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Rubber necks & moral turpitude

December 10, 2008

Still not feeling 100% and the blog is suffering a bit in consequence. I intend to return to my Think anew, Act anew series as soon as I get a bit of peace and quiet. In the meantime I had one of those nightmare journeys yesterday driving north to Yorkshire tired and having to stop at every service station to walk around the car a couple of times to wake up. It was worth it for a good meeting, then a mad dash down south to see my 17 year old (well he will be tomorrow) play rugby for the school. Now there were two major frustrations/irritations in that process.

Firstly, I was delayed by 45 minutes (and this missed the first half) by a major hold up on the M6. Nothing south bound, but a pretty significant crunch on the other side. Now there was a thirty mile tail back northbound as you would expect. Police clearing the road, mopping up spilt oil etc. However the only reason for the hold up south bound was rubber necking. People slowing down to stare at the misfortunes of others. Why do people do this? Aside from the frustration of the delays caused its sick. I suppose its the same sort of thing that attracted people to public hangings, which sort of makes it worse rather than better.

Secondly, due to the inability of Wiltshire RFC to provide a neutral referee the visiting team provided a substitute (My son's team St Johns, Marlborough were playing at home). This is a serious tournament not a friendly so a neutral should be there. Now I have seen a lot of school games teachers referee matches and they always to a degree act in in favour of their own charges, but normally it's only on 50-50 calls. Today however it was crazy. I watched for 20 minutes before the visiting team were found at fault in anything, while St Johns were penalised every few minutes. After his own players had entered the ruck from the side be blew up and we thought finally there would be penalty. There was, but for the offending team and shortly after he sent a St John's player to the bin for dissent. Now the kids were getting frustrating and their negative comments were ill advised but understandable. Overall St Johns were simply too powerful, and despite a 90% penalty count and a yellow card still won easily. What is it that drives an adult to behave that unfairly (it really was extreme, even the visiting schools parents were embarrassed). What is more important, teaching the boys to play good rugby or getting your school through to the next round of a competition regardless or fair play?

Rants over, now back to work.

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