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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 4 (August 1, 1933)

Blood and Mud Sports

Blood and Mud Sports.

Sport is work out of working hours, or unpaid overtime. Roughly speaking, sport is divisible into three classes—organised sport, agonised sport, and naturalised sport. The first two are one, as in football and kindred bawls. Football often is classed as a “blood sport,” but is also a mud and blood sport. All organised sport is agonised sport, as you know if you have ever stood up to body-line bawling, front-line scrumming, shin-line shindying or hockey hock-knocks, soccer-socking, and racquet-racking or hard-courtship in the modern love-game. Such sports are necessary heavals for heaving the rancour and discharging the cargo of repression kept under closed hatches during the week. Generally speaking, investigation will disclose that the adult bash-artist, the smash-and-grab practitioner, and the arson addict have never in their youth stood up to any ball harder than a brandy ball, and thus have never learnt that it is far better to get it off your chest with boot and ball than with gelignite and jemmy. In fact, Freud-ulently speaking, it is not too late to organise football matches between safe-blowing fifteens and smash-and-grab teams, or even bag-snatchers versus sand-baggers, cat-burglars versus “ratters,” and perhaps a seven-a-side game between confidence-men and coiners. For sport is only an organised method of leading superfluous energy into proper channels and deflecting it from improper ones. Consequently the criminal classes would leave their old school with top marks if encouraged to leave foot-prints instead of finger-prints on the fields of their endeavour. Instead of mere time-servers they might develop into “tricky halves,” or devote their energies to scrum “locking” rather than safe unlocking, or cracking a rib in preference to cracking a crib. Therefore organised games are all to the good, and “time” never hangs heavily on the hands of those who utilise it with their feet, or any other part of their fighting equipment. It has been said that Britain's battles are won on the playing fields of Eton, but why go so far as Eton? You can easily be bitten without being Eton.