I have a terrible confession. I mean, I don’t think it’s terrible, but the way people react you think I’d shoved a cat in a bin or something. And it’s not like my thing, this thing I’m confessing, really impacts anyone else. It’s not particularly weird or gross. I don’t think it is even that anti-social. But I guess you can decide that for yourself.
I’m nervous to tell you. I’ve not had good reactions when I’ve mentioned this before. I’m not really sure why. Is it a British thing? Though American friends found it weird too. I’m stalling. Trying to work up the courage to tell you. Will you think differently about me after you’ve read this? Will you block me? Avoid eye contact if we meet in the library? It’s a risk I am prepared to take for the sake of honesty and full transparency. It’s time. So here goes, deep breath in… and …
I don’t like sports. No, I m gