Watching sport is like watching paint dry. Discuss.


So apparently there was an NRL grand final last Sunday night. I didn’t watch it, nor do I know the score. All I do know is that Manly – the maroon coloured jerseys with sea eagles on them – played some other team (I have no idea who) and won.

And a whole lot of people facebooked about it the next day.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had zero interest in watching sport. I don’t follow the swimming. I can’t tell the difference between the different rugby codes. I couldn’t sit through more than five minutes of the Tour de France, not even for the scenery. I could blame my race’s aversion to contact sport for my ignorance, but I’m afraid I have the same attitude towards the tennis (a favourite sport amongst Asians). Nadal who?

Now before you label me some sort of killjoy, I’m not against sport in principle. I saw Invictus. Improving morale, instilling national pride – I’m all for that. I wouldn’t even go as far as Mia Freedman did, when she poured cold water on Cadel Evan’s cycling win by claiming sportspeople aren’t real heroes (though I did think she made a good point). My aversion to sport is far less profound. In short, and I’m getting ready to duck for cover as I write this, I find the whole process boring. Tedious even. I get easily distracted by everything else surrounding the game: the ads emblazoned on the field, the pale fleshed streakers, what Bec Hewitt is wearing on the sidelines.

I’m okay being at odds with most Australians, especially those who pursue sport like it’s their patriotic duty. The only difficulty, though, is marrying into a cricket-loving family. I still remember the shocked expressions the first time I told my in-laws I didn’t understand how runs were scored. My dear husband nearly choked on his beer. So I decided that in the same way one learns how to drink a short black coffee, I’d join in the fun and learn how to at least appreciate cricket. That was four years ago. Since then, I’ve progressed from reading a book during the coverage, to vaguely recognising the players and finally, last summer, actually enjoying watching a Twenty20 match.

Now if I could only remember the difference between running down the wicket and taking someone’s wicket.

Do you struggle to share Australia’s excitement over various sporting events?

Images by today is a good day and cwgreeny.
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9 Thoughts on “Watching sport is like watching paint dry. Discuss.

  1. I’m with you, I just don’t get sport. Thankfully my kids weren’t interested either, and did other stuff instead) Basically, I find it absolutely pointless. Imagine the reaction when I once said to my husband and a couple of his friends that the “problem” of football (and I don’t know one code from another) could be solved by giving each team their own ball so they didn’t have to fight over it. I also think we need to morally question some of the aggression and competitiveness that sport encourages, but I feel a bit like a voice crying in the wilderness when I mention such things.

  2. I eventually figured out how to remember the different footy codes based on social class and clothes. But I’m much more oblivious to sport since I moved out of my family’s house.

  3. The only sport I watch religiously is tennis. I used to watch basketball when I played the game & I do like watching the swimming when Australia has a good team in the competition.

    I had a group of friends over to watch the Australian Open finals this year. It was good fun enjoying food together & getting some harmless competition between the 2 sides going.

    Though it may be that I’m not into sports as much as I am into the players. I like the excitement that comes when I cheer them on. :)

  4. We rarely watch sport unless we are on holidays. Although when in WA we loved hosting the AFL grand final on the big screen and have everyone over for lunch. It’s so big over there you kind of have to join in to have good conversation with workmates etc. We did get pretty sick of how much media attention they get over there – we even were watching the 6pm news when they did a cross to the dressing room and it was empty! They kept it on there for a while talking about it.
    I also have lots of great memories of lying on the lounge watching cricket over summer but I don’t think that will happen again until my kids are old enough to want to do it too – but I’m keen for it eventually. And I do love going to the cricket and enjoying a day eating hot chips and cheering for the team with friends.
    Since getting married I have enjoyed more tennis watching because of M’s family too.
    But no league or union for me – ugh.

  5. well the husband thinks my cricket enjoyment progress would be greatly accelerated once I actually go to a game. I’m up for it, if anyone wants to babysit!

  6. Yep. Actually, watching paint dry is probably more interesting to me, because I wouldn’t have to put up with those annoying commentators bleating in my ears.

  7. Just so you know, ‘the husband’ is not a ‘sports nut’. Not into rugby (either code), afl, or soccer. Tennis is ok, but it’s been a while since I’ve followed a tournament. The only sports I’m into are cricket and formula 1. And formula 1 is not really a sport, more of an artform…

  8. coming to this late , but……lol, I am so with you on this and I’m so relieved I’m not the only one who does exactly the same things when sport is on tv like watch what Bec Hewitt is wearing, what ads are on the sidelines etc:)
    I don’t even understand cricket and my race is no excuse being born on the subcontinent and all, though I’d say I probably know a teeny weeny bit more than you which is not much at all lol!

  9. I’ve noticed people at church and some of my friends are really into rugby, so I’ve been read some articles on the Rugby World Cup matches and try to know vaguely what’s going on. It’s really good for building relationships. You usually just need to start with a tidbit e.g. “Are you following the World Cup?” or “Did you watch last night’s match”, and they go wild. Yak, yak, yak :)

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