Page 7 - Touchline No.35
P. 7

6                                                                                                             7

 35 years of sport   THE JOURNAL OF SPORT,  LEISURE & RISK  WITH AN INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE  November 2021





 The feeling that this was a time of   to the massive transformations in sport
 dynasties ending and tyros taking their   that have since occurred. Where sport
 chance can be seen across the world of   used to be contained to our screens or to
 sport. Jack Nicklaus won his 18th and final   the playing field, now sport is everywhere.
 major. Greg LeMond became the first
 American to win the Tour de France. A   Looking back at these titans, it is
 red-faced Scottish manager took over at   impossible to make a pitch that players
 a fading footballing giant in the north of   today are better. But they are richer, and
 England and became the most successful   they are more in the public eye. While the
 manager of all time. Jimmy Connors   spectacle of sport, the raw physicality
 argued a line call against Ivan Lendl and   of it, remains largely the same, it is the
 conceded the match, along with his   process which has changed. Naturally, the
 reputation. Yes, Chris Evert won her 18th   biggest change in sport since 1986 is how
 Grand Slam against her arch rival Martina   technology and money have created a
 Navratilova, but would suffer defeat later in  very different landscape for both players
 the year at Wimbledon and the US Open.   and fans.
 Navratilova would then have her own
 rivalry with West Germany’s Steffi Graf.  Our readers are well aware of the impact
 that technology has had on sport: if they
 In this year of rising and falling stars, there   don’t, they have the technology to find
 is one player who reached his apogee.   out instantly. We went from public access
 In Mexico, Diego Maradona dragged his   channels showing the matches they
 Argentinian team through to the final with   deemed worthy, to HBO and pay-per-
 breath-taking impact. His two goals against   view, to cable channels and their multi-
 England in the quarter finals came to   million dollar deals with federations, clubs
 define the two faces of this 5’5 giant of the   and players. As technology improved,
 game; the ‘Hand of God’ and the ‘Goal of   so did the money. Right across the
 the Century’. It broke English hearts, which   sporting world, inflation in terms of player
 wasn’t helped by the fact that the Falkland   payments far out-stripped the national   hypnotising draw of Teletext, which,   over the past 35 years. Nutrition has
 War had only been over for four years!  trends, as sportsmen and women became   surprisingly enough, was text that could   come a long way since the 80’s, where
 product and recipient all at once.  be accessed through your telly. It threw   in some sports, being a superstar and

 Back in 1986,   The sports industry is giving everyone   up instant reports for matches being   being overweight was an actual option.
            played live. Fast forward a decade and a
                                                              Today, it would be hard to find an athlete
 what they want. The players are wealthy
 sport was kind    beyond what their predecessors in the   fan could literally read about their team all   outside of sumo and darts that wouldn’t
            day and not come close to consuming all
                                                              be magazine-cover-shoot-ready at the
 of a big deal.  80’s could have dreamed of, and they can   the available content. And this is global.   drop of a hat. Meanwhile, new fabrics and
 gain their feeling of validation without
            There are approximately 15 billion mobile
                                                              plastics mean that you would be hard
 even having to boot up. One tweet or post   devices in the world. How many are   pushed to find a record that wasn’t set
 from even the most middling footballer in   reading about sport right now? Perhaps   before the turn of the century.
 the most middling of leagues can result   the biggest change is not in the lives of the
 How Did We Get Here?  in instant feelings of love and acceptance   rich and famous, but it lies in the fact that   The past 35 years have seen the world
 Those sporting legacies are still felt today.   from fans. It is rumoured that Christiano   sport has become more international than   grow up, in a way. Everything is slightly
 Maradona has passed away, but stars like   Ronaldo makes over a hundred thousand   the founders of the Olympics could have   more complicated, but that is sort of what
 Michael Jordan and Mike Tyson live on as   euros each time he posts.  possibly imagined.  we wanted. Nostalgia for the past is warm
 larger-than-life icons, albeit some more                     and cosy, like a cardigan, but doesn’t
 tainted than others. But it is back in the   The fans get what they want too. Back   Of course, there are other aspects to   convey the dynamism and energy of
 mid-80s that the fuse was lit that has led   in the 90’s, some will recall the strangely   technology that have changed sport   today. Sport just keeps getting better!



 Back to contents
   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12