I rarely watch any sport, and have no interest in it, but found myself watching the F1 race in Monaco yesterday. This is always hyped up as being the best race of the year, as they drive through the streets rather than on a track.

Now, I’m not a driver of anything. I don’t much understand cars. I have no interest in tyre strategy. And it seems to be that a course where it is almost impossible to overtake does not make a good race.

For various reasons I did not understand, restrictions and rules about what was allowed I think, this was as uncompetitive a race as you could see. It was basically a procession around a course. I think they finished in the same order they qualified (sorry if I am wrong, but it was something like that). I fell asleep for a good while, woke up and nothing had happened.

I was not the only person who thought that. Even Lewis Hamilton thought it was pretty boring:

There’s another kind of car racing where they use cars with electric engines. The batteries don’t last half the race, so I think they swap cars half way through.

I knew someone who went to the British grand prix every year. Years ago she was paying upwards of £100 ticket. Current prices seem to go into the thousands. Sitting in a stand, she said, you could watch the cars zoom by once every couple of minutes, but it was hard to tell who was who. They have big tv screens, she said, so we watch it on that.

Boring stuff.


Unfair play

I have no interest in sport of any kind. At school we had to play rugby in the winter and cricket in the summer, but no-one ever explained what you had to do, so it was difficult. Maybe you were just supposed to know, but mine was not a sporting family. My dad watched football (soccer) a bit, but that was that.

I do, once in a blue moon, watch cricket. Maybe once a year. The shorter games can be entertaining.

Cricket has been in the headlines recently, when Australian players were shown to be using some yellow thing to alter/damage the ball to gain an unfair advantage over the South Africans they were playing. When challenged, they lied about it, bigly. Having been caught out, we were treated to the three players who admitted being involved, plus their coach, hosting press conferences and crying for the world. Thinking of all the millions of dollars they would be losing I suppose, and the fact they had been caught lying. But who cares that they have wrecked their careers, if indeed they have.

Now, other players in the past have been caught ball tampering, so it’s nothing new. And I am guessing that very many more have got away with it, so it’s not that unusual.

So what? It’s just a game, a sport, throwing a ball and running about a bit. For lots of money, of course.

The words ‘sporting’ and ‘sportsmanship’ are common in life, and indicate some level of fairness. But sport isn’t fair. Some people are better than others, and some people win without letting others have a chance. It’s competitive, not fair.

But I don’t mind that. I truly believe that athletes should be allowed to take drugs, tamper with balls, cheat in whatever manner they like, just so long as we know. Knowing that athlete X ran such-and-such a distance in record time but had taken drugs A and B is fine. You can accept it or reject it, as you choose. Either way it’s meaningless. We would have two tier races, people who were ‘enhanced’ and those who are ‘normal’.

Several sports are said to be sports for ‘gentlemen’. Cricket is one, so is snooker. But cricketers lie often. They claim catches when the ball has clearly hit the ground. They say that a ball has not hit the boundary rope when it has. They claim for lbw even though the batsman hit it. That’s how sporting they are.





I have never really ‘got’ sport. I understand why it appeals. It’s mindless. Some sports ‘allow’ people to be abusive, violent, racist, drunk and it’s an acceptable excuse to do those things.

At school we played rugby something. No-one ever explained the rules, so it’s very hard to enjoy something if you don’t know what is going on. In the summer it was cricket. For a time, when I was maybe 10, I followed football a bit. Scarborough Town. Don’t think they exist any more.

I do understand darts, if you can call that a sport. Throw things at a target and get points. And snooker. Actually, watching snooker on tv used to be great as Ted Lowe had a soothing voice that sent you to sleep, but the current commentators talk all the time and very loudly and say nothing. One snooker ball is much like an other, except for the colour, and it’s all fancy potting and very little of what the game name implies, snookers (ie tactical play). And the current players lack personality. Too much money in the game, I suppose.

I get golf too – hit a ball with the stick.

The worst is formula 1 racing. You’d think it was about drivers driving cars quickly to see who is the fastest, but it now seems to be about the colour of the tyres they have. I know someone who loved it and went whenever she could. More than 15 years ago she was paying nearly £100 per person for the British grand prix. I asked what she saw. The cars zoom past, apparently, but you can watch them on a big screen!

I guess Wimbledon starts soon. There is all the clamour for tickets for the main courts, to see the British player, hey let’s not be jingoist, but then they all go off and the place is empty.