Friday, May 16, 2008


I read an article the other day comparing the late Jack Gibson to Socrates. Here are a few excerpts:

Jack Gibson was rugby league's Socrates. Just as the 5th century BC Greek father of philosophy taught by asking questions, Gibson - Australia's greatest football coach - encouraged thought with epigramatic one-liners.

Take the brawl at St George Leagues Club in 1970, when Gibson was the Dragons' coach. Gibson... turned to his young winger from Grafton, whom he called "Boy Carr".

"Boy Carr, I've got a question for you... If you put a mug in a tuxedo, put him in a Rolls-Royce and open the door, what steps out?"

Carr was unable to provide an immediate answer and surrendered, saying, "I don't know."
Gibson said: "A mug."... Socrates, who taught Plato, who taught Aristotle, Gibson inspired Wayne Bennett, who mentored Craig Bellamy.

Here's a bit about the real Socrates:

Socrates is the saint and martyr of philosophy. No other great philosopher has been so obsessed with roghteous living. Like many martyrs, Socrates chose not to try to save his life when he probably could have done so by changing his ways. According to Plato, who was there at the time, Socrates told the judges at his trial that '[y]ou are mistaken... if you think that a man who is worth anything ought to spend his time weighing up the prospects of life and death. He has only one thing to consider in performing any action- that is, whether he is acting rightly or wrongly.' But, unlike many saints, Socrates had a lively sense of humour; this sometimes appeared as playful wit, sometimes as pregnant irony. And, unlike the saints of any and every religion, his faith consisted not in a reliance on revelation or blind hope but in a devotion to argumentative reason. He would not be swayed by anything less.

[Socrates, Anthony Gottlieb, 1997. p1]

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