Trying To Love Sport. And Failing Miserably

January 26, 2012

R.F.Wilson writes from London: I’ve made an enormous effort to love sport. Not just football or rugby or tennis but the whole bloody lot, including darts and snooker and even cricket and poker. (Yes, poker is now shown on TV sports channels). I have gone to pubs with my mates, to watch a game of football on the box, pretending to care who wins and making comments between the pints, to prove that I was a real fan and not some cissy who couldn’t to tell the difference between a goal kick and a goal.

But I failed, people, I failed miserably. I didn’t care a bit about the result. In fact, I probably wouldn’t have been able to fake it even if they put a gun to my head and said: ‘Tell us that you love the beautiful game’. I would have probably said: ‘Shoot me, I can’t be bothered.’

The big problem for me is that I can’t really treat sport seriously. And I don’t have any respect for the people involved in it, even though I accept that they must make a serious effort and train a lot, choosing a career in professional sport instead of devoting themselves to mugging passers-by, pushing dope or burgling houses on the street where they live. I personally have this suspicion that most if not all of the people who become sportsmen do it because they’re thick and can’t really do anything else. I’m not saying that they are necessarily bad people. But clever they sure ain’t – and that somehow cools my appreciation of them. And fans of sport never really impressed me, to be honest. Obsessive ones, that is, who bang on about their favourite teams and players all the time. Boring people with nothing else better to do.

And then there’s the sports news that seems to be all over the place now, with its irrelevant commentaries and pathetic interviews and long lists of injuries that take out some of the big names for weeks and months out of action. I can’t stand all that crap. It’s one thing watching a football or a rugby match, but to then listen to all those pundits telling you what happened on the pitch, making idiotic comments, it’s just unbearable. Not to mention reading millions of column inches about all that supposed ‘excitement’.

And it gets worse when all those boring sports personalities are presented as some role models. Inarticulate brutes, who have nothing to say of any interest, are plugged by the marketing men and the media as if they actually matter. And when I see them advertising stuff, I always think to myself: who on earth would buy underwear or an after shave just because some brain dead footballer or golfer claims to be wearing it or using it?

Let’s be honest about it: modern professional athletes, including chess players, are paid way, way too much money and are overexposed when it comes to news coverage. If some people have nothing else better to do than follow their heroes, on and off the pitch, then it’s up to them. But mainstream media should avoid all that rubbish and stick to bringing us proper news.

Anyway, sport has become a burden that we all are expected to carry, along with the dimwits who live by it. Try saying anything against it and army of deranged fans would submit you to foulmouthed abuse and threaten to beat the crap out of you. And if you question the value or usefulness of the Olympic Games, then expect to be accused of pretty much everything, including racism and vandalism and hate of mankind generally. Even though the Olympics were not held for 1500 years, because they were considered too pagan a ritual for a civilised society and open to corruption. Not anymore though. In our civilised times the Olympics are back in fashion, with obscure sports added every year to the list of events and corporate sponsors using it to plug their brands, while athletes compete with each other who will get away with using performance enhancing drugs.

It has come to a point when people are forced to pretend to ‘love’ sport to appease the arrogant sport loving fraternity. Women are now telling everyone how they love going to a football match or spending two hours in front of the box, watching a game and soaking in the stupid analysis of it afterwards. And it’s not as if they really like it. It’s just that their brain dead hubbies or partners would simply walk away from them if they find out that their women are not into football or some other sport that they have devoted their sad pathetic lives to watching.

Just because some people make a lot of money out of sport, including the TV companies and the mob obviously, there’s no reason for everyone else to suffer from it. Enough’s enough.