Sport is such life-affirming, energetic engagement. It is no place to reflect on the ultimate outcome of the human condition. Death has been known to make its malevolent forays into the locker room, but not often. It stalks Out There, usually, and rarely does it separate teammates. When it does, it’s devastating.
It’s amazing how people get used to things. People now openly discuss the issue of “tanking” in the AFL. “Tanking” refers to “throwing” a game; deliberately losing. It came up again recently when the Melbourne coach’s tactics in the final minutes of a game were brought into question. Melbourne was in “danger” of coming last, which means they get to skim the cream of talent at the next AFL draft.
Sometimes things can turn out wrong even when everyone’s intentions are good. Take the sacking of Jason Akermanis by the Western Bulldogs. Aker is an individual. He values his reputation as an honest straight-shooter. He had a job in the media that required him to produce copy in the paper and fill air time with regular opinions.