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Why Didnt They Just Play Nice Sports in the Middle Ages were similar to the athletic competitions that are held today with one major difference These sports almost completely lacked any regard for the physical health or well-being of the competitors whether they be the opposing team members or the animals set against each other in mortal combat Examples of this stunning savagery are apparent in all forms of physical competition from the bear-baiting and cock fighting to the astoundingly vicious game of football which sometimes pitted entire villages against one another These graphic descriptions of the blood-thirsty athletic entertainment represent a stunning contrast from the athletic competitions which take place today In modern sports human life is held in the highest regard with new rules being added frequently in an attempt to further preserve the physical well-being of the competitors When one looks at these looks at these drastically different views on athletic competition it is evident that somewhere along the line a change in the attitude of competitors took place This attitude change was most likely a direct result of the change in the way that national conflicts were solved As time progressed the emphasis on hand to hand fighting diminished and so did the amount of violence in sports This direct relationship proves that increased emphasis on the preservation of physical health from sports in the Middle Ages as compared to modern sports was a result of the decreased importance of hand to hand fighting and warfare Common people in the Middle Ages did not have many of the modern conveniences that we have today resulting in very little free time in which to entertain themselves Most of the time they spent dawn to dusk working in the fields simply trying to put food on the table During the regular week their only free time was on Sundays after they had dutifully attended church Most of the rest of
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