soccer, lawyer, professor, legal education, cricket, law
Soccer is my game. It has been part of my life and, therefore, a part of me since before I can remember. Much of my early years was spent kicking a ball around in one setting or another. Sleeping or waking, I was never far from a soccer ball. On my own against a wall or with a couple of likeminded friends, I took the part of legendary favourites and played out some of soccer's great games. The stuff of boyhood fantasizing, some of my best memories can still be traced back to my grandfather's back yard or the local schoolyard as we whiled away the hours with only a soccer bail for company. Even then, however, arguments over and about the game were commonplace-the ball was out of play, someone had used their elbows unfairly and, in particular, with coats as make-do goalposts, the ball had hit the post or was over the bar. Looking back, I realize that I was always near the centre of these interpretive encounters, making sure that I had my twopennies' worth and that my team received what I considered its due. As is so often the case, more was learnt (good and bad) on soccer's field of dreams than the prosaic skills of how to kick and head the ball-friendship, competitiveness, responsibility, sticking up for yourself and, of course, basic argumentative techniques and manoeuvres. It was always more than a game. In so many ways, it has been the defining thread and experience of my life as a person, a professor and lawyer.
Allan C. Hutchinson, "Playing the Game" (1994) 17:1 Dal LJ 263.