I gather from the fuss in the meeja today that Ireland won something to do with rugby?

Fair play to them, but don't expect me to get enthusiastic about a bunch of blokes running around a field.

As a kid, I went to one of those schools that considered itself to be a rugby school.  It had junior and senior teams that played other schools, and that was well and good until they expected me to play.

As far as I remember, Saturday morning was an official time for attendance, and this is when we had rugby.  We all had to kit out in our shorts and wobbly rugby boots and then run madly around a field behind the school.  We had to form teams and then play against each other. 

They overlooked one small factor as far as I was concerned and that was that if an extremely short-sighted person has to remove their spectacles they tend not to be able to see anything.  So my games consisted of running around chasing vague blurs that might have been my team or might not.  We were bullied around by the sports master who apparently judged how hard we played by how mucky our togs were as we came off the pitch, and he used to belt us around the head if our kit was clean.  I of course hit on the idea of rolling around in the mud as soon as I arrived whereupon I would get belted around the head by my mother for getting my stuff so dirty.  I couldn't win.

I remember one game where I scored my one and only try, and though I say so myself, it was spectacular.  The problem was that I had run over the wrong line.  I did wonder at the time why I was being so viciously attacked by my own side. After that I was relegated to the sidelines, which was tedious and in my book, pointless so I just took to mitching of a Saturday.

Another aspect of school that baffled me was the soccer thing.  I never had any interest in kicking a ball around but it seems there is some unwritten rule that I had to have "my own team".  By this, I mean I had to declare myself a follower of one of the English soccer teams which seemed utterly pointless.  As part of this "following" I realised I was supposed to then memorise the names of everyone who ever played for "my" team, every match they ever played and the score for each and every match and who scored the goals. Add to that the fact that if I did choose a team it meant running the gauntlet of the supporters of the other teams and getting beaten up on a regular basis, and I quickly came to the conclusion that no team was better than "my" team.  I decided to ignore soccer as well as rugby.

In fact I have never supported or followed any sport.  I have played a round or two of golf, and can hold my own on a tennis court but that is about my limit.  I don't "follow" golf, tennis or any other sport.  Don't ask me what I thought of last night's game as I will be completely unaware that there was a game in the first place.  Don't ask me if I'm going to watch the match, because I would prefer to stay at home and stick pins in my eyes. 

At school they quickly labeled me as an oddball.

I am proud to have carried that moniker ever since.


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Oddball — 20 Comments

  1. Well we didn't really win it this time,  France won it for us!  By the way, the womens Six Nations rugby is on today ! 🙂

    • Now you're having me on!  Either the Irish won or the French won.  How can a French win mean a win for Ireland?

      On second thoughts, don't answer that.  I really do not want to know [or care].

  2. Never mind the offside rule, doping, match-fixing and other petty distractions. Always struck me the main problem with any sport is the 90 minutes or so you have to spend hanging around a muddy field on a rainy day before you're allowed in the pub.

    • Just head for the pub before the match.  That's what I do [provided I can fund a pub without a fucking television].

  3. Holding your own on a tennis court is frowned upon these days.

    Watched the three oval ball games yesterday not compulsory true but entertaining for the most part and what struck about all six teams is the men who play in them are coached not to play to their natural ability so when they get into positions where their natural ability should shine through they fuck things up.

    • Holding my own is considerably less indelicate than sticking my head between other blokes' arses.  There is something vaguely unsettling about that sight.

  4. oh i remember school gym well, myself being 6 ft tall, coaches used to get quite excited thinking finally they'd have a proper score person for the girls basketball….which died immediately when i stepped foot on the court. not sports minded couldn't care less about it and at the time, hand eye coordination really sucked. thank you but no thank you, sports were not for me.

    • Our school had basketball courts marked out in paint in the yard but I don't ever remember them putting up the posts and nets.  Being over the six foot mark [even then] I had a narrow escape on that score too.

  5. School rugby…  Being of slight build, the best thing for me to do if I was ever unlucky enough for the ball to come my way, was to get rid of it before some big b***** jumped on me.  Or, if it was foggy, to hide in the mist.  I swapped for cross–country running as soon as I could.  It was horrible, but at least it was all over in 40 minutes.  Happy days… not.

    • That was how I scored my famous try – I found myself with the ball in my hands, and a blurry shape of a hoard heading towards me, so I just ran.  The fact that I ran in the wrong direction was purely accidental.

  6. About 25 years ago when I was living in the south of Greece, I was in a bar chatting to a few Greek lads, and the conversation came (inevitably) round to football. Most Greek lads are fervent supporters of 'their' Greek team, but they are invariably also fervent supporters of an English football team as well. So of course, as surely as night follows day, I was asked which was 'my' team. I said, truthfully, that I wasn't much interested in football and so didn't follow any particular team.

    There was a stunned silence as looks of incomprehension settled on their visages. You could have heard a pin drop. You'd have thought I'd said that I liked killing babies and putting their corpses on spikes outside my house. The reaction would have been similar; a slack-jawed look of disbelief.

    Funny old thing, sport. Hearkens back to the gladiatorial tournaments. Governments love sports. Bread and circuses. Keeps the proles in order.

    • Even now I tend to get the same reaction.  "But you must follow football".  No I mustn't.  It's a great conversation killer!!

  7. A man after my own heart.

    I really would rather watch paint dry than a football or rugby match.

    Give me F1 motor racing every time.

    • F1?  A lot of cars that ultimately go nowhere?  It always looks like Scalextric to me – great fun when a car goes flying off the track, but that doesn't happen too often.

  8. I actually enjoyed yesterday's spectacle. It worked out quite well in that there was a good case for popping to the local at 2pm, and was then 'morally obliged' to remain for the England match to see how the story ended. What I originally envisaged was a couple of pints, but somehow this morphed into 5 or six, all on a sunny leisurely afternoon. Rather pleasant i thought 🙂

    • Pubs + television = very bad thing.  How can anyone enjoy a peaceful pint if the place is full of yobs screaming at a screen?

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