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A Year of Sport

It's boxing day, the weather is uncharacteristically mild (remember last year?), and I've just been for a run. I say run, more a wheezing ball of wobbling inertia (probably the result of an overly large bowl of cereal). I don't run out of enjoyment, though I am not adverse to physical activity; I do it to keep fit. Whether or not that's working is up for debate. To keep me sane as I run I usually listen to the radio, or, if local radio isn't too obnoxious, some music. This morning, local radio's finest were replaying some sport interviews. I hate sport, and next year will be the year of sport as London (ie not the rest of us) is host to a fortnight of amateur dramatics calling itself the Olympics before selling off (at least that's the plan) all the assets we (i mean you) have paid for over the last 6 years.
To be specific, it's more that I hate competitiveness. I can't stand it. Every week I have to listen to it because I live next to a little league (ie they all smoke on their way to the pub after playing) football ptich. The noise, the language - even the bigotry (they've been warned about racist abuse ffs) - is awful. It's like listening to a pub at chucking out time on a Saturday night: screaming blokes, roaring and shouting. You can hear them half a mile away - and these aren't even the players!
I abhor all of this. Even if they were well behaved and sportsmanlike in their conduct (as if) I'd still hate it. The whole idea is divisive: for someone to win, another has to lose, yet that vital part of the equation is the recipient of society's scorn. We all have to be winners, losing is for...well losers. Yet how can it be possible for everyone to be a winner! If that were the case there'd be winners because there'd be no measure to define your worth against.
I have no problem with the idea of play, but even as a kid, kicking a ball around with mates was never fun (i've never gotten into football at all, can't stand it or any professional sport) because people took it too seriously. I'm not a skilled athlete nor do I have any desire to be so I get marginalised. This has increased over the years and I am firmly and squarely a nerd. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy being outside and getting physical: walking and cycling in the fresh countryside air is pleasant and enjoyable. But ask me to compete, hell no.
So next year will be the year of sport. All we will hear is how great sport is. How it affords kids opportunities. How it transforms society etc. I'm sick of it already. Why are we wasting money hosting a sporting event we aren't going to win? Professional sports teams constantly overestimate their worth: people are as good as they are. If there's someone better, then that's just life. Why put yourself through all the heartache of trying to make yourself something you are not. Great Britain isn't the world's best country ever and we aren't going to win every medal ever, either. We'll get a few ('we' - that's something else I abhor, this sense of inclusion and entitlement amongst the armchair pundits) and that's it. Then everyone will wail and gnash their teeth and it will all be over leaving the east end of London with a huge white elephant that we will have to slowly sell off. Seems like a waste of time money and effort, and for what? How many kids get to go to a velodrome? How many get to become professional footballers? How many get to train to be world champion divers? Certainly not the experience of sport when I was at school. IN fact I skived off the entire last season of sports when I was at school. I got more exercise cycling home and tried, unsuccessfully, to argue that I could spend my time more productively pursuing English/writing for instance. To no avail. But there won't be an Olympics for the intellect. It's just a massive gravy train benefiting the likes of 'Lord' (explain how one becomes a peer of the realm simply for running fast) Seb Coe.
I'm not looking forward to this at all.


  1. I hate sport too, for the last 30 years there has been football on the field behind my house, not just one pitch, but 11.. every weekend.. from 7 am til 3pm. every week, in rain, snow, hail, lightning. I used to play rugby league, they would pass me the ball and i would carry it usually dragging others with me.. I am built like a tank, until my ankles started to go. The Uk invent a sport and we lose. I turn off the TV when it comes to sport

  2. It's not that I hate sport per se; it's professional sport. It's the mob mentality and the armchair punditry and the lazy mindedness. Sport is opiate for the non religious masses.
    And this vain attempt to protray our national 'heroes' (our?) as being more capable and generally better all round than they are only ever leads to disppointment. We should just accept our skill levels (our?) and accept that? By all means practise, train or whatever (though leave the PE teacher 'no pain no gain' crap at home), but life is filled with people that might be better than you as well as worse. Competition proves nothing and achieves nothing. If everyone won, who'd be the winners?


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