Sunday, 30 August 2009

Professionalism is not always good

Warrington Wolves were playing Huddersfield Giants in the final of the Challenge Cup and while they were playing I was asked about the differences between rugby union and rugby league. I started by explaining that there were 13 players in a rugby league team and 15 in rugby union. There are two players less in the forwards which means that the scrum in rugby union has 16 players, 8 from each side and in rugby league it is 12.

I was then asked if one was professional and one was amateur. Well the answer is both are both. A few years ago rugby league was professional and rugby union was amateur, but professionalism has spread in sport and probably a big thanks (if thanks is the right word) must go to satellite TV. The recent 'bloodgate' farce may be enough to put you off professionalism or you may be able to persuade yourself that most players remain honourable. The trouble with professionalism is that winning becomes more important to the point where cheating may be accepted. It sends the wrong messages to the viewers and is not good for society in general.

I fear that it is too late to turn the clock back, but at least I have registered one small protest in reply to James Murdoch's recent criticism of the BBC. Now there's a subject for another blog.

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