{09/07/2012}   Watching sport

               Few activities appeal less than spending time watching sport on TV.  It does nothing for me.  I had a mild interest in yesterday’s Federer-Murray Wimbledon final, but no desire to watch it; internet and Facebook/Twitter updates were more than adequate.  I find the concept of armchair sport viewing most bizarre.  I can appreciate it more if you’re there, actually watching it live, but where is the fun in watching sport on TV?

               I can see the appeal a little if you’re at a pub or a venue with lots of other people as there will be a buzz and an excited atmosphere.  But to sit in front of the telly.  Really?  Is it that great a way to spend time?  I know we all have different interests so I am not meaning to criticise.  During major sporting events, I love that the roads and shops get quieter … though this probably won’t apply during the London Olympics on the streets of London!

I feel sorry for people who get married on the day of a major sporting event.  I have known people to turn up late, if at all, or to be listening to live commentary via their mobile phones.  It can be, to put it mildly, all-consuming and incredibly selfish.  I have visited friends in the past and worked out the day’s activities around a sporting event on TV.

I think I mentioned this in a previous post about football but we used to have a teacher (we pupils must have been aged 11-12) who supported a fairly useless football team.  My dad used to watch the results on TV – remember that kind of “live typing” of football results – and I would always look out for – was it Oldham Athletic? – because their victory would mean he’d be in a good mood and a loss would mean a bad mood.  It was an obsession for him.  I don’t know that he went to watch matches, but he wouldn’t have been someone I’d have dared talk to while a game was showing on TV.  Mind you, I’m not sure if he would have been able to watch many games on TV as there were no dedicated sport channels then … so maybe he did travel to games.

Probably unsurprisingly I do not really do any sport.  I have dabbled in kayaking, I used to do a lot of riding, mainly cross-country jumping and even dressage, have had maybe four bursts of squash over my lifetime and a bit of a badminton phase.  I have never felt a need to watch any of these sports on TV.  I am starting to sound a bit pompous, it’s not pretty!  I wrote this because I was getting cheesed off of seeing Murray’s miserable face on the front pages of the newspapers.  I’m not convinced it is national front page news.  Though maybe it makes a change from seeing pictures of civil unrest and flooding.  And maybe I have alighted on a point, that watching sport is escapism.  So where I’d watch a film, say, others watch sport.  There, I shouldn’t be critical, it makes sense after all!  It’s just a shame it seems like the nation, rather than just those interested, is forced to mourn when “our” side loses!


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