In my previous post I gave forth a wide, sweeping assertion - no surprise there, then! - to the effect that these days all 'hearties' are a total pain. Now, my regular readers will know that that sort of all-encompassing generalisation is not the sort of thing you would expect to read on this blog, famous as it is for its nuanced, careful, even forensic, weighing of the pros and cons of any subject before a judgment is issued forth! So my conscience has been well and truly pricked - and before you start I do the jokes round here! Anyway, since writing that post I have been trying desperately to think of any contemporary 'hearties' who actually conduct themselves in a sporting and gentlemanly way.
However, one did occur and I give you as a disproof of my previous conclusion - Mr.Roger Federer. Now, I seem to remember that way back in the days of his youth he was given to occasional outbursts of yobbery but I am inclined to forgive him because ever since he has been a model of impeccable behaviour both on and off the tennis court. But ... but ... where are the others? Come on, people, help me out here because surely there are other sportsmen possessed of similar Corinthian values. I realise, alas, that no track and field athlete can be considered even if they are as clean as a really clean thing because their entire sport has been besmirched by doping scandals such that no-one can be trusted. Similarly, of course, with cycling which appears to shift more drugs than a street corner in Harlem!
Cricket has been hit for six by constant tales of illicit gambling, and the 'Aussie' practice of vile 'sledging' has grown apace so that all indulge in it today. Rugby can be ignored - all you have to do is look at the man-mountains who waddle out onto the pitch barely able to take a step because their steroid-induced thighs are so huge. The same thing, I suspect, holds good (or bad!) for American football.
Oh hell, I give up on the lot of them which is a pity because sport at its very best was an enormous pleasure to me as it was to millions of others. So come on, give me some real, clean heroes to worship.