It’s Saturday. This how my day should go: Find out which football match starts at which time, which games my favourite pub up the road, Shermans, is showing, and, basically, that’s my Saturday pretty much sorted. Sunday it’s the same routine. Hopefully, I can work around the various social occasions that frequent most of our weekends. Monday morning, scouring the internet, looking for reaction from all the world’s media. There’s usually European matches on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and when my team is involved, everything else stops for those 90 precious minutes. There’s the various blogs podcasts to read and listen. It never stops.
There’s also Rugby Union, major Tennis championships, and plenty of other sports to keep me well interested. In the summer, there’s plenty of cricket going on around the world to keep me well occupied in much the same way. If it’s England v Australia, that’s unmissable, whether watching overnight if it’s in Australia, or during the day if it’s played in England. That’s seven hours a day, over five days, and, something my American pal doesn’t understand, no guarantee of a win for either side. The cowboy doesn’t get “draws”. For me, it’s utterly compelling.
Then, suddenly, nothing. Absolutely nothing. Quite rightly, all top sport, around the world, is off the agenda until further notice because of the Coronavirus. No live sport about which to get totally excited or completely despondent. No reaction, anywhere. No pub, no socialising and enjoying banter with like-minded sports fans. Nothing. Sport is dead. Long live Sport.
It’s a shit time.
One tiny beacon on the horizon – professional football is still being played in one European country. Belarus, where the Belarusian Football Association has decided that they will continue. So, after checking exactly where it is on Google Maps, a decision to be made. Who to support. My eldest son gives me the inspiration. He’s decided on the mighty Isloch, who tomorrow, prepare to do battle with Slutsk, which sounds disgusting; Slutsk play in a tiny stadium with a capacity of 1,876. I thought you might like to see it. Somewhere online, apparently, I will be able to find a stream of the match. What fun, what unmissable entertainment beckons!
This, my friends, is to what many football fans have descended. I absolutely mean no disrespect to the football in Belarus. It’s infinitely better than no football, but only just. Sorry.
Yes, it’s a shit time alright.
No sport anywhere
Before we get to the TV sports activities, with all that coronavirus freaking out I’m already missing my own sports, both karate sessions and my park runs. I wouldn’t say I recently was an often karateka, still I can’t even do those modest one or two sessions per months now as it used to be. It was a good way to switch off from everyday routine for a couple of hours to get some good physical and mental boost. Now the dojo’s doors are closed, till the war is won. I also had to cancel a trip to take part in a tournament in Riga, Latvia, scheduled for the end of March. Maybe next year.
Same with my runs: the nearby park is closed: here in Moscow it is not allowed to go out for an exercise. This is a pity and not justified in my opinion as I run alone anyway. Always. Except for our great runs with Roger when I visit Cyprus. Hope it would be lifted soon so I could resume my personal meditations while running down the park lanes…
Now to the main topic.
Watching various sports, from hockey to football, has always been a big part of my life. Now, as many other chapters, this one is omitted for some time. Definitely till summer. I absolutely miss the green pitches of the English Premier League that I enjoyed to watch since early 2000s when Man United ruled the landscape with its class of ‘92. True, Roger, there were some bright moments for Arsenal back then, too. But I must say, If Liverpool would be denied the title this season it would be, to say it politely, unjust.
I also loved watching winter activities including extreme ones such as snowboarding: it is a very beautiful TV picture by itself when you see the snowy mountains, pine and spruce trees, such a nice contrast: white snow, green spruces, blue skies… Gorgeous… all these things connected with snowboarding … On the other hand, the season would be almost over by now anyway…
Honestly, recently, with two little kids, I haven’t had much time to watch sports anyway. This is probably the biggest reason why I don’t miss it so much now during the total lockdown. Soon the kids would grow up. Even sooner the quarantine would be lifted. Good times are just around the corner. And then, once again, I will enjoy the Premier League having a beer or two…
The biggie in the US has been the cancelation of Basketball. That is a major sport in North America and it not being on TV at the very moment the Networks are seeing their ratings jumping up is — awkward.
Of course the sport did the right thing and put the lives of the fans & players before money. Not all can make that claim. While the Olympics were the highest profile cancelation, they took their time in doing it; complete with a Trumpian wish that it would all magically disappear.
Ah, but the French… oui, we may yet see a Tour de France. However, the team coaches and leaders from the various participating nations may yet put the knife in that event. I’ll refrain from editorialising as any normal person already knows what I will say.
What interests me is how the homebound, sport-less prison population will respond inside their marriages. Will there be a little baby boom in nine months? It seems crazy that a country could lose a million people and see its population actually go up. All those poor children going through life knowing the only reason they are here is because we couldn’t get down to the Pharmacy.
Or maybe a divorce spike the third week in April. “I can’t take it anymore, open the damn courts NOW!”
I could be wrong, of course. Maybe millions of men will come out the other end hooked on Soap-operas. Wondering if Brad really is the father of Monica’s baby after all. Creep!
And all because Basketball Season was cancelled…