summer sport

I had a great day yesterday. Old mates Mike and Jake collected me in M’s new Saab convertible and we headed off top down, weather glorious to watch a Man U XI play Peterborough. This is the only match I can recall where father and son were the rival managers, Sir Alex and son Darren of course. Loved it when the fans started singing Fergie Fergie give us a wave and they both looked unsure as to which of them it applied to. Darren obliged – the only real time he beat dad all day. Man U ran out 3-1 winners but it was a closer game than the score suggests. Top draw for us was Owen Hargreaves making his MU debut in the second half. He’s going to be such an influential player this season given Man U’s attack, attack style.

Anyway this posting is not really about the game itself but how much I enjoy watching footie (or indeed any sport) when the weather’s sunny. We just had a great day: firstly Mike paid for my ticket which was really swell (mind you the deal is that I have to pay for the tix to the Champs league final if Man U make it!), we had a laugh and a catch up like blerks do talking about women of course most of the day (Jake’s 18 now and understands this stuff now – probably better than us) and we had great pies from a fantastic little refreshment bar under the stand. Sublime.

On the other hand we regretted not wearing shorts (not least when our chinos and jeans became covered in grease from under the seats) as it was such a warm day. There wasn’t a jacket or coat in sight, I couldn’t believe how many girls there were who were dressed like they were walking round the marina in Puerto Banus, everyone seemed in a great spirit – we openly supported Man U within a predominantly Posh supporting stand – and Mike and I got a nice head tan. No hassle, no aggressiveness just good friendly banter.

Why do you suppose football decided to plonk it’s core season during the cold miserable autumn/winter months? Was it because cricket was once the king of sports and everything took second place to it? How much more enjoyable it is to watch the game whilst the weather is at its best. That’s why most major championships like the World Cup are such fun to attend.

Think about it. Do you remember playing on some windswept pitches on a grim Sunday morning like at Hackney Marches, running off at full time, frozen, only to find there’s only cold water in the showers (if you were lucky). Or as a wife, girfriend, mum or dad supporting from the sides absolutely frozen and unable to get warm, desperate to drive back home for a cup of tea. I know it was character forming and all that but why did we elect to do it when logic suggests the season should start in March and end in October? And how much nicer does the glass of beer taste on a scorching day?

Does anyone have any insight into the reason for ignoring such compelling logic? Who cares. Thanks for a great day M and J.


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About Paul

Having decided on a change of life by moving home from the UK to Italy, this is the story and thoughts of a man on a personal journey from the Blackpool Tower to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, in search of la dolce vita. After several olive harvests he's now back in London but en route he shares his very personal perspectives on life.

2 thoughts on “summer sport

  1. Which makes it all the sadder that county cricket is such a boring sport – or have things changed in the 20 years since I last attended a match? It is odd that the two most exciting spectator sports (footie and rugby of course) are winter sports and summer gets the thrills of cricket, golf, rowing and whatever. Even here across the pond baseball owns summer and American football gets going in September.

    Here’s a memory for you. When I was around 7 or 8 my Dad would take me to see Celtic. These were pre-seated stadium days, so to see anything, the kids were passed overhead man-to-man until we reached the front wall where we could stand and watch the game. Unbidden, 5 minutes before the final whistle, some stranger would pick me up and hand me off back up the terraces until I finally wound up with my Dad again. How did this work? How did 1000 kids get re-united with the right Dad in the midst of 50,000 – 75,000 fans all standing? Can you imagine this happening today? Not likely given the level of paranoia that exists.

  2. hi brian

    yep it’s weird that all the less popular sports are in the summer. why is that? county cricket is still a crowd puller over here – sometimes lancashire attract over 150 people i’m told. actually there was a massive surge in interest with the advent of 20/20 crash bang wallop cricket and of course with the ashes win but a lot of that has dissipated i think.

    i know what you mean about the footie and the kids – it used to happen a bit at blackpool where i went to watch my local team but a lot at places like the Liverpool Kop. You’re right it’d never be allowed now. another tradition gone forever like standing, the rattle, the pink ‘un (its a footie results newspaper ladeez) and man city winning the premiership. Ha! roll on tomorrow.

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