You might have thought I’d be talking about some ghastly ill advised arts coverage, or maybe something David Cameron has said about poor people being fed to the rich, or even football, at least something I am vaguely knowledgeable about. But no, the Olympics has brought out my worse side, the armchair sportsman, formerly restricted to test match cricket and world cup football, now my sporting insight knows no bounds.
You see it used to be that I would be critical of sports people playing the sports I myself played. That seemed sensible, I know the rules at least, and I can throw in some jargon to give myself the appearance, the facade of knowledge, insight and experience. But now… It’s all changed. Now I’m watching swimming.
For the record I hate swimming. I hate swimming for 3 reasons: 1# I can’t swim, 2# I have a fear of drowning, #3 people think I should get over my fear of drowning by swimming which inevitably leads to increased drowning.
Yet despite this I find myself offering insight into everything from the correct way to turn when doing the backstroke, the best race pacing, my early race predictions, whether it’s better to be bald or wear a swimcap (bald), and why the butterfly is the hardest stroke (because you have less time above water). Now, all my insights are uniformly incorrect, and I know this, yet when confronted by Olympic swimming my mind goes into a frenzy and I feel compelled to educate those around me, much to their annoyance.
So here it is, I know nothing about swimming, I hate swimming, but I want to talk about it, I think I just get caught up in the moment, the excitement. I hate that we as a nation have spent billions on these games when citizen’s are living in poverty, but I find myself being won around by the drama of them, how they bond everyone together in the shared ambition, the same dreams, the desire for an underdog to pull through, the against the odds stories.
So I’m taking my new found insight as a positive, a positive by-product of the Olympics, inspiring me to look at new things I’ve previously hated in a new light, and giving cricketer and footballers a rest from my tirades.
But enough of Swimming for now, there are other sports to master from the comfort of the sofa…
Wait, what’s on now… Football?!
Oh dear oh dear.