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 What is Sport?

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Priscilla
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PostSubject: What is Sport?   Wed 14 Sep 2016, 10:45

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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Thu 15 Sep 2016, 22:51

At least you had a "raised rag" for propulsive effort. My sport meant a similar venue, with a longish pole, with flat bits at the ends seeking to direct water up the arm and inside the life jacket, leaving you wet and tired. 
Sidelight - It still seems absurd to me that we have a swimming race in the olympics which is longer than the longest canoe or kayak event. Weird, or what?
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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Fri 16 Sep 2016, 23:23

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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Sat 17 Sep 2016, 01:07

When allowed to choose my own venue and timing, yes, i did enjoy it. However, when translated to the "all-comers cutter" at the cunningly-worded invitation of my Divisional Subby - from memory it went something like "report to Sub Lt X at Sandquay at 1430. You are port bowman in the all-comers cutter" it was less attractive. Nominally, the 32' cutter has 8 oars a side (double-banked, they call it), but for all comers races those 16 oars are pulled by 16 victims (so they are double-double banked) - and a ninth oar a side, at the bow, is pulled by one further sufferer (the angle of entry is too steep to allow 2 per oar). The "thinking" about putting me there seems to have been that, as a canoeist and kayaker, I was used to the steep angle of entry, and I was already .... somewhat substantially built. I hated every moment of it. Now, sailing such a cutter was tolerable, in decent weather. Lack of wind, of course, meant reverting to handraulic power. How we wished we had been allocated a 3-in-1 whaler when that happened (can be sailed, pulled, or has a diesel engine). Then, on an exercise some miles upriver (but on a rising tide) we had a failed bendix gear and had to hand crank the thing. Fun! No.
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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Sat 17 Sep 2016, 11:37

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Caro
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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Sun 18 Sep 2016, 00:39

@Priscilla wrote:
There are are vast more people who say they enjoy sport who  only watch - or check the results or gamble.

 That's me: I came from a totally non-sporting family; my father used to say he wouldn't cross the road to see a rugby match and the only time he offered to take us to the opening of the local tennis season was the day I got my foot stuck in the seed planter (can't remember the proper name for this) with my very deaf uncle driving the tractor so that was a write-off and we never did get to tennis - or any other sport. 

Now I watch it - though usually with a book, magazine or puzzles in front of me as well.  But my husband is very interested in the English football, especially West Ham, and I love cricket and tennis and enjoy rugby and the Olympics and paralympics and golf.  All these to watch only, of course. 

My father did enjoy horse-racing and that was one of the reasons I was interested in my husband originally.  We often went to harness racing together for many years and liked the gambling part of it.  And the breeding and the form.  Everything about it really, though we are not horse people.

As for how it all started:  young men wanting to show off their skills, I suppose.  On horseback or running, throwing stones furthest, swimming longest, etc.
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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Mon 19 Sep 2016, 19:28

Priscilla

I am a bit as Caro, even not watching or reading at all about sport Embarassed ...
I don't know how it came, but from childhood on, busy with all kind of physical efforts from helping my father in a panoply of tasks related to the merchant that he was till helping in contructing all kind of buildings including a self constructed deep freeze chamber, the door of that freezer that we had to buy was more expensive than the whole construction...
So I didn't need the challenge of doing sport as I was so busy with all kind of hard labour and if there was spare time I had my books and novels, which were at the end, when I was young, became a burden as I was nearly addicted to them...thus no time to watch sport either...

Kind regards, Paul.
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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Mon 19 Sep 2016, 21:36

Ah, Paul - you obviously didn't suffer the British boarding school regime I endured. One whole afternoon a week of sport - rugby in winter & spring terms, cricket in summer, plus 2 afternoons after school filled with such "optional" delights as cross-country runs, weight training, badminton ..... Small wonder I got my kayak there as soon as I was considered (erroneously, naturally) mature enough to allowed to engage in that, unsupervised. I had two elder cousins who were both nationally-qualified BCU (British Canoe Union - who control all branches of UK paddle sports) who taught me the rudiments - sufficient to be able to take out anyone else who joined me on the canal.

