Saturday, January 17, 2009
"I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars," said George Best. "The rest I just squandered."
There's a great article to accompany this great quote in the Herald at the moment, albeit mistitled, profiling some of the great drinking sportsmen of the past and present.
These are men who rise to the pinnacle of their chosen profession because of their never say die competitveness, the same temperament which sees great things occur on the sports field sees them out perform others in bars and clubs damned the social consequences inflicted upon them by the goody-two-shoes, toffee-nosed you 'shouldn't be behaving in this manner' hypocritical Ruth Dyson's of our world.
While some, rush to condemn young sportsmen like Jesse Ryder for going out and having a few beers with the lads I applaud this behaviour - suppressing the overwhelming desire to socialise many young people have can have devastating effects on high performance - ask Chris Pringle, who qualifies in cricket's all time boozers XI over at cricketweb.net.
I recall Ken Rutherford writing that if Pringle was banned from socializing on tour his performance would inevitably suffer - couldn't find a line or a length, but if he rocked in to the team hotel at 5am in the morning drunk as a skunk he would inevitably be in devastating form.
Sure, people will rush to point out that there are occassionally accidents and incidents associated with this type of behaviour that negatively effect the sportsman.... like Jesse's finger....but they forget that sometimes shit just happens.
Look at the talented league player Sione Faumuina who was minding his own business driving home when his car flipped!