OK, it is time to bring up sports. I am, I guess, a couch jock: Too old and too battered to join in, I love to watch sports on TV. I follow Chelsea in football, the Canucks in hockey, Jeff Gordon in NASCAR, and — for my sins — I was a most loyal fan of the ever-losing Seattle Seahawks for a couple of decades. I don’t watch much car racing these days (something to do with my wife, the good ol’boy accents of the commentators, and grated teeth), but I still watch English Premier League on a Saturday morning, and hockey whenever the Canucks are playing, but my real sporting joys are elsewhere.
This post is written in celebration of the fact that about ten minutes ago England won a cricket Test Match against New Zealand. Cricket is without doubt the greatest game ever invented and I can watch it endlessly. Especially the Test version of the game, which can take up to five days to play, and in which time plays a strategic role as well as tactical. It is almost luxurious to watch the steady progression of a Test Match compared to the abbreviated One Day versions of the game, and even more so to the chaos that is the 20/20 version (three hours at most from start to finish) that administrators and marketers think is the future.
And then there is sumo. A sublime sport, I have written before how lucky we are to live in the age of Asashoryu the Great. I have also described how Asashoryu and sumo became part of the year of asterisks in world sport. We are currently eight days into the 15-day Spring Tournament (basho) in Osaka, and Asashoryu has regained his position at the head of the pack. My wife’s favourite — the other grand champion (yokozuna) Hakuho, a Mongolian like Asa — is in second place along with several others. Thank goodness we can get JapanTV on premium cable!
This fellow was an enthusiastic amateur at a North American tournament we attended some years ago.
And don’t get me started on road cycling! I’ll leave that one until closer to the major tours this summer.