The navy was, if anything, slightly worse - 6 afternoons a week, but at least much could be spent in a power boat.
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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Tue 20 Sep 2016, 09:06

I got into trouble once at school for skipping Phys Ed and had to write an essay about the folly of this for the new principal.  I made a good job of this, and she praised me, probably with a twinkle in her eye.  She was very young, only 34, and she had come in with a hiss and a roar so the other girls didn't like her, but after that experience I certainly did, and after a while she became very popular.  So much so that people wondered why she hadn't married and had children of her own.  I thought she was much better off putting her skills to work with 800 girls.  (She did marry later, but to my knowledge had no children.)

This has got off the subject of sports rather.  And certainly the history of them.
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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Fri 23 Sep 2016, 21:35

@Gilgamesh of Uruk wrote:
Ah, Paul - you obviously didn't suffer the British boarding school regime I endured. One whole afternoon a week of sport - rugby in winter & spring terms, cricket in summer, plus 2 afternoons after school filled with such "optional" delights as cross-country runs, weight training, badminton ..... Small wonder I got my kayak there as soon as I was considered (erroneously, naturally) mature enough to allowed to engage in that, unsupervised. I had two elder cousins who were both nationally-qualified BCU (British Canoe Union - who control all branches of UK paddle sports) who taught me the rudiments - sufficient to be able to take out anyone else who joined me on the canal.

The navy was, if anything, slightly worse - 6 afternoons a week, but at least much could be spent in a power boat.


If I recall it well we had one or two? lesson hours of gymnastic a week during the lessons. I was rather not that performing, but when it came on strength of the muscles in the arms and in the back I was one of the best, perhaps due to my physical labour.
When I was in the army (draft) I remember that we had to dig a foxhole (in sand ground) with a small army shovel and I had it ready complete adjusted to my length of nearly 1M90 (bit more than 6 feet) in less than half the time of the others, I suppose due to my practice in digging...

No that much sport practice in my life at all...

Kind regards from Paul.
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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Fri 23 Sep 2016, 22:08

Paul : was your "Army shovel" like this? http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/30013895 It's what we called an "entrenching tool" or "tool, entrenching, pick mattock" to be pedantic.
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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Sat 24 Sep 2016, 04:23

Or "tool, semi-automatic, for earth moving, for one man" - as they were also known?
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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Sat 24 Sep 2016, 09:40

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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Sat 24 Sep 2016, 10:20

In the days when I indulged in long-distance canoe camping, and also those when I took part in competition angling, one of these was a distinctly useful device - both for levelling an area of ground for positioning the creel, and as a necessary part of the creation of "foul ground".
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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Sat 24 Sep 2016, 20:58

@Gilgamesh of Uruk wrote:
Paul : was your "Army shovel" like this? http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/30013895 It's what we called an "entrenching tool" or "tool, entrenching, pick mattock" to be pedantic.


No, Gil, it was this one:


Although in the sixties it wasn't that sophisticated and it was with a wooden handle if I recall it well, and the clicking system to unfold it was much easier and faster. But it was exactly the same size, although in my opinion the spade was more curbed than on this photo and the tip of the blade was not so rectangular. I recall it while it was in  our rucksack together with "gamelle" (mess tin) and eating aluminium recipient and all. I have that gamelle kept after my draft service...again if I remember it well we called the "gear" that we had with us in the rucksack: our "kit"...

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Sat 24 Sep 2016, 22:25

Gil, I found the use of the word "kit" in Dutch here:
http://www.manify.nl/soldaten-uitrusting/
(soldier's equipment)
"In de volgende reeks foto’s zie je hoe de Kit van een soldaat is veranderd in de loop der jaren:"
In the following survey of photos you see how the "kit" of a soldier is changed during the years.
And interesting pictures from 1066 till 2014

<img class="wp-image-22073
1916 private soldier, Battle of the Somme – Thom Atkinson

Kind regards, Paul.
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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Sat 24 Sep 2016, 22:55

Well, Paul, you have reminded me of the periodic "kit inspections" we underwent - all kit laid out in a prescribed pattern, with the threat of a "rescrub" if anything was wrong. Yes, I too still have my mess tins - and my primus stove which once rescued 24 of us on "arduous training" in the Brecon Beacons. We'd been issued with the little version of the "bluet" camping gaz stove, but there weren't quite enough to go round, so I (stupidly in the general view) volunteered to take my primus, a bottle of meths and a pint of paraffin - "extra weight to carry you idiot" was the consensus. However, the weather took on an arctic tinge, and the bluets wouldn't work - the gas wouldn't vapourise, even if you warmed up the little container before use, the temperature drop that vapourising caused rapidly snuffed them out. The idiot, meanwhile, having lit the meths and pumped up the paraffin in the primus was happily brewing up.
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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Sun 25 Sep 2016, 10:08

