As a very very young person I used to physically despise all sport that wasn’t football. My grandfather used to take me to motor-cross but I didn’t consider that a sport – it was more a form of full sensory, mind bursting terror on two wheels. The smell and the noise of the bikes, the proximity to death, the flying mud, the riders, with faces hidden like super-villains, hurtling towards me – ah the thrill reverberates still.
Anyway, as I got older I realised that I didn’t actually hate other sports, what I hated was that, with only three channels on the TV, was the absence of football. Any sport that was on TV in this limited amount of space that wasn’t football had clearly been put there by some deluded idiot who didn’t understand that the only sport that the entire world required was football.
Then there was no football on TV. You try and tell anybody under 30 that there was a season where there was no football on TV at all and they will consider you with the same expression they use when trying to imagine a world without mobile phones or with white dog shit festooned across the nation’s pavements.
Worse still there were seasons where the only football on television was provided by ITV: the scale of ITV’s incompetent clueless bungling witnessed today is a miniature version of their f**king uselessness in the 1980’s. Rather than have a highlights package they would show one live game a week and assume everybody would be delighted to see Liverpool again.
People resorted to watching snooker or American football or became predatory sexual deviants – seriously there were no perverts trying to snatch children off the street back then, kids used to play outside. Honestly. In my opinion this is ITV’s fault so I never watch it.
Now of course there is far too much football on television and there is no longer a “one thing or the other” argument. Also I have got older and have become more tolerant to other people’s pastimes. I admire people who entirely turn their backs on the corrupted money making machine that is top flight football.
“Good for you” I think. In fact I recently stopped on a cycle ride to a nearby pub to witness some young folk scorching around a field on off road bikes. “That looks like a lot more fun than watching Newcastle United lose,” I said to Wifey and she agreed.
There is no need to complain about any sport, if people enjoy it good for them, I don’t have to be bothered by it. Formula 1 racing may be a deliberately wasteful and indulgent insult to everybody in the world who isn’t a multi-millionaire but it is easily ignored. These days we can dip in and out of any sport that might tweak our interest and there is no need to get involved in anything that doesn’t. Everyone can do what they want sport wise. Live and let live, each to their own and it takes many colours to weave this rich and beautiful tapestry we call life on earth in 2014.
But f*ck me if golf isn’t a game played by, watched by and talked about by utter wankers. I f*cking hate golf. I hate shops that sell golf stuff, I hate the very idea of golf clubs except that they keep people who like golf away from me. I hate the fussy manicured grass and the daft shoes and the sun-visors and the way people talk about it like it is an actual thing that deserves contemplating. I used to live near a golf course in Gosforth and I was horribly aware that I could be killed by a golf ball when passing. To actually die of irony? It is one of the reasons I moved. I have friends who play golf and I have to suppress the urge to punch them in the face whenever the subject comes up.
When they cut to an item about golf on Sky Sports News I find it physically offensive and inappropriate. I would be less horrified if the presenter suddenly said, “And here is some footage a man being bummed to death by a bull elephant” before actually showing a man being bummed to death by a bull elephant, while I was eating my Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes.
They were talking about golf on the radio this morning and there was a comment that Rory Macklehooey or Ernie Eels would win some sort of green coat if he could use his expensive stick to pot the little ball with fewer hits than the other wankers or something. A f*cking green coat? What the f*ck is that about? What a stupid pointless thing to come home with. *
“Oh there is a lot of money in golf,” people say to me when I express this hatred. So? So f*cking what? And why? Why this expensive collective stupidity persists is what troubles me most, like I expect some golfer to look up at some point and say, “What the hell are we doing this for, does anyone fancy a pint?” This is not going to happen so I imagine a Day of Judgement where some awesomely powerful deity or species turns up and says, “Justify golf, go on, look at the state of this planet and the horrible mess you people have made of it and then tell me you went off to play golf instead of doing something about it. You horrible, horrible wankers.” The human race would then be condemned to extinction and quite rightly so. And that’s why I hate golf.
(* I suppose many sporting trophies can seem absurd when taken out of context, fortunately as a Newcastle fan this is a subject I rarely have to wrestle with.)