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My sports scoreboard: hero to zero
It’s the only time of year when I wish we had two televisions. As it is, we have just the one and I’ll have to content myself with occasional snatches of Wimbledon in between Hollyoaks, Big Bang Theory and assorted history programmes which between them keep the rest of the family happy.
Tennis is a great spectator sport: all that huffing and puffing, growling and grimacing – how we love to watch Andy Murray’s mum in action.
On court it’s even better, with fashions to rival the catwalks of Milan – and that’s just the men. Tears, tantrums, traumas, tittle-tattle, Wimbledon delivers the lot. Oh, and tennis too. I went there once, to the Centre Court finals, and would place the experience top of any live sporting event I’ve ever witnessed. I’d give it ten out of ten.
Cricket comes a close second. That probably comes as a surprise: it’s not fast, it’s not furious, it’s not ‘sexy’. But, when as a teenager, I accompanied my dad to Headingley to watch England or Yorkshire I loved every minute – and not only the game. I liked the huge-bellied men staggering with their trays of beer and the Tetley girls whose circuits of the pitch drew Mexican whistles (as opposed to waves).
I love village cricket too, with the atmosphere and gorgeous teas. This one gets seven.
Then there’s football. As a teeanger I loved watching Middlesbrough after selling programmes at the ground. Today’s matches, however, don’t seem as exciting. The last match I watched - 15 minutes of England against Sweden – reminded me of my daughter’s year six netball.
Players spend most of the time passing the ball, seemingly scared to tackle. And whenever someone touches an opponent there’s a lot of rolling around on the floor wailing, as if death is imminent. As a spectator sport I’d award it five out of ten.
Now we are down to the sporting events that don’t sit well in my memories. Watching athletics at Crystal Palace was about as riveting as an afternoon in a launderette. A former boyfriend dragged me along and gosh it was boring. I think I’d need to be strapped to Usain Bolt’s running shoe to be persuaded otherwise. I’d give this three.
Last, and certainly least, is rally driving. I remember trudging through Dalby Forest in the dead of night, with another former boyfriend (the things we do for love) to watch the RAC Rally. It was cold and wet, and we stood for hours on a muddy knoll. Then a pair of headlights appeared, then another, and suddenly gravel was flying everywhere. And that was it. I’ll be generous and give it half.