With the World Cup nearly upon us, I find the following passage to be appropriate--almost necessary--to counteract all these lovely commercials on TV depicting football players and fans as cheery and peaceful. I love sports, but I have to agree with the following.
From George Orwell's essay, "The Sporting Spirit":
I am always amazed when I hear people saying that sport creates goodwill between the nations, and that if only the common peoples of the world could meet one another at football or cricket, they would have no inclination to meet on the battlefield. Even if one didn't know from concrete examples (the 1936 Olympic Games, for instance) that international sporting contests lead to orgies of hatred, one could deduce it from general principles....Anyone who has played even in a school football match knows this. At the international level sport is frankly mimic warfare.