Friday, 3 September 2010

Sport and stuff.

Yesterday my brother turned 26 which is for me rather odd. I find it difficult to even believe that he has pubes. I have however been told by a number of reliable sources that he does. Question - is it appropriate to start a blog discussing my brother's pubes? It's too late now. I've done it because I am a RENEGADE. We celebrated by having a game of tennis in which he, of course, beat me. He has been doing this since he was about 5 and being four years older than him it's a source of genuine hurt and frustration that will no doubt bring about my eventual demise.

This brings me neatly onto my love of sport. It doesn't actually but I thought I could just slip that past you. I love sport a lot. Far more than someone of my astonishing IQ (over 100!) and qualifications should. I once said that for my retirement I'd like to get Sky Sports and just spend my days watching 'all the sport'. My brother recently pointed out that that is what I have ended up doing well before actually starting any kind of pension. Writing that down is, thinking about it, quite depressing. Not only did I fantasize for myself one of the dullest possible retirements but I chose to take that retirement 40 years early. Hang on tv producers, just to clarify I am still available for work and only have enough money in the bank to cover the next couple of months.

It is impossible to explain to someone who doesn't 'get it' just why I love watching and playing* sport so much. Both my parents hate it. I grew up in Newcastle and instead of taking me to watch my beloved Newcastle United every Saturday my dad would take me to craft fares and stately homes. Perhaps it was a kind of rebellion on my part. Most teenagers (I am told) blare* loud music their parents hate from their bedrooms in angst. My parents were both quite embracing of my music tastes. For the record my mother's favourite Wu Tang song is 'What The Blood Clot'. My dad showed his appreciation by saying that EVERY single thing me or my brothers played sounded like the 60s psychedelic group 'Gong'. Instead, I expressed my adolescence by demanding that we watched Match Of The Day and faking sick days so that I could watch Wimbledon and the World Snooker Championships. I did that every year by the way and always got away with it. In... your... face... system!

Now that I have the disposable income of a forty year old gay man I go to watch an awful lot of football. I know no one who loves it quite as much as me so I end up going to most of the games on my own which weirdly doesn't bother me. My adopted London team has become Leyton Orient and I go to see them most weekends. At Orient the stands are filled with pale, podgy freakish looking men who are no doubt divorcees and live on microwave shepherd's pie. In essence they are me in 10-15 years time. One constant at football games is the abuse of players, officials and surprisingly often stewards. I went to one game last year in which the chap behind me was moaning loudly about how shit we were playing within 20 seconds of the game kicking off. It was far too early to make an assessment of how well the team were playing but he had obviously had a bad week at work. The football match provided him with a setting in which it was socially acceptable to shout 'you fucking lazy cunts!' and he took it with open arms. He probably didn't even like football.

I on the other hand do. I really really do. My love for it is so abstract that I can't properly describe it. It's something to do with the fact that it is fairly unpredictable and means a lot to a lot of people. I think what happens is that a large group people decide to care about one effectively meaningless thing (a match) and therefore our collective investment makes it really important and therefore more enjoyable. R U wiv me?

Tomorrow I'm going to see Orient play away at the mighty Dagenham and Redbridge. I will be joined by the recently crippled Holly Walsh and her (stunning) boyfriend Jon. My hope is that they develop a love for the Orient that will result in us attending all Orient games together until the end of time. What will actually happen is that they will say they had an amazing time and would really like to come regularly but when I give them the opportunity they will be mysteriously unavailable. I've been stung before. Time and time again.

* I realise I do not have the body of a man who plays a lot of sport. Pool is a sport.

* Is the word 'blare' ever used in any other context? Similarly the word 'beck' is only used in the phrase 'beck and call' and the word 'incredible' is only used in the phrase 'Fergus Craig is an incredible man'.


  1. I'm enjoying all your blogs. Do you take requests? Can you do one about your ankle one day?

  2. Definitely. Then I will go through all my other body parts.

  3. That's OK, as long as you don't ever write about your he-vage

  4. Surely that's he-vag? Vagina is not spelt vagena. I know because I've seen 4 of them.

  5. I only know this because it was a cover line on CITY AM today.