that: they trained hard physically and mentally, then won!

My view is football – which has a perverse status akin to religion – deserves a big backlash after the Olympics. Just compare our articulate athletes who cannot only string one sentence together, but two, three, four, five, six, seven or even eight together in one interview to the likes of Steven Gerrard and John Terry, who just mumble something like “well, you know, whatever the manager says” and walk away back to their luxurious lifestyle. Our athletes hardly have any money, with some still living at home with their parents, but nevertheless they put every ounce of energy into excelling at their sport and also have so much pride in winning for Britain, their country. Compare this to squillionaire inarticulate neanderthal footballers who if they play for England miss penalties and couldn’t give a stuff about their country. They should hang their heads in shame.

Call football a sport, I don’t think so.


Author: gavinmaclure

IT professional; political blogger, former Conservative councillor

4 thoughts on “Is football a sport?

  1. "Leaving aside the fact footballers can't read or write, they certainly do not train as hard as athletes, preferring to lie-in in their multi-million pound mansions in Cheshire and Chelsea." – A bit of a sweeping statement this. Like saying "politicians all talk shite" because you and Nadia Senseless do.

  2. Gavin, you really do like winding up your readers don't you!You say from the start that you know very little about sport – and if you support Judd Trump, I'd include snooker – so maybe you deserve a little slack here.Football is most definitely a beautiful game when played to the highest level. In this country alone there are an estimated 4,600 professionals, most of whom do not earn the stratospheric wages paid to those in the Premier League and other top leagues like La Liga, Serie A, or the Bundesliga. Almost all professional footballers do train very hard, like athletes, and provide entertainment on the pitch for the millions of fans whose hard earned money pays for their lifestyle.The idea that anyone would pay someone like Wayne Rooney to lay around becoming unfit is equally ludicrous – running at that pace for that distance over 90 minutes takes a lot of energy and an impressive level of fitness. The top clubs are businesses and would not be investing in players who act like anything other than professionals when it comes to their training.Jess Ennis, Mo Farah, Laura Trott, Victoria Pendleton, Sir Chris Hoy, etc. They are just the tip of an iceberg of athletes who compete across the country. They aren't paid as much as our top footballers and are often better educated. But to suggest that all our footballers are ignorant thickos based on a tabloid impression of them is the very definition of close minded stupidity. I may well vocalize a sentiment with greater eloquence than Joe Cole (in whom the disparity between verbal and physical intelligence seems greatest) but lack the requisite mental capacities to emulate his abilities with a football. Footballers don’t need to deal in words; they deal in geometry, spatial awareness, body language and physical coordination. These are all forms of intelligence.You should also remember that there are other countries in the world who DO win World Cups and the like at football. Just because some of the top professionals in England aren't good enough to beat the top professionals in the World does not mean that football isn't a sport.However, as a rugby fanatic, I would like to add how much I am looking forward to Rugby7s at Rio 2016, especially as it will come on the back of the Lions tour in 2013 and the English hosted Rugby World Cup in 2015!

  3. GavinWhat rubbishLampard went to one of the best Public schools in Essex – overseas players are often able to speak upto 3 languages and would think the majority of young players now come from middle class families.The Olympics were brilliant – but please do not think all was great- drug cheats, the way the ref was hassled in the GB V Spain Hockey match, boxing referee sent home, fencer refusing to leave the arena!Murray, Wiggins and Cav probably earn as much as the top footballers and the likes of Mo, Hoy and Bolt will be earning plenty.Football teams and players are involved in many community projects – the way the Spurs players went into the community after the riots are one example – but it is overlooked because of a few bad apples.Football has plenty to learn from the Olympics- but lets not presetend all is rosy in other sports- for example Mr Major seems to be very quiet about the behaviour of one of his Surrey cricket players this week?The England players were great Ambassadors for this country during Euro 2012 – mixing with the Polish and fans alike – imagine if they had acted like the England Rugby team did in NZ (Including the husband of a Royal) we would nevber have heard the end of it.

  4. I'm a football fan but I prefer the sound of leather on willow. This weekend: Bairstow 95 and 54 (41 balls) v South Africa.Pietersen 0 (1 ball) v Hampshire.Kevin who?

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