Team sports are good for teaching kids how to feign enthusiasm and harbour resentment

Charlie Brooker discusses team sorts in this column from The Guardian.

Ministers are concerned that Britain’s schoolkids aren’t doing enough team sports. Good for them. The kids, that is. Not the ministers. I’ll dumbly and instinctively side with anyone trying to bunk off games. Apart from preventing obesity and heart attacks and diabetes and high blood pressure and premature death, what exactly is school sport good for?

The benefits aren’t merely physical, grunt the experts, through their thick, sport-liking mouths. Team games build character. I can’t argue with that. They certainly helped strengthen the more cunning and resentful elements of my personality.

Yep, like most dweeby types, I hated having to “do” games at school, mainly because of an inherent physical laziness, but also because of the psychological challenges involved. In my eyes, PE was a twice-weekly period of anarchy during which the school’s most aggressive pupils were formally permitted to dominate and torment those they considered physically inferior. Perhaps if the whole thing had been pitched as an exercise in interactive drama intended to simulate how it might feel to live in a fascist state run by thick schoolboys – an episodic, improvised adaptation of Lord of the Flies in uniform sportswear – I’d have appreciated it more. But no.

Read the rest here.


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