Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Sport of Relativism

Good day, children.

At yesterday’s public audience in St. Peter’s square, I spoke of how athletic competition can be an educational instrument and a vehicle for important human and spiritual values. Unfortunately, things being as they are, my Wednesday audiences are much too short to go into any detail.

I would like to take the time to share more of my thoughts on sports, in the form of a good old-fashioned musing.

First off, it is important to note that in spite of what the Sport of Relativism, not all sports are created equal. I recall some conversations I had with various colleagues when the Olympic Committee decided to reveal their relativist mindset by adding to their line-up of “sporting events” certain bizarre activities. Not to be a name-dropper or anything, but my dear late friend Pope John Paul the Great and I really split a rib when Archbishop Rembert Weakland exclaimed that it was high time that ribbon waving was recognized as a “world-class sport.” Children, you can give it an impressive sounding name like, Rhythmic Gymnastics, but at the end of the day it is still nothing more than waving a long ribbon.

Sports by definition should be competitive. When was the last time you heard of one of these events getting so competitive that a bench clearing brawl ensued between opposing ribbon wavers or synchronized swimmers? - I didn’t think so.

To one of the finer points of the Sport of Relativism, I would be remiss if I didn’t address the topic of football (Americans read: soccer). I have given a lot of thought to this subject because of the game’s popularity throughout the world. One could easily argue that to call soccer a sport would be in a sense, playing the Sport of Relativism. However, given that soccer is a game that requires some physical activity and has an element of competitiveness, coupled with the fact that millions and millions of God’s innocent little children are being raised to believe that soccer is a sport, I think charity dictates that we should accept that soccer can be considered a sport. Granted; you don’t have to assent to that with religious faith, but you should at least allow those who would like to call soccer a sport to do so.

On a side note; one thing I find interesting about professional sports is fighting. Don’t get me wrong; I am not endorsing violence as a solution to one’s problems, it’s just that there is something rewarding when a hockey player drops his gloves and gives the ol’ one-two to the guy who was treating him to some creative stick work behind the play. I don’t care what my fellow Europeans say, you North American folks truly know how to play hockey.

I wonder about some of the other American sports though. I find it odd that American football, for all its ruggedness, doesn’t have more fighting involved. Perhaps the referees aren’t ‘blind’ or unjust in their calls. I also wonder who taught baseball players to fight. The way they all converge on one location and just sort of leap up on one another, never throwing a punch, baffles me.

Perhaps one of my Canadian children can tell me who invented curling and why? Has a fight ever broken out during a curling match? To succeed at it, do you have to be a janitor by trade, or is it just helpful? How come curling is so boring, yet one finds it hard to turn the channel when it’s on?

In summary, children: Be active! Play sports or participate in other forms of physical activity. If you want to pull out your old hula-hoop and have a joyous time, please do; just be careful to not call it a sport. Otherwise you may find yourself voted the MVP in the Sport of Relativism.