What Men Against Boys Should Really Mean

A world class sportsman letting some snot nosed kid beat him the name of charity? Not on our watch. Men against boys should be just that, a crunching, all-action affair. Take no prisoners.
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A world class sportsman letting some snot nosed kid beat him the name of charity? Not on our watch. Men against boys should be just that, a crunching, all-action affair. Take no prisoners.

It was whilst watching Iker Casillas play football with some local urchins that the thought popped up that this was a sporting tradition that really had to go.

The Real Madrid keeper had gone back to his hometown for a charitable event and was guarding the goal against a group of penalty-taking tykes who were succeeding where many footballers had failed by beating the World Cup winning captain from the spot. Every single time.

Casillas was undergoing the ritual humiliation where sportsmen at the top of their game and suddenly turn completely crap to humour the sensibilities of a group of competition-winning kiddies.

Instead of yawning and casually swatting away shots like the born-again Neo fending off Agent Smith at the end of The Matrix, before climbing into the back of a limo to mount a bikini-clad Sara Carbonero, the World Cup winning captain was watching, apparently helpless, as a series of lamentably lame efforts from a gaggle of chavs trickled past his ankles.

"Imagine the fun that could be had from watching Rafa Nadal blasting 210 mph serves into the terrified face of 11-year-old Peter Posh Pants."

Iker isn’t alone in having to perform this ludicrous pantomime from time-to-time. To please all-important sponsors along with posses of proud parents, sprinters suddenly become slow, cricketers lose the ability to bat and tough-tackling rugby players turn into wimps all to maintain the family-friendly nature of their brand image and give the children a day to remember.

But imagine the fun that could be had from watching Rafa Nadal flipping the finger to tradition by blasting 210 mph serves into the terrified face of 11-year-old Peter Posh Pants, winner of the ‘Anyone for Tennis!’ magazine lucky draw.

Or John Terry putting a wee kiddie who fancies himself as a bit of a wizard on the wing into the advertising hoardings?

Maybe Usain Bolt, breaking the spirit of a seven-year-old sprinter by catching him on the line after a 98-metre head start?

Of course, there must be some leeway given to children who are not exactly in the best of health being given a boost by meeting their favourite sports stars. After all, a drip-clutching youngster whose dream it is to go one-on-one with Lebron James may not appreciate the experience of the basketball superstar smashing the ball out of his hands to be slam-dunked seconds later.

Then again, a tale of a taunting, face-scrunched megastar scream “in your face motherfucka!” is one that could certainly be told time and time again to gasping friends and family.

This refusal to play ball with tradition could perhaps see sportsman teaching a valuable early lesson to youngsters that in real life nobody is going to let you win. That hard work is the only way to be best. That there is no such thing as an easy ride.

It’s high time that the good guys of the sporting world show what men against boys really means.

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