Although it has been a pretty wretched summer weather-wise, the last few months have been rich in terms of sport.
The weekend just gone was a case in point. On Saturday England’s cricketers were playing a crucial One-day game against India – effectively a final in a seven match series which was poised at three-all. Federer was on show in New York. Football had an important game for Euro 2008 qualifying as England played Israel. The rugby World Cup kicked off. The men in lycra were madly pedalling through Spain in La Veulta and on Sunday another bunch of cycling lads set off on the Tour of Britain.
Additionally motorsport was in full flood with Formula One at Monza, World Superbikes were doing their stuff at what I still think of as the Lausitzring (Eurospeedway – what’s that all about?), and Scotland’s own Dario Franchitti was evoking memories of the great Jim Clark as he drove to win the IndyCar Championship in the USA. Oh and Asafa Powell, the Jamaican sprinter, was busy breaking a world record.
These are just the sports I try to follow, so goodness only knows what else was happening.
With the cricket Twenty20 World Cup about to get underway, I am beginning to wonder whether there comes a point where there is simply too much sport. Particularly when one actually wants to be out there on a fine early autumn day indulging in a bit of sporting activity oneself. It’s a terrible dilemma – do you take advantage of the dry times to nip out for a couple of hours cycling, or rush home from work to check out what your various teams or individuals are doing? The healthy option, of course, is to take the exercise, and think – oh I can catch up on the results at the end of the day. But catching up on results has none of the excitement of following an event live – be that on television, radio or through the magic medium that is the interweb. So time after time over the summer and now autumn, my cycle waits patiently in the hall, or is only taken for a quick trip along the coast for a couple of miles, as I choose to spend hour upon hour glued to digital or longwave radio, the telly and my computer, multi-tasking as I attempt to keep a grip on up to five different contests at once.
It has been suggested to me, when I moan about the fact that I have a backlog of sports pages and magazines to get through (I have scarcely read a book for months – not even for my Book Group!) that I limit my enthusiasms – concentrate on just one or two sports. But how can you do this? If you enjoy, just as example, the sight of 100 or so fit young men in lycra speeding along country roads in France, Ireland, Spain, or even England at the same time as enjoying fit young men in leather muscling whacking great motor bikes around tracks across the world, or even not-quite-so-fit chaps in white, or strange pyjama garb, wielding the willow and hurling the red or white ball around, how can you just stop watching?
You can’t, you see, it’s just too much choice and too much sport.
Damn, gotta go and check the end of the Middlesex v Derby match before pumping up the bike tyres – I think I have a window tomorrow for a quick zip along the cliffs before I immerse myself in the Twenty20 tournament, while keeping an eye on my Division Two county boys as they start the last few matches of the season.