PORTRAIT

La Montagne (Brive) - - Corrèze Actualité -

« Ima­gine the scene ; Pe­tro­nius the ‘re­tia­rius’, Ger­ma­nius the ‘mur­millo’, Ri­bio the ‘ces­tus’ are all wai­ting in the wings of the Ame­di­no Do­me­ni­cius sta­dium, a huge am­phi­theatre filled with the blood­thirs­ty but not bold spec­ta­tors, un­der the wat­ch­ful eye of the ‘la­nis­ta’ Go­di­nius with his ‘lo­ra­rii’ Ho­me­dei and Coal­lo. The fight is on but the gla­dia­tors are not at the top of their form. Who knows, per­haps they spent a lit­tle too much time with the slave girls, abu­sed of the strong mead or are sim­ply ti­red be­cause they have been com­pe­ting a lot re­cent­ly, it’s al­most as though they want to go on strike. The Con­fe­de­rate of Gla­dia­tor Trai­ners sends a fast run­ner to the ‘sum­ma ru­dis’ to get things un­der way, and af­ter some strong fi­nan­cial ne­go­tia­tion the bouts be­gin to the re­lief of the al­beit ve­ry tem­pe­rate but im­pa­tient crowd. The crowd is ho­we­ver, ne­ver sa­tis­fied. They want more. Af­ter all, they live for these mo­ments, they pay for these mo­ments, an es­cape from their eve­ry­day exis­tence in their green­houses with their stock of stones. In 1995, be­gan a new era. Pro­fes­sio­na­lism. Brive sur­fed, and 20 years ago to the day our lo­cal he­roes of the mo­dern day gla­dia­to­rial com­bat, known as Rug­by, fought va­liant­ly, but lost in the fi­nal of the French Cham­pion­ship against Tou­louse. A year la­ter I was lu­cky to be at Car­diff Arms Park to watch the same club, led by a mins­trel, be­come Eu­ro­pean Cham­pions with their win against Lei­ces­ter. A year on we trip­ped on the fi­nal step of the same tour­na­ment. We were there at least. I was hap­py, not be­cause we were strong, but be­cause we were seeing sport, risks and team play with va­lues com­ple­ting the hea­dy cock­tail. Ho­we­ver, since the sport has gone pro’ the ave­rage spec­ta­tor wants his pound of flesh. Af­ter all, he is paying hand­so­me­ly and al­ways ex­pects po­si­tive re­sults. But does he stop to consi­der his own job of work. Is he al­ways sup­plying his best per­for­mance? Is he gi­ving his boss the best va­lue for mo­ney? I think not. I know I fall short so­me­times but I have the guts to ad­mit it and un­ders­tand it in others. Let’s face it, even John The­door (name chan­ged) who is on tour see­king votes to ac­cede to pre­si­den­cy will pro­ba­bly fall short from time to time. With all this in mind, on Sun­day let’s all get be­hind our team, who did far bet­ter than last year and will pro­ba­bly do bet­ter still next year and emp­ty our po­ckets of all those stones be­fore we go to the game ». ■

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