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Newsletter 36
08/07/10

The Beautiful Game

Growing up as a boy, I played all sports as competitively as I could. I tried to win at all times and losing was painful to say the least.

Watching over my sport, was my mother and father and their rules were simple, you never argue with the umpire or referee and you play fair at all times. Good sportsmanship was placed above winning.

It was these values which my parents taught me, that I have tried to give to my children, whether it be tennis, cricket, rugby, soccer or hockey. In all sports, the rules of sportsmanship remain the same.

In the World Cup of 1996, I watched as did millions, the "great" Maradona rise to punch the ball into the English net.

Maradona's  celebration with his team mates convinced the referee and his assistants, that the goal was legitimate. Later he would compare his hand to God.

During the qualifying rounds of the 2010 World Cup, Thierry Henry knocks the ball into the Irish net with his hand, effectively ending Ireland's hopes of playing in the World Cup. Like Maradona, Thiery Henry throws an Oscar performance. His body language suggests the goal is legitimate. In short, like Maradona, he cons the referee.

During the England, Germany match in the World Cup in South Africa, Frank Lampard's shot clearly crosses the line. Later Manuel Neuer tells the media proudly that his body language conned the referee into believing that the ball was not over the line.

Maradona, Henry and Neuer all have one thing in common, they cheat. These are soccer players that are paid in millions of dollars, not only for their soccer skills, but for their cheating skills.

In my two sons bedrooms, large pictures of these very same players adorn the walls. These are their role models, these are the people they aspire to be like.

As they sit mesmerized by the skill and antics of these soccer superstars, the behaviour of these stars undermine everything that I have tried to teach them. In short, diving, tripping, cheating and conning the referee, are things to be admired, even to earn money from. And this is what we call "a beautiful game", no less.

I believe it is a reflection of our society as a whole. As the human population moves through 7 billion, our species cheats more and more in sport, business and politics. The rich get richer, the poor gets poorer and the resources of the planet get less.

The soccer stadium in Nelspruit, cost 140 million dollars and hosted 360 minutes of football. Green Point Stadium cost a staggering 600 million dollars. These magnificent stadiums, built at huge cost, so that the cheating gladiators can display their skills to a world wide audience of more than a billion people.

I wonder how a person living in a five by six metre tin shack in Philippolis in sub zero temperatures who can't get to the stadium, let alone afford a ticket or even watch it on TV, feels about his government spending more than 2 billion dollars on soccer stadiums.

In a hypothetical exercise, lets presume the South Africa Government took the same money and recreate a huge national park, a Serengeti of the South, where the indigenous animals could roam free and the springbuck migrations could re-instate themselves.

A place where lions could once again roar down the canyons. Where the cheetah, the fastest animal on earth, could run down the springbuck, where endangered wild dogs and black rhino could thrive. A place where the bushmen could continue their traditional lifestyle. A place where the four great cats that Asia has failed to conserve, the lion, the leopard, the cheetah and the tiger, could once again interact.

This mega park would attract tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world. It would create jobs for game guards, game guides, trackers, mechanics, butlers, chefs, waiters, housekeepers, camp managers, bookkeepers, accountants, scientists, marketers, public relations managers, singers, actors, photographers, filmmakers, journalists.

A place where nature could balance herself between predator and prey, tourists and land, income and return, harmony and exploitation, spiritual and economic wealth. A non destructive, sustainable activity.

I suggest that if the South African Government has this kind of vision, we would be able to play for a long, long time a "Truly Beautiful Game"!

Tread lightly on the Earth
JV

 

Tread lightly on the Earth

info@jvbigcats.co.za
Copyright 2007 @jvbigcats  All rights reserved


Newsletters


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Newsletter 135
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Newsletter 134
08/08/16
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Newsletter 132
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Newsletter 130
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Sylvester the Lion

Newsletter 129
22/03/16
An Open Letter to Head United Nations

Newsletter 128
15/03/16
An Open Letter to Carte Blanche

Newsletter 127
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Satellite Tracking

Newsletter 126
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Lightning strikes 3 times

Newsletter 125
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The Break Out

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05/10/15
Bad Tigers

Newsletter 123
01/10/15
Tiger Boy's Journey

Newsletter 122
13/09/15
Give it a Name

Newsletter 121
10/09/15
Driven Hunts

Newsletter 120
01/09/15
Creative Conservation

Newsletter 119
12/08/15
Sariska from birth till death

Newsletter 118
11/08/15
Real Hunters

Newsletter 117
07/08/15
An Open Letter to the President: Operation Wild Lion

Newsletter 116
03/08/15
An Open Letter to Theo Bronkhorst

Newsletter 115
28/07/15
Cruel Nations

Newsletter 114
08/07/15
Subspecies or no subspecies

Newsletter 113
11/06/15
Tigers Moving Forward

Newsletter 112
13/04/15
Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Newsletter 111
26/03/15
Don't Shoot the Messenger

Newsletter 110
22/03/15
The Hunters

Newsletter 109
09/03/15
Gaia or God?

Newsletter 108
26/02/15
The Healing Power of Cats

Newsletter 107
18/02/15
Goddess Gaia

Newsletter 106
03/02/15
Ambassador Cats

Newsletter 105
24/01/15
Blondes have more fun

Invitation
09/01/15
Gaining ground for tigers

Newsletter 103
14/12/14
Tibo's Dilemma

Newsletter 102
05/12/14
Wilderness Man

Newsletter 101
25/11/14
Sariska fathers cubs with white Tigress Tibo

Newsletter 100
20/11/14
Cheetah Survival

Newsletter 99
30/09/14
Extract from JV's speech on Corbett's Freedom Day

Newsletter 98
15/08/14
The Power of the Picture

Newsletter 97
18/07/14
Tiger Corbett's Release

Newsletter 96
11/07/14
Corbett's Journey

Newsletter 95
18/06/14
Bush School: Where are they now?