In answer to the original question "what is sport", I feel two requisites for a sport are that it should primarily be competitive, that it be "artificial". A event by which one village team tries to gain control of a pig's bladder in a field is a sport, but if it was actually about taking the next village's pig it would be called rustling, stealing or a gang turf-war. Similar comments about their contrived artificiality can be made about every other sport whether they are about hitting a ball over a net, getting a ball into the opponents' net using just your feet, knocking bits of wood over or trying to get a small ball down a hole in the ground using just a stick. So sport seems to me to be mostly codified gang "warfare", or at least trying to win prestige or face or one-upmanship against the rival gang. And events such as throwing the javelin, target shooting, archery, wresting, boxing .... and jousting (though its popularity has somewhat waned of late) are clearly just practising for war.

All good fun (possibly) for the participants but I do fail to see the interest for the spectators in watching, say, someone try and hit a ball to get it to go down a hole in the ground. And who in their right mind would actually want to watch a boxing match where the whole point is to see somone try and physically harm their opponent ... one may as well bring back gladiatorial contests, bear-baiting and public floggings! I have never watched a single match of anything be it football, tennis, cricket, baseball or whatever, in my entire life (except I did once attend a France v England rugby final at Twickenham ... but don't ask me who won). I just guess I'm not very sporty. But I was once a very active skier, mountaineer and potholer .... but these pose real challenges (there's nothing artificial in climbing a mountain or descending a cave) and the activity is just a means to visit/experience/explore a different and wild environment, so they cannot really be called sports in my opinion.

I just cannot see the point in any sports, and I deplore the gang nationalistic mentality that seems so often to accompany them. But I guess that's just me. Shocked

PS : By the way Gil and Paul, a primus stove can also, if necessary, be made to run on a variety of fuels other than paraffin/kerosine. I've cooked with one running on a mix of petrol and diesel ... it tended to burn rather hot (!) but ran like that every night for several weeks without a problem (although some of the metal bits did start to warp).


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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Sun 25 Sep 2016, 11:16

@Meles meles wrote:
...

I just cannot see the point in any sports, and I deplore the gang nationalistic mentality that seems so often to accompany them. But I guess that's just me. Shocked

...
MM,

Agree with most of your post, especially the above quoted.

And I refer again to my anecdote of having sat up until late one night in order to watch swimming, 100 meters ladies breast stroke.
When it finally came on, the competitors used their arms. I didn't feel half cheated.

And that's the true story of the last time I willingly watched any organized sporting event.


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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Sun 25 Sep 2016, 23:06

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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Mon 26 Sep 2016, 07:46

@Priscilla wrote:
No one has mentioned it but  'daft' comes to mind quite often when you take a detached view of most sporting' activities - and a good sport is someone who appears not to mind losing.


Welly wanging, not cricket, defines the sporting ethic of the inhabitants of these islands (or at  least the English bit - can't speak for the others).

From the link, given below:

The Welly Wanging World Championships are held each year during the Upperthong Gala weekend. There have been a number of pretenders over the years, but the only Official Welly Wanging World Championships are held in the sports birth place – Upperthong Village.

The sport is to be played with the upmost of British sportsmanship and a large smattering of sense of humour. The premise is blindingly simple – all competitors have to do is wang (Yorkshire for throw) a Wellington boot as far as possible within defined boundary lines, from a standing or running start. It’s pretty much the same as the javelin event in the Olympics with the exception that a welly is unlikely to ever skewer an unexpecting judge or spectator.


http://www.upperthong.org.uk/?page_id=404

The deceptive simplicity of the rules says it all, really:


