Saturday, November 26, 2011
Game Over ....
Some examples of how different sports sometimes farewell their own:
Boxers get a ''10-bell salute'', I am told.
In motor racing, the front row of the grid at the next event is left vacant.
Champion racehorses are often buried standing up, following Native American folklore, which states: ''A good horse will be waiting for you in the dawn to carry you to heaven.'' Many such horses are buried facing east.
In polo, at the next significant game, both teams ride to the centre as for a normal start, but when the umpire throws the ball in, neither side strikes at it for a minute.
The Dragon Boat community, and particularly the Dragons Abreast Clubs for breast cancer patients, commonly do a ceremony called ''flowers on the water'' for their members who have succumbed to the illness, gathering the boats and scattering flower petals on the water for their lost friends.
This very week, they had a funeral right in the middle of Bill Smyth Oval, Narooma, (NSW Far South Coast) for local identity and ardent socialist Geoff Collins. A Sydney Swans tragic and the Narooma Lions Australian Football League's biggest supporter, even though he had not been a great player himself. Team songs were song as well as "The Red Flag", and to conclude the service the hearse did something that Geoff had never done - a victory lap of the oval - to the warm applause of all.
At the next event after the death of the Moto GP rider Marco Simoncelli three weeks ago, instead of engaging in a ''minute of silence'', they engaged in a minute of raucous noise in celebration of his life.
The parents of Nicole Hannan - the Qantas captain and world champion skydiver who was killed recently after a training jump at Perris in California - report that, as is their custom worldwide, her fellow skydivers performed a formation jump at her NSW base in Picton, and left a space for Nicole.
In surf lifesaving, they often spread the ashes of deceased members beyond the breakers from a surf boat while raising the oars vertically.