EPIC SPORTS… MOVING FORWARD TO AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE

By Enrique TOPO Rodriguez – 03/04/2021

The advent of EPIC Games aspiring (already achieved to be of even more Olympic, and World Championships status are leading the transformation of the ‘Sedentary’ 20th Century formula, morphing into the 21st Century new-wave version of BES (Business-Entertainment-Sports)

Drew Brees’ Favorite New Sport – toporod@gmail.com – Gmail (google.com)

Whether we like it or not, the inactive activity of our youth and semi-mature ones is becoming more popular leading us all towards the end of the alphabetical generations (i.e., Gen X, Gen Y, Gen Z). Fuelled by:

  • The pandemic inactivity and the billions of dollars/euros turnover by mega IT ‘silicon’ multinationals, and ‘garage programmer’ entrepreneur (and Why not?)
  • The advances of technology in the well-defined fields of VR (Virtual Reality), AI (Artificial Intelligence, and other platforms we only briefly read or hear generated by powerful conglomerates.
  • The extra-demanding world we live in, where the haves and have-nots gap keeps accentuating, with many countries suffering from hunger, poor quality water, or no water at all, internal upheavals, etc.
  • The whole world is incentivised to either make a quick buck, or to stay home and ‘uberr-iting’ in front of a VDU whichever shape it takes. 
  • Thus, Sedentary Life as vs Fitness & well-being is neither my concoction nor an exaggeration of Lifestyles Gurus and scribes who insist on stressing the need for more exercise, sports, outdoor activities, etc.
  • By the way, the out-of-control proliferation of gyms (small, medium, or large franchises or home Gym do not help in reducing the takeaway little-big ‘status’ mentality, and the ‘commercial’ mantle of this habitual spare disposal cash display.
  • Maintenance costs, and other ‘real cost’ of capitals invested in bricks and mortar, the Real Estate Australian panacea, whether by way of ownership, rent or lease is a huge consideration in this metamorphosis.
  • Office space in the CBD’s, warehouses in metropolitan precincts, and sporting fields, as well as recreational spaces, parks, squares, are gradually constricting boa-like the possibilities of expanding sports! –
  • Therefore, a family policy of well-off parents or the ability to attract rich sponsors to foot the bill of ‘belonging’ to a decent club with decent coaches promising fat contracts from the age of 15 or earlier depending on the sport, plus travel costs, attire in accordance to the club rules, etc.
  • Add to this, the other reality spruiked-up by sensationalist and negative media proclaiming “Sports 21st Century is too risky”, or… Aussie Rules, Cricket, Rugby, League, Hockey, Football, Baseball, Basketball, Roller Derby, Hang-gliding, Car Racing, etc have always been a war of attrition where the younger cohort of athletes get hammered by the oldies and then there is no surprise, we have massive amounts of injuries affecting their livelihood. Concussion, Dementia, Chronic Depression and some tomes suicide, are rife”

So, we Sports Lovers from the archaic palaeontologic era, now have to face the Media, the Law, Political Correctness, Fun-Police, etc. Let me tell you, something you already know, we are in for an uphill battle, where TV, Sponsors, Administrators and Accountant (Big Law firms in the background of athletes’ misbehaviour) will have to endure the ‘Battle of The Ledger’ before they make any sensible decision. In fact, the entrance of Joint Venture capitals through the ‘front door’ of Rugby Union is just as alarming as the incidence of concussion, dementia and depression and suicide! – Should you have any other additional factors to add? Or contexts to factor in which may or certainly WILL threaten and dominate sports into submission? Please make your comments. Don’t stay in front of the TV eating your deliverZoo-take-way or stick to your newspaper saying ‘it had to happen!

One ‘Smart and Legal’ Solution of 2021

Similarly, to sexual encounters and interactions which by law (and respect towards human beings), as well as well-adjusted social manners, for the pre-condition and demand for an ‘Age of Consent’, to assert consent and responsibility for one’s actions. Equally in sports, I think and feel one of the most practical and doable solutions for contact or plain ‘controlled’ aggression, we are inexorably heading for the New Era of Full-Sport-Consent, from 21 years old upwards. Downwards? Well, well, well here we have a little minefield of educators, coaches, administrators, lawyers, sponsors, etc. to work out a clever an sensible way to grade or escalate gradually any sport from the age of say 6 y.o.

Welcome to the era of ‘like’… this or that, or of modified games, activities-‘like’, not exactly like, but ‘kind of’

In today’s rugby union everything indicates that schoolgirls and schoolboys will very soon play with no scrums and no lineouts! As we speak (and I write) some schools in New Zealand, with the support and consent of World Rugby (the Global administration body) are playing such a modified game. So, we may see:

From 6 to 12 = No scrums, No lineout, No tackles

From 13 to 18 = Equal but adding soft tackles

From 19 to 21 = Full tackles between hips and knees

From 22 to 23 = Lineouts will be added

From 24 upward = AGE OF RUGBY PLAYING – WITH FULL CONSENT CONTRACT !!

So, now hanky-dory, parents, coaches, administrators, and clubs are off the hook. And players will absorb all the consequences of sports by taking full responsibility for their own actions.

Agents & Managers – Proviso & Disclaimer:

The costs of insurance should reduce ostensibly, and 24 y.o. athletes and over will wear the whims and costs of Insurance and Law Representation. Agents and Managers will have no say regarding contracts for preparing and playing. Nonetheless, they will have full influence and grips on personal endorsements and any type of advertising which involves the player’s image or name. Moreover, athletes’ misbehaviour will be their responsibility.

THE END,… for now!

Enrique TOPO Rodriguez

Triple rugby Union International – Wallaby Captain 1987                                              Free-Lance Scribe – Impresario – Philanthropist – ScrumMuster                                                     International Sports Sciences Forum – www.iss-forum.net                                   PO Box 4131 Carlton NSW 2218 Australia – E: toporod@gmail.com 

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