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Friday, 11 June 2010


My heart skipped a bit. A feeling of sadness engulfed me, as I went through the sports news headlines of a recent online edition of Kenya's Daily Nation,  "Green sharks devour students." My brain had focused on the violence implied, not the metaphors .

The reality of course was different and the story was in fact about an international hockey tournament, where a team going by the name Green Sharks had defeated another from Strathmore University.

Similarly, one is also bound to find sports news headlines like, "Cops now all out to arrest tormentors," in  reference to yet a another hockey team from the Kenya Police.

And another somewhat morbid sports headline screams, "Ngige slays Rwandan in Sudden Death." Now metaphors aside, how easy is it for one to decipher that that is a golf story?

Why is there so much emphasis on the use of negative words denoting some sort of violent confrontation, when it comes to reporting sports stories?

What happened to the plain speaking team A has beaten team B or team C lost to team D? The meaning would still be intact without the battlefield references in sports.

But apparently, sports is a passionate engagement, which calls for a certain heightening of emotions, when its being reported in the news. The excitement apparently stems from the suggested aggressiveness.

And some sports like hockey, it is said, are inherently aggressive, which sportswriters mimic when doing articles about them. One can only hope the reports don't end up inciting or glorifying violence. But headlines like:
"The champion slayer of Paris"
...............still scare me, even if this one is in reference to the tennis court heroics of Robin Soderling at the French Open.

Let's see what kind of sports news headlines will be churned out by those covering the 2010 football World Cup in South Africa.

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