It’s funny isn’t it, how much focus and attention is laid upon this simple spherical shape.
You might almost call the ball a magic shape. It must be, although the oblong rugby ball is as magical.
So I suppose they are magical objects. They must be.
How else can we explain the enormity of what they are? What other small, inanimate objects attract thousands of people to come and watch them being thrown, kicked or smacked around?
Balls have such importance that their movements are televised for entire nations to watch. They demand utmost respect from their admirers. They enforce rules. They create champions and pay some of the world’s biggest pay cheques. It’s plain to see that the ball is no common play thing
So what is it all about, really? What’s the hype?
Understandably the skills of the players are admirable. We all want to be capable and dextrous. But at what point did someone turn around say, “let’s take a ball game and make it the focus of a nation, and pay the winning team a big fat pay cheque”?
Sure I understand the idea that ball sports created a healthy way for modern society to release tension and exercise some kind of competitive spirit in safe and healthy way, but does it really?
I mean, there are still wars, right? There is still blood shed over vested interest, so that reason is kind of not void. Of course it is always pleasing to watch an athlete, or any person, who has mastered their body and turned it into an artwork, a thing of beauty, through it’s form and skill.
But it all come back down to that ball!
Just think of the pressure you would feel, if you were that little lump of inflated material. Whole nations watching you. whole lives and careers built and broken on your journey through space and time.
I suppose the ball (or its motion) is really an extension of the skill of the sportsman (or woman). It show cases what they are capable of doing with their bodies to manipulate it. This came to me today while I was playing ball with my four year old. I looked at that little rubber ball that he was throwing into the air and I thought, how very strange.
It struck me in an instant. The obscurity of the human obsession with balls. I mean for goodness sake, the ball doesn’t give a continental. It’s just a child’s toy. They are fun to play with, sure. And I like to watch a Cricket match or a Football game as much as the next girl (okay maybe even a bit more than most girls) but if you really think about it, even you sports enthusiasts out there, you have to admit, it is just a little bit random.