Oh dear, I suppose I’m going to have to do it…write about sports that is.
Anyone who knows me, even remotely, must know that I am, and always have been, rubbish at all and every sport. I have been told that I ‘mince’ rather than run. I can’t throw for more than a couple of feet in front of me. I can’t catch (crummy hand/eye co-ordination). I can’t kick (but then I am a girl..). You may as well forget anything that involves a bat or a racket (crummy hand/eye co-ordination again...). I can’t jump or skate or ski or do anything else other people seem to do with ease and dignity. Even my bike riding is pants – can’t take my hands off the handle bars without falling off.
Well, you get the picture. Sports is not my thing. It’s why I like yoga. Lots of standing still and laying down. I can just about manage that. And, and this is a big AND, it’s not competitive (usually,- though I gather there is something called competitive yoga growing in the US, which sounds conflicted to me).
See, not only do I not like playing sport, I don’t much care for that competitive ethos. It seems to me that for every winner there are a hell of a lot more losers. The odds are agin’ us being winners. Who wants to expend that much energy to forever have regrets that you were just not good enough. Certainly not me.
I do, of course, enjoy watching some sporty type thingys. I really enjoy a bit of brutal rugby union. The thump of the scrum and the ball floating in a perfect pass. The slow tension of cricket – The stupid names ‘silly mid-off’ ‘googly’.. and the strategy of the spinners and slow bowlers. I especially enjoy the limited over matches, where it really comes down to the wire. Then of course, there is tennis. The gladiatorial matches between two great players can be epic, but I’m afraid the crushing one sidedness of many of the early matches in a tournament can really be a turn off.
And that’s about it. That’s about the measure of the sports I’d turn on my TV for, and half the time I only turn it on for the highlights even then.
When I was a kid (some time ago now) we used to religiously watch the wrestling on our black and white TV on a Saturday afternoon. My mum, my dad, my nan, my sister and me, we knew all the wrestlers, and the referees names. Knew their skills and weaknesses, knew the names of the moves. Believed the whole shenanigans was real. We would all cheer when our favourite baddy thumped three times on the mat to ‘give in’ and booed when they cheated and threw themselves on our favourite goody when he wasn’t looking. Now that was entertainment.
Now I know that is all it was. It wasn’t sport, it was acting. Perhaps that’s why I liked it so much. It was non-stop action, albeit carefully choreographed and rehearsed (I’m sure there will be many who object to that description, but its as I understand it). Perhaps that is why I find other sports so, well, dull, in comparison. In a real match or game, there are deathly lulls and gross injustices. The best man doesn’t always win. Outside factors contribute. The weather, the state of the pitch, an awkward bounce, injury, the list is endless. Now for some that might add to the excitement, but for me, it feels unfair. A brilliant cricketer getting out ‘for a duck’ for instance…’give him another go..go on..he can do better than that.. he just missed that’s all, give him another go…’ but it doesn’t work like that. He just gets to wander back to the pavilion with his bat under his arm and his bruised ego heavy on his shoulders.
Guess it’s time I mentioned the elephant in the room… football. For some reason football has taken its place in my soul as the most reviled and hated of all sports. I despise football. The overpaid little boys that spend their youth kicking a ball from one end of a pitch to the other. Try as I might I fail to see that as being worth the gdp of a small country for each match. The fans are loud and ridiculously partisan with seemingly no acceptance of the opposing teams skills. The clubs charge the fans extortionate amounts for related goods – have you seen the price of football shirts??? Its a disgrace.
Okay, I know I’m in a minority, and most people will be too busy watching the world cup to read this. I know football is supposed to be our ‘national game’ I’m supposed to love it. I’m afraid I don’t. I hope the best team wins. I doubt, from what I’ve heard, that it is going to be England. Predictably though, I won’t be watching. After all Wimbledon starts next week….!