Seldom does a statesman's death invoke the sports page in a newspaper. Then again, Nelson Mandela wasn't your everyday leader. He realized the importance of sport quite early and made sure it executed a significant role in the shaping of his country. Interestingly, a century before Madiba did so, Swami Vivekananda went on record saying that he'd recommend football for those who are too lazy to read Bhagavad-Gita. His axiom was refreshingly elementary: you draw similar lessons in life from both of them. The stakes may not be even given the past circumstances but once you reach the hallowed ground of competition, all the members are equal. It doesn't matter who your father is or whether you're rich or poor. Your background is left behind. The only thing worth contemplating is victory and if possible, fairness. The sun will be equally harsh on all the players on the ground. The breeze will play its part accordingly. It's the closest one can get to creating a leveling ground. And we all know how practitioners of politics make sure that such a ground remains a myth.