In what can only be described as an unprecedented and wholly out of character act from me, I’ve been following the ongoing Rugby World Cup. Shocking, right? That someone who spends their time deciding whether or not to use coconut and almond or lemon and lime shampoo for thirty-five minutes could be captivated by an activity that essentially involves headbutting some of the heaviest men in sport in a muddy field.
I’ve never really been an avid sports fan, and certainly if I tried my hand at rugby nowadays, I’m sure I would run in the opposite direction, pass the ball to the wrong team and succinctly be sent off in a stretcher with a fractured collarbone, two broken ribs and a punctured spleen. Sports has never been my bag and I know a lot of people who feel the same way. But watching sports like rugby or cricket on the television is a different matter. Not always, but for big events like the Rugby World Cup, I do find myself possessed by this hidden inner patriotism and need to watch the game – if only to make sure my own country don’t lose. Of course, in recent years, that’s been the case less and less, with England infamously missing out on winning the World Cup (once again), and Andy Murray being defeated during Wimbledon, it begs the question: ‘am I missing much if I’m not watching?’ Personally, the answer for me has been an emphatic no. However, there’s always one thing that can hook me in and make me Google the results to see if we’re still in – and that’s the atmosphere.
I hold very fond memories of my trips to Stratford during the London Olympics 2012 and London Paralympics 2012, as it was a rare occasion to actually get behind my country patriotically and reinforce the good in something for once, in a world otherwise peppered with doom and gloom. That’s what I like so much about watching sports – even your otherwise uninterested grandmother can become an avid fan almost overnight. I watched the England vs Fiji game with bated breath and quickly found myself immersed in this rather violent game, picking up the rules as it went on – even caught myself shouting angrily at the referee through the television at one point. Of course, once the game had finished, I kept checking to see when the next game was on, and who was playing. Immediately, I looked forward to seeing Ireland vs Canada – and when I heard that Japan beat South Africa, I pretty much spat my drink everywhere (no offense to the Japanese, it just caught me unaware).
But I digress – my point is that I love how sport has an overwhelming ability to bring people, families, or even the whole country together for the same real reason – pride. I can admit without hesitation that I was very proud to be British when the Olympic Games were being hosted in our capital, and more so when I was there to see the events from the sidelines. That being said, the moment I heard the term ‘snapped Achilles tendon’ I turned off everything electronic and hid in my bed until the cringe thoughts went away. Especially the word ‘snapped’, that’s far too graphic for my liking.
Anyway, what about you guys? Have you been eagerly following the Rugby World Cup? Do you find yourself watching anything and everything sport-related, or are you like me, just as and when there’s a big event? Drop me a comment below and let me know how you feel about big sporting events, and whether they’re worth your time!