In Byzantium, in the middle centuries of the First Millenium, the passion for chariot racing and the competition between (savour the irony!) the Blues and the Greens, ran so high that the Empire was decided on the predominance of Chariot Factions - jobs in the state, and ultimately with Justinian, the Emperor's position itself, being decided by the Colour of your favour.  More than religion (itself, eventually split between the Blues and the Greens), racing filled the hearts of the populace with the necessary adrenalin to slaughter each other, to carve their slogans of hate on each other's chests, to rape and torture.

So omnivorous was the Racing Cancer that, on two occasions, The Empire almost fell to the Barbarians as the army was riven and useless to defend the city.  Luck and bad weather alone saved it.  Seeing at last the folly of the Racing Mania, after a particularly grueseome week of riots during which most of the faction leaders were murdered, this 'sport' was extirpated for once and for all.  RENOUNCE SPORT AND ITS WAYS.  Pull down this god of inanity, this art whose best creation is a tongue-tied teenage moron with an expensive haircut...