Caught between two worlds
With the recent, “League of Denial”, I want to comment. My parents are sport fanatics! My Grandfather, Bill Grimm on my mother side, with my Great-Uncle, Warren O. “Wedge” Grimm were named “Walter Camp's All-American” in America football on the West Coast. The only escape for me, I thought was sports. So I practiced and practiced basketball until I received few athletic scholarships included West Point but I decided to attend the University of California at Berkeley, in 1970.
The Vietnam War was going on, and Berkeley was the hot-bed of radical resistance. It also was one of the top academic schools in the United States. I was on the honour roll and was voted first-team all-Northern California freshman in basketball, Captain and Most Valuable Player in 1971 and still hold the freshmen rebound record of 17.3 per game. I felt pressures on many sides to really put out all my time and energy towards becoming a basketball star in college and pressing toward a professional career.
On the other hand, deep within my heart I felt that there was something wrong with all this! I felt caught between two worlds, one with the teachings of Jesus and His commandment to love thy neighbour, while in the other world, I was told to gain a near-maniacal desire to win and to physically punish my opponent in a defeat.
Sports really foster the spirit of competition. Of course, some form of sports is fine. It's good exercise and can be good fun. But things in the world are so different, and when athletes get to the professional level where they're being paid to win, it gets extremely competitive. It becomes almost a life-and-death spirit. See how this competitive sports thing has been the final stages of every great civilisation and empire.