70,408 Minutes of 2021


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:

Cricket29,962 minutes42.6%
Rugby Union7,43910.6%
Rugby League1,6452.3%
Horse Racing1,2001.7%
Lawn Bowls1,1731.7%
Sailing & Rowing1,0111.4%
Motor Racing3080.4%
Ice Hockey2070.3%
Speed Skating950.1%
Ski Jumping100.0%

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!

4 Responses to 70,408 Minutes of 2021

  1. Keith says:

    Jak, I’m a big fan of golf as a long time player and follower of the game. What event did you watch?

    • jakking says:

      Keith: I watched a few hours of the Open, and the balance were a few odd PGA tournaments earlier in the year.

  2. Randy Chatterjee says:

    I, for one, found this a totally cool post.

    First, as a non-cricket-devotee, I could not fathom watching 500 hours of this sport, which most North Americans don’t realize is in fact the world’s second most popular after soccer (aka football to the rest of the world) and ahead of hockey, in third place.

    One of the reasons I never got into cricket was my early exposure to its bastard offspring: baseball.

    I had a teacher back in elementary school who was introducing us to time, fractions, and percentages. Homework one week was for us to watch a baseball game and time how long the ball was in play. Now an average baseball game takes over 3 hours. What we discovered was that the “actual game” lasted barely 7 minutes, or under 4% of the time spent watching it.

    How boring…at least for the “uninitiated.” In comparison, soccer tallies about 50%, hockey around 40%, basketball 35%, and American football 10%.

    So it’s likely Jack enjoyed only about 400 total hours of actual sports action. The remaining nearly 800 hours were no doubt spent eating, drinking, texting, bathroom breaks, or listening to drivel from sports pundits.

    I just hope Jack could mute or skip through all the commercials, which amount to 25-45% of sports programming on cable television, or maybe about 350 hours for him last year.

    And I must apologize: I’ve clearly been out of the loop. I will immediately be ordering an autographed edition of Battleship: Grandview. I love the cover art, and no doubt it will be riveting.

    • jakking says:

      Randy: Let me know when I can get you your book.
      The sports I like (cricket, rugby, etc) are fast all-action events with none of the boring spaces between plays that characterizes baseball and football. I watch virtually no sport on TV; everything is available online with no commercials if you know where to look.

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