Newsletter 94
12/05/14
Open letter to Jani Allen: Oscar Pistorius

Newsletter 93
07/05/14
John Varty interview with Sizie Modise

Newsletter 92
20/04/14
Marion's Big Cat Safari

Newsletter 91
24/02/14
Full energy flow

Newsletter 90
10/02/14
Investing in wild tigers

Newsletter 89
05/02/14
Where are the Champions?

Newsletter 88
27/01/14
Managing the Genes

Newsletter 87
16/01/14
Capture the Moment

Newsletter 86
07/12/13
The Princess Diana of Tigers - Julie:
 Sept 1999 - 5 Des 2013

Newsletter 85
26/11/13
The Communicators

Newsletter 84
26/11/13
A Letter to All Conservationists in SA 
Sparked by the whole Melissa Bachman Debacle
by Maxine Gaines

Newsletter 83
16/11/13
Tell me what happened

Newsletter 82
04/11/13
Profit is the Name of Your Game

Newsletter 81
30/10/13

Big Cat Cub Safari


Newsletter 80
18/10/13
In the Jaws of the Tiger

Newsletter 79
11/10/13
Open letter to Vice President Cyril Ramaphosa about rhino crisis

Newsletter 78
06/10/13
Open letter to Min of Defense, South Africa about rhino crisis

Newsletter 77
30/09/13
Digital Photography

Newsletter 76
06/09/13
Zoochosis

Newsletter 75
20/07/13
Rhino Horn Trade - Response

Newsletter 74
09/07/13
Raw Power

Newsletter 73
02/07/13
The Evolution of the Tracker

Newsletter 72
02/07/13
An Open Letter to the Honourable Edna Molewa, Minister of Water Affairs and Environmental Affairs

Newsletter 71
06/06/13
Using flash or spotlight on cats at night

Newsletter 70
14/05/13
Mirror mirror on the wall, who has the best eyesight of them all?

Newsletter 69
12/04/13
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fastest of them all?

Newsletter 68
25/03/13
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the best fighter of them all?

Newsletters 67
07/03/13
Wild Cheetah return to the Free State after 100 years

Newsletter 66
28/02/13
Seeking the genes

Newsletters 65
06/02/13
Corbett's Journey

Newsletters 64
22/01/13
In Search of a Mate

Newsletters 63
11/01/13
Rumble in the Jungle

Newsletters 62
30/10/12
Voronin Big Cat Safari Breaks All Records

Newsletters 61
09/12/12
A Journey to Nowhere

Newsletter 60
03/10/12
The John Hume Approach

Newsletter 59
28/09/12
Response to Rhino Horn Auction

Newsletters 58
24/09/12
A Letter to John Hume, SA biggest Rhino Breeder

Newsletters 57
05/09/12
Newsletters 56
01/08/12
Indian Government -
the wrong decision

Newsletter 55
11/07/12
What price must beauty pay?

Newsletter 54
21/04/12
Corbett's Freedom

Newsletter 53
15/04/12
Lethal injection or Freedom

Newsletters 52
04/04/12
The anatomy of an aggressive tiger

Newsletters 51
14/02/12
Majestic, breathtaking pictures

Newsletters 50
04/11/11
Tigress Calendar

Newsletters 49
19/11/11

Let your pictures do the talking

Newsletters 48
26/09/11

Rhino Wars

Newsletters 47
06/09/11
A Letter to the President

Newsletters 46
08/08/11
The Body Parts Scam

Newsletters 45
11/07/11
Tiger Subspecies

Newsletters 43
01/05/11
Your future and the Tiger

Newsletter 42
08/05/11
Talk to Me

Newsletter 41
26/01/11
Gaian Reminder

Newsletter 40
18/11/10
Ron's Journey

Newsletter 39
20/10/10
"Descreprimate"

Newsletter 38
06/09/10
Beauty comes at a price

Newsletter 37
18/08/10

The Light Has Gone Out


Newsletter 36
08/07/10
The Beautiful Game

Newsletter 35
05/07/10
The Ethics of
Tiger Green Hunting

Newsletter 34
21/06/10
Tiger Hunt

Newsletter 33
26/05/10
The Year of the Tiger

Newsletter 32
11/02/10

Riding the Tiger


Newsletter 31
24/01/10

Runti's Journey


Newsletter 30
12/01/10

To intervene or not to intervene -
that is the question...

Newsletter 29
07/12/09

Lion - Tiger - Human Communication


Newsletter 28
12/11/09

Emotional humans, emotional cats


Newsletter 27
03/11/09

Julie gives birth to 5 tiger cubs


Newsletter 26
24/09/09

International Tiger Day


Newsletter 25
17/08/09

To all Photographers


Newsletter 24
16/07/09

A Shot in Anger


Newsletter 22
24/04/09


Newsletter 21
24/03/09


Newsletter 19
14/01/09

Tiger Birth
at Tiger Canyons


Newsletter 16
10/10/08

Tiger Courting


Newsletter 11
29/01/08

Privatizing the Tiger


Newsletter 9
27/10/07

Newsletter 8
28/09/07

Newsletter 7
14/09/07

Water Cats


Newsletter 6
14/08/07

Tiger Intelligence


Newsletter 5
16/05/07

Tiger language
Tiger Boma


Newsletter 3
09/03/07

Interspecies communication


Newsletter 2
06/02/07

Cub relocation


Londolozi
Newsletters

Death of a Legend
17/08/09


Newsletter 20
10/02/09

Newsletter 15
17/08/08

Painted Wolves


Newsletter 13
11/04/08

Response to Elephant Trust
by Daryl Balfour


Newsletter 12
09/04/08

Elephant Trust