Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Sports and Alcohol - when does it stop being fun?

It's all fun and games until someone is taken to emergency, apparently suffering from alcohol poisoning.

Carleton University suspended its women’s soccer team on Friday after a rookie initiation party ended with a player being taken to the hospital by ambulance following excessive drinking.

It is believed that a team party last Sunday saw one player so incoherent from alcohol that an ambulance took her to the hospital.

These incidents do not occur in a vacuum. Particularly revealing are athletes' parents response to the University sanctions and media coverage.
One father of a rookie player suggested yesterday that the situation was being "really overblown." And a mother, who didn't want her name used out of respect for her daughter, a return player who went through a similar rookie party, suggested this was a case of someone drinking too much - not a hazing. "I know most of the girls on the team. I am just disappointed that their best intentions for team bonding have been misconstrued."
D-E-N-I-A-L, anyone?

Athletes are particularly vulnerable to peer pressure since the acceptance and admiration of team members is a powerful motivator for team success. As well, individuals who are blessed with such talents and skills tend to push the boundaries of their bodies' physical strength and abilities.

Patrick Swayze, who died two weeks ago and who had waged a life-long battle against substance abuse, observed: "My big regret is the physical damage I've done to my body. I can do almost anything physically and I used to believe I was invincible, breaking bones over and over, playing football, doing gymnastics, diving, ballet, doing my own stunts, kick boxing, staging fights ... It all seems a little stupid to me now."


Anonymous said...

I had come to the conclusion that it is impossible to have an intelligent conversation about alcohol with people on the left, the right and the inbetween. Thank you, DAMMIT JANET, for proving me wrong.

Bina said...

Gawd, I thought things were bad over 20 years ago, when I went through frosh week at Queen's. I clearly hadn't seen nothin' yet.

But even back then it mystified me. Maybe this is a German thing, but I was brought up not thinking it was such a big deal to have a drink--with dinner. Also to know when to say when, and not to make a fool of myself just because I was suddenly old enough to buy a beer. When I went out to the pub, it was usually just to sit with friends and talk, or maybe dance.

I was appalled at how many of my schoolmates just let loose like complete idiots--and how many of the worst drunks had come from ultra-puritanical homes. It was what kept me out of the more notorious campus pubs, like the ones where the engineers hung out, trolling (drunkenly) for "Vic chicks". The last thing I wanted was to become a date rape statistic.

Good thing roofies weren't in vogue then, is all I can say.

deBeauxOs said...

Binge drinking has unfortunately become a rite of passage in some groups. It doesn't take that much for someone to become unconscious and die, if their peers don't take it seriously and assume that "sleeping it off" works.

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