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Tony Grist

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Getting A Life [Jun. 1st, 2010|10:53 am]
Tony Grist
It used not to be like this.

Until comparatively recently you didn't need to be a purring machine of gym-toned godliness to be a sport's star. You could live a normal life.

Sport- even at the highest professional level- was something people did for fun.

The money was less, the pressure was less.

Andy Murray is getting stick for playing the other night as if he didn't want to win. 

Would that be so terrible? He doesn't need the money. He knows he's capable of beating the best if he's in the mood.

If we couch potato sports fans choose to make a big emotional investment in him that's our look-out. He owes us nothing.

I don't presume to know what he was thinking when he allowed himself to be beaten so tamely- in the dying light on a claggy court-  but it might well have been, "Sod this for a game of soldiers."

Perhaps he had a book back home he wanted to finish, perhaps his favourite TV show was due on and he'd forgotten to set record, perhaps he had a date with his best girl.

There are more important things in life than being the best at smacking balls around.

[User Picture]From: kishenehn
2010-06-01 10:43 am (UTC)
There are more important things in life than being the best at smacking balls around.

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-06-01 11:10 am (UTC)
Being a sport's star must sometimes feel like being on a treadmill or hamster wheel.
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[User Picture]From: clindau
2010-06-01 04:48 pm (UTC)
Not to mention that the hamster wheel is inside a glass box with nowhere to hide.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-06-01 07:41 pm (UTC)
The loss of anonymity- and the privacy that goes with it- must be a horrible thing.
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[User Picture]From: wolfshift
2010-06-01 10:59 am (UTC)
Well, yes, true, but -- if he's a professional, then, game or not, it's his job. What he's paid for is to perform to certain expectations. Anybody in any job will be criticised for not doing that. Not being "in the mood" is almost never an acceptable excuse. If he doesn't want to do the job, he should find a different one.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-06-01 11:46 am (UTC)
As G.K.Chesterton once said, "If a job's worth doing, it's worth doing badly."

Murray is effectively his own employer- and gets paid by results. If he performs badly he takes a pay cut. That seems fair enough to me.

If he were playing for a team I'd be be a little less understanding.
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2010-06-01 12:26 pm (UTC)
well, depends on how you look at it. He IS part of a team - he's the head of the team. There's his coach, his trainers and all the other 'little people' who are employed because of Andy Murray. My advice to him would be the next time he'd rather not play, withdraw from the match. What he did was not very professional and it affects his ranking for Wimbledon.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-06-01 12:51 pm (UTC)
I take your point, but he's the boss. It's his talent that guarantees all those "little people" their wages. If they don't like what he's doing they can leave.

As Virginia Wade said the other day, he's at an age when people are asking a lot of questions of themselves. It's entirely possible he's beginning to hate the treadmill he's on.
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[User Picture]From: haikujaguar
2010-06-01 05:44 pm (UTC)
I feel this way about politicians. We should boot them home after ten years or so. No more careerism.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-06-01 07:40 pm (UTC)
Power not only corrupts, it tends to turn its holders a bit loopy. I agree that ten years is about as long as anyone can stay in office and remain sane.
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[User Picture]From: haikujaguar
2010-06-01 07:43 pm (UTC)
It may be that the wisdom and experience one gets by remaining in a political career for longer than that are truly necessary to navigating a world stage... but looking at the consequences of political careerism, I'm not sure the alternative is any better.

My art advisor is a good three decades older than I am and about as opposite my political convictions as it's possible to get and still not be a third world dictator... and we both agree that our common enemy is not each other, but politicians as a species. It's as if they hold themselves as a whole different breed from us common folk.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-06-01 09:02 pm (UTC)
It's a little scary how low politicians have sunk in everybody's estimation. I'm not saying they haven't earned our contempt, but it can't be a healthy thing in a democracy for the electors to lose faith in the political class.
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