Tuesday 2 July 2013


My husband said it best the other night to a friend of ours when he said, “if my wife and I won the lottery we’d probably do a lot of sitting around watching sports.” The man does know me tremendously well – although I think we’d be watching sports on our flat screen TV on our yacht as we sailed the Med and sipped Mojitos. But he more or less got it right.

I’ve talked a lot about sports on this blog because I have always thought that they are perfect microcosmic example for what occurs in life. Talk about a psychological/sociological cauldron of human behaviour...with prize money! What could be more entertaining. As I watch Wimbledon for instance (as it currently is my favorite time of year being Grand Slam season) it’s all right there in a nutshell: winning, losing, unexpected pitfalls, injuries, loss of composure, the gamut of human emotion, all for our enjoyment as spectators. Not to mention, we witness the adulation of heroes (and we know how much society loves a hero), and what society loves even more, but these heroes subsequent fall from greatness (we're so gross). This being one of the chronic debates in this house as I am the perpetual loyalist (“Okay, so he’s 35, but he still has a great backhand”) as my husband likes to talk about everyone’s downfall (“That’s it! It’s the end of an era, he’s done!”) You see, we're such a fitting metaphor, back forth, back forth, just like a tennis ball.

This year Wimbledon has been anybody’s game, top seeds have been left reeling by young upstarts out of nowhere (or grafters who have been quietly existing with not much glory to speak of) who suddenly find themselves neck deep in their 15 minutes of fame - the dragon slayers as my husband calls them. Funny thing about the dragon slayers, very few end up sticking around; for in any sport (and in life) it’s not just about talent, but consistency of talent. So we’ve seen the underdogs make it one round only to be ousted in the next – which always pisses me off as if my player gets knocked out, I’d like his victor to take the whole damn tournament. Seems only just.

The other thing about sports is that it feeds into the human need to root for something, or conversely to dislike and root against someone. It also of course can play heavily into one’s emotions, because let me tell you, when my player loses (and I have a habit of backing the wrong horse), it can take me days to get out of my funk. I know, I know, it sounds ridiculous, but whole cities (countries even: HELLO ENGLAND) can be dictated by a team’s win/loss record. In fact, some cities become so used to being identified as the city that holds the team that never wins they actually learn to embrace it. England as a country has a long love/hate history with sports, merely ask someone about the English football team (esp. during World Cup) and you’ll get a variety of (rant filled) answers wrapped up in a whole heap of emotion. I think I’d rather be a coal miner than an English athlete on a losing streak.

As for the King, he is quickly realizing the joy, amusement and subsequent inevitable disappointment of watching sports (we’re not quite at the stage of playing team sports, so I’m sure these emotions will increase exponentially as the years go on). He now actually thinks that every time we turn on the TV it is time to yell ‘come on! (or Vamos, if Nadal is playing)’ at the screen, even if there is news on – which depending on the story is very fitting. We’ll make a spectator out of him yet. 

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