It’s amazing. All my life I have disliked sport because, well, it’s boring and I don’t really care. But thanks to maternity leave, I have a wife who has watched the cricket this summer with avid interest, and since it’s always on, I have been watching.
It’s a revelation. Walk up to a group of men and start a conversation with something like “I can’t believe Flintoff was out for seven! Seven! Still, he really shouldn’t have been playing”. Or “Bopara’s finally been dropped from the squad – which is good, because he couldn’t handle it, but you have to feel for him, really”. Or anything like that and you can just breeze on from there through an entire conversation. Amazing, properly amazing. It’s like we have something in common. These same men who wouldn’t *ever* chat about Big Brother or America’s Next Top Model. It’s like that episode of The IT Crowd – “Did you see that ridiculous display last night?” – once you know the manly conversation shibboleth you’re instantly someone else. You’re a man with opinions which can be listened to, and thought about, and commented upon. Not just someone babbling about telly.
WHAT THE FUCK, world? Why did I spend the last three decades ignoring sport? I could’ve been doing this for years.