1.Welly wanging is a sport open to all people irrespective of age, sex, race, creed, religion, nationality and colour. And people from Lancashire.
2.The sport shall be a civilised affair. Fair play, good humour and good manners shall be exhibited at all times.
3.No umpire shall be needed. A player’s word and their honour shall be sufficient.
4.Distances shall be measured in yards, feet and inches. None of this European nonsense.
5.The standard welly shall be the Dunlop green, size 9, non steel toe-cap. Competitors shall select whether they use left or right welly.
6.No tampering with the welly shall be allowed. Factory finish only. No silicone polish is to be applied.
7.A maximum run-up of 42 paces shall be allowed. This distance was chosen in memory of Douglas Adams, himself a proponent of the sport.
8.The run-up shall end with a straight line of 10 feet in length, that being the width of a standard Yorkshire gate.
9.The welly shall land within the area defined by the straight lines between the Upperthong Gala field and Holme Moss television mast on one side, and on the other by the line between the field and Longley Farm windmill. This playing area is known as the ‘Thong’.
10.There shall be four categories: Men’s and Women’s, and Boys and Girls (u-14’s).
11.The welly shall be projected using any action of the arm or foot for the respective categories.
12.The use of wind assistance is allowed and, indeed, encouraged. Waiting for a suitable gust, however, is limited to one minute. No artificial or man-made wind is to be used.

It must be noted, however, that the champions in the sport are, at present, foreigners:

According to the Guinness Book of World Records the furthest Welly Wanging throws were set at Hämeenlinna, Finland, on 12 October 1996. The measured throws were :

Men - 63.98m by Teppo Luoma (Finland)
Women - 40.87m by Sari Tirkkon (Finland)

The above measurements, given in meaningless metres, would, however, seem to contravene Rule 4.
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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Mon 26 Sep 2016, 08:04

Up to the 19th century English dictionaries defined "sport" as a synonym for "fun" or "amusement", with a nod to its older connotation as "a source of solace, consolation". There was also a clear distinction between "sport" and "pastime", just as today, but unlike today "sport" was firmly on the frivolous end of the amusement spectrum - if it didn't cause mirth it wasn't sport, just another pastime. Welly Wanging, I hope, has a long history predating even wellies which would confirm this original English perspective on the value of such "competition". And if it does transpire that it can indeed boast such a pedigree then I would submit it should be henceforth recognised amongst those who mistake the hurling of hammers, discuses, javelins and similar to be worthwhile pastimes, as being naturally pre-eminent in the world of "chucking things" as a sport, it being the only one on the list that has steadfastly clung to the original intention (though hopefully not the wellie).
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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Mon 26 Sep 2016, 10:19

A sport is also a genetic mutation. Just sayin'.
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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Mon 26 Sep 2016, 10:30

Crikey, this is all very impressive. I didn't know there was a British Philosophy of Sport Association. I bet their conversations on a Saturday night get a bit heavy.


http://philosophyofsport.org.uk/resources/ethics-sport/


Deontology (from the Greek word “deon”: roughly, duty), is the classical theory of the right action. Before we act as deontologists (the German philosopher Kant is the key figure here), we must consider those duties (usually in the form of principles or rights) which we owe others in our transactions with them. The system of principles is usually thought to have its foundation in a super-rule (often called the Golden rule – enshrined in Christian thought among others) that one ought always to treat others with respect. To cheat, deceive, harm or lie to people is to disrespect them. Warren Fraleigh’s classic “Right Actions in Sport” is a beautiful statement of the deontological ethic in sport. It attempts to cash out a system of guides to right conduct for participants and coaches engaged in sports. In other cases (see Lumpkin, Beller and Stoll, 1999) philosophers have simply assumed a deontological framework and applied to it to good effect without necessarily interrogating the theoretical basis upon which their sports ethics is based. Of course, philosophically troubling questions such as “what is meant by respect?”; “does respect always trump other moral values?”; “does respect entail not harming others even when they consent to it?” and so on still trouble deontological ethicists. Fraleigh (1984), for example, argues that boxing is immoral since it involves the intentional harming of another – even though they consent to that harm. While deontology (whether as rights or duties) remains a commonsense ethic for many people, there are others who think it simply starts from the wrong place.

In apparent contrast, consequentialism is a telelological (from the Greek word “telos”: roughly nature/purpose) theory. It is a family of theories of the good, which justify actions according to their yielding the most favourable and least unfavourable consequences. The dominant strand of thinking here is “utilitarian” which comes in a variety of shapes and sizes but is based upon the maximising of “utility” or good. In distinguishing good from bad we merely need to add up the potential consequences of different courses of action and act upon that which maximises good outcomes. There are very few sustained efforts at utilitarian thinking in sports but see Claudio Tamburrini’s (2000) defence of Maradona’s infamous “Hand of God” incident in his book of that name. He also attempts to argue for controversial conclusions to the doping issue (he is in favour of getting rid of bans) and gender equity (he is often in favour of non-sex segregated sports) from a utilitarian perspective.



The Maradona business surely was simply not cricket by any standards, Kantian or Aristotelian. But I suppose Bentham (Jeremy, not Mike) would disagree? Cheating in sport - does the end justify the means? Would Demosthenes have said that Maradona's notorious handling of the ball was legitimate because he got away with it?

And what about doping? Lord knows how the Russians would justify that. But I bet they would.

Every advantage in the past is judged in the light of the final issue. —Demosthenes
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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Mon 26 Sep 2016, 11:10

That just has to be a perfect cue for ...

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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Mon 26 Sep 2016, 11:17

I have posted that several times now and still no one has explained to me whether Socrates was offside or not.

But the Greeks won, so presumably Demosthenes would say it didn't matter, one way or the other.


PS Nobby Hegel Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Mon 26 Sep 2016, 11:25

Only Aristotle ever pretended to actually understand the offside rule - but then that was typical of the lad (bugger for the bottle that he was). For the rest of us it's a divine mystery outside normal laws of spacial and temporal constraints.

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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Mon 26 Sep 2016, 11:52

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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Mon 26 Sep 2016, 13:28

Not like Mihir to exaggerate about sport, especially since the quote comes from his modestly titled 2012 tome "The Spirit of the Game: How Sport Made the Modern World" Smile

A man of principle though - he refused to move to working class Lowryland along with the rest of the BBC Sports department and has doggedly stuck to his acquired Shepherds Bush roots. Not sure what Salford people are meant to think when they hear Calcutta people won't sink to their level, but there you go ....

Sports journalism is 99% predictive - eliminate the words dedicated to guessing what is about to happen and restrict it to actual reportage, and then there is as little remaining as would constitute actual reality-related reportage in religion correspondents' articles. So he has a point.
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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Tue 27 Sep 2016, 04:50

I am not sure about that - maybe it is true for Britain and their soccer, but I think for NZ and its rugby, the reporting is at least as much about the after-game analysis as the predictions. 

I used to love Simon Barnes' articles when we were in Britain, though I presume I could still find them online now.  He seemed to write very perceptively in a way other sports writers didn't rise to.  Here in New Zealand the journalist we love to hate is Stephen Jones who always has a go at NZ rugby.  I wrote to him once and referred to him as English or said something about English reportage - I didn't differentiate much then between Welsh, English and Scottish.  He wrote back and said it was the first time anyone had called him English.
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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Tue 27 Sep 2016, 07:10

It's definitely true for Britain and its soccer - today is a good example. One paper has a scoop after stinging the national team manager and catching him out as a cheat (when does this stop being newsworthy and become the default position of these individuals?), so is the only one actually in a position to report the issue. The rest of the media however has now launched itself into a frenzy of speculation about what actually happened, what's happening at the moment, and what will happen from here on. Typical sport reporting (and increasingly typical news reporting too) which, believe it or not, is classed as "analysis" by editors.

Meanwhile the rotund pig's bladder spotted in the vicinity of Allardyce a while back - as far as we know - is totally innocent and wasn't involved at all (though the Sun has yet to deliver its verdict).
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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Tue 27 Sep 2016, 17:43

Nordmann,

"Meanwhile the rotund pig's bladder spotted in the vicinity of Allardyce a while back "

that is Chinese to me...of course I understand... for insiders...but for a continental as me...
If one can explain it to me? But the need is only in the case if it is a joke...

As ever your interested Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Tue 27 Sep 2016, 17:57

Meanwhile the rotund pig's bladder (football) spotted in the vicinity of Allardyce (England manager) a while back - as far as we know - is totally innocent and wasn't involved at all (though the Sun (toilet paper) has yet to deliver its verdict).

Hope that clears it up. Liverpool supporters would understand the last bit more than most.
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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Fri 18 Nov 2016, 00:05

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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Fri 18 Nov 2016, 00:32

And all the world over, each nation's the same
They've simply no notion of playing the game
They argue with umpires, they cheer when they've won

And they practice beforehand which ruins the fun!


Mr Flanders had the truth of it.
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PostSubject: Re: What is Sport?   Sun 20 Nov 2016, 23:50

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What is Sport?

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