With some trepidation because I am steeping into dark waters today – if Tom H. and his crew on the Rust’s sports team will permit me – but I’ve suddenly come to realisation that I’m sure will also have occurred to some of our astute readers about the position to which elite sport will surely have evolved by the year 2100, by which time I’ll have long been iced up inside my cryogenic chamber awaiting the right moment to be “woken up” and resume my existence upon earth.
It’s obvious when you think about it.
Against the background of the existential crisis that is climate change and the ongoing and lasting impact effect the current Coronavirus pandemic, it is patently obvious that the world of sport is never going to be the same again.
But why stop there?
Why should not the human race not now embrace fully and with open arms the brave new worlds of computer-generated animation (CGI), artificial intelligence (AI), computer games and E-sport?
They say that E-sport is the future, indeed that its commercial clout matches or even exceeds that of Hollywood, Bollywood, Netflix, Amazon and even Brit Box – the new and rather half-cock joint-venture between the BBC and ITV hoping to keep pace with some or all of the above.
A while back there was a semi-serious proposal floated that – rather than retain the excessively costly (and sometimes lamentably commercially disastrous) norm of awarding the Olympics to a succession of new – or indeed old, in the sense of already being previous – host cities, the IOC should instead organise a massive revamp of the area around the Greek city of Athens and make it into a permanent site for the Olympic Games.
That way the ridiculous and excessive madness of ever-newer venues having to be built to accommodate the ever-growing number of Olympic sports (and their competitors) could be curtailed and every four years the Olympic Games could return to its ‘artificial but eminently practical’ spiritual home.
It was a pointer as to where the world of sport might be headed.
I put the question now – why not do similar for football, cricket, rugby, basketball and every other competitive pastime known to Man? And why not do similar as regards the Winter Olympics?
One venue – to which the world’s skiers, ski jumper, ice dancers and snowboarding geeks retire every four years to decide who wins the laurels?
And hang on, let’s really think outside the box.
Only this week we learned that the current greats of Formula One – which organisation has already had to cancel its first four Grand Prixs of the 2020 season – are keeping their hands in (or should that be “honing their skills”) by playing a computer game version of their sport – see here for a link to a piece by Giles Richards that appeared last week on the website of – THE GUARDIAN
Hell, when you take into account the brilliance – not that I have ever seen it, let alone played it – of the apparent ‘virtual reality’ of the football computer game FIFA 20 now conquering the world of E-Sport, it makes you wonder why the human race is even bothering to mount the English Premiership, the Euro 2020 finals, even the FIFA World Cup at all:
See here for a representative link to a review of FIFA 20, courtesy of – YOUTUBE
Bear with me for a moment, just think the benefits if football abandoned ‘real football’ altogether and ‘went online’ or whatever playing computer games is called these days:
No real footballers need ever get sold, or go on strike, or get injured at crucial stages of a season – or indeed at all! They’d all be A1 fit for every game of the season from the first to the last.
The clubs wouldn’t have crowd control – or potential Coronavirus issues – at their stadia.
Hell, they could even sell their stadia for conversion into flats. There’d be no issues over “real fans” not being able to afford season tickets – they could have access to the games online for free.
Let’s run with this proposition a bit further.
What the Coronavirus problem has demonstrated with bells on is that rugby union – and to a terminal extent – rugby league are both borderline commercial basket-cases from a business point of view.
As violent physical contact sports, their players have short careers that can be ended at any moment by a catastrophic collision or injury.
Take those to E-Sport-land and you’d have a whole new ball game, or indeed two. The players would be indestructible – no need for ongoing concerns over being over-played or suffering worrying long-term concussion-related issues/conditions. Nobody would actually get hurt.
Again, no issues over fans not being able to afford tickets, games being called off because of the weather, or any of that boring stuff. Instead, guaranteed games every week on which fans could either participate or even just watch as part of a global audience several times what they are now!
Great boxing matches, archery competitions, figure skating events … [add your own preferences here] every week!
The Great Rust Debate about “Attendance versus Watching on TV “gone forever in a flash!
Bring it on I say!
[What’s the name and contact number of my Cryogenics Chamber company again …?]