September 15: my history of sport

My interest in sport has reached an all-time low. The football season has started up and I’m not interested. This may be the oversaturation that came with the World Cup mania this summer but it may well be something that runs deeper than that. It could be that I have reached the tipping point on old gits like Mourinho having every priceless word pored over by fawning or brow-beaten journalists. It might be the depressingly predictable selection of sleeve tattoos sported by the players, or their bleak collection of beards and haircuts. It might be the tiresome interviews and their PR vetted responses. It all seems processed, mediated, dull, ridden with commercial preoccupations. It could be that this year is the moment that I switch off. That appointment with Match of the Day no longer plays a role in my subconscious (as a boy it was the main date of the week). This would be part of a pattern. Cricket and I parted company many years ago. The idea of sitting for an entire day at the Oval watching distant young men in white, or in pyjamas, depending on which subset of the game we’re viewing, now seems senseless to me. I’d rather eat biscuits at home or have a walk some place or look at some shop windows. I really couldn’t care less about Anderson’s Figures or Cook’s Average or Broad’s Maiden. They sound more like a set of mathematical laws to me these days. There are other sports. The astounding monotony of Formula One. The dire smugness of golf. The unbearable dullness of the tennis interview. The awefulness of the fist pump. As a boy I was the sporty one. My big brother was the clever one. If I’m sporty now, it is of the Train Alone variety (see post of same name). The culture and communality of sport is fast losing its gloss.

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