Saturday, 8 October 2016

La Coq Sportive


I have tried to like sport, but it just won't happen. This is not an affectation, it's just the way it is. I mean, why would I deliberately turn my back on yet another way of enjoying myself at weekends?

There was a big rugby match on the Rec outside our compact but adorable city apartment last night, and the blindingly powerful lights flooded our living room. The crowd were roaring and I could tell it was a good match, going in Bath's favour. Half-way through a friend breathlessly texted me saying that Bath were ahead 33-3, but I don't as yet know the final score - because I do not follow rugby.

Every Summer, I get a twinge of regret that I am not at the Glastonbury Festival along with 250,000 other mates, but it doesn't last long. I feel the same way about the Rec's rugby matches, but - once again - the sensation that I am missing out on a party does not last long.

I think it is sports personalities (an oxymoron if ever there was) who put me off. They should stick to what they can do best, but I do understand that they have to be interviewed immediately after winning, and I am impressed that they can talk at all. I need about 15 minutes to respond to any question if I have just climbed the stairs.

I think that if anyone is foolish enough to book an England cricketer to give an after-dinner speech, then they deserve all they get. I would imagine that his speech would be exactly like a really bad one given by the Best Man at a crap wedding, but over an hour long.

The best policy would be to have them warm up on a tread-mill as the guests are having their banquet, then deliver the speech from the same tread-mill, having wheeled it out on the stage with the cricketer still on it. Make them work for their money, that's what I say. The only trouble is that if they are retired and no longer in training, this may double the length of the speech. I didn't think that one through.

A few years ago, a young friend showed me a photo of herself standing next to a man I had never seen before, and they were both smiling for England.

"That's Chris Akabusi!" she virtually screamed.

"Who is Chris Akabusi?"

17 comments:

  1. The name is familiar but can#t remember what he did other than it was definitely sporty. My attitude is like yours I am afraid. Ian Botham lives quite near to us (about ten miles awa) but have never seen him and doubt I would recognise him if I did.

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    1. Look out for a bloke with mullet and moustache, weeing in the gutter.

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    2. You wouldn't say that if you had shared a trans-Altlantic flight with him, and I wouldn't describe him like that to his face. I am a coward at heart.

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  2. Well there are real personalities that are a godsend to the after-dinner cicuit and some of them are former sportspersons. In fact I think I could name a few cricketers that would fit the bill. Rather them helping in the finance of their retirement than say, T.Blair and his ilk.
    Personally, I would not cross a muddy track to 'go' to Glastonbury.

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    1. Yes, but I would not have the same impulse to go up and punch a cricketer as much as I would Blair.

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  3. LeBron James lives near me. I would know him if I saw him, head and shoulders above his body guards. Especially shoulders. Sports heroes here in the USA must have been real people, years ago, but are sadly untouchable now. Sad for them, not for me.

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    1. Well O.J. Simpson seems to be untouchable.

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  4. Years ago I went to see umpire Dickie Bird cracking jokes and spilling a few beans. It was immensely enjoyable. I had too much to drink and bought an autographed book which I promptly lost.

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    1. Dickie Bird was never a sportsman. He was a mean, curmudgeonly, narrow-sighted, and utterly loveable little jobsworth who you could not help but admire.

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  5. The Botham era of Test Cricket was wonderful. It was filled with real characters (who also played a decent game of bat-n-ball). I really haven't bothered to watch any since.

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  6. Radio 4's Dave Podmore stories are really funny, worth a search to hear them.
    Bird & Boycott are too Yarkshire. Small pinch rather than full frontal between the eyes Blair punch

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    1. I love the Podmore series - he really sums up everything I like about cricketers.

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    2. This was a real bit of sledging:

      "How come you're so fat?"

      "Because every time I fuck your wife, she gives me a biscuit."

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  7. Last Saturday the Aussie grand final was on, as storms ripped out the powerlines and internet in my town, for 36 hours.
    No EFTPOS, ATMS, fuel, beer, television or streaming live service, let alone betting.

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    1. No beer?! Now that is a disaster of biblical proportions.

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