Here is a fascinating look at social history from Visual Capitalist: a timeline of Google searches across every state, it shows what the different things people were thinking about during 2021. It shows, I think, the extraordinary power of instantly distributed “news” in framing opinion and setting moods.
In the first year of the pandemic, 2020, I wrote and published a book. For the second year, I was determined to be a viewing jock. I believe the hundreds of blog posts here in 2021 show that watching sports was not all that I got up to this year, but they sure were important to me.
I had determined in particular to watch as much cricket, cycling, and rugby as I could cram in; and that I would clock all my sports watching as some sort of exercise, and to see what the numbers could teach me about what I enjoy and what I don’t.
First the overall total: I watched an incredible 70,408 minutes of sports in 2021; the equivalent of 1,173 hours, or 48 full days. For every day of the year I averaged 3 hours 15 minutes of sports watching. Throughout the year there were peaks and troughs of viewing activity:
Much of that was accomplished by getting up very early in the morning in Vancouver while European and East Asian sports (most of my favourites) were available live and online. Most North American major league sports (none of which I follow with much interest) were on while I was busy during the day or evening with other matters.
Here is the complete list of what I watched:
Sailing & Rowing
Not surprising — to me at least — cricket was easily the most watched sport here. And there were so many types of cricket to enjoy. My total includes more than 11,000 hours of Test cricket, 12,700 hours of T20 or T20I (including a great World Cup season), 2,000 hours of ODI, and the balance from County games.
Cycling was made up of 7,660 minutes of road racing, and about a thousand minutes split between track and cyclocross.
Regular readers will not be surprised to see that Sumo makes it into the top five. However, biathlon became a favourite of mine only in 2020, and sports climbing was new to me until 2021.
All of these sports were watched live or within a day or two of the event. However, that is not the case with Horse Racing and Lawn Bowling. About half the lawn bowling was live; the rest were tapes of famous games in the past. However, I didn’t see a single live horse race in 2021, but I discovered on YouTube a cache of all the Grand National races from about 1950 and I watched them all, sometimes blitzing six or seven a day in the summer.
As for Major League sports, I didn’t watch a single minute of baseball or basketball, and my hockey and football viewing was minimal at less than 800 minutes combined.
Well that was that exercise. I know I’ll keep watching sports but I won’t be doing the insane tracking and timing any longer. Sorry to have bored you all with this. Happy New Year!
Today is the 100th anniversary of the change in British Columbia from driving on the left side of the road to driving on the right. I think quite a lot of Vancouver drivers are still learning about this.