HUBRIS – Logophile entry #14

Posted: May 14, 2014 in sport, Words
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My introduction to this word came a long long time ago in a distant galaxy far away. Actually when I was studying Classical Civilisation for A level and it popped up more times than the stereotypical camp carry-on sidekick that appeared in EVERY greek comedy play that I had to endure…….I’m fairly confident that its now not a particularly well used word or infact well known and in due course it disappeared from my vocabulary.

Then this year Crystal Palace were promoted to the Premier League.  What’s that got to do with this word? My re-introduction after a few years hiatus (last time before the advent of social media) to the so called fans of the so called big clubs, that’s what. Demonstrating more hubris than a Greek Tragedy your average premier league “big 5” fan shows such disrespect to the fans of the other 15 clubs that in their opinion they just have to turn up to take the points as no one is interested in the opposition and besides, how dare they actually try to win. When things don’t go according to plan they throw their teddies out of the pram and begin blaming everyone from the media, to the ref, to foreign involvement but never their own tarnished team. I saw this first hand this season as Palace managed to totally ruin 2 of the 3 top teams title ambitions.

So there you have it – HUBRIS – noun – Excessive pride or arrogance. In Greek tragedy an excess of ambition, pride, etc, ultimately causing the transgressor’s ruin. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one’s own competence, accomplishments or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power. In ancient Greek, hubris referred to actions that shamed and humiliated the victim for the pleasure or gratification of the abuser – See supporters of Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal & Manchester United and a minority of Manchester City fans. 

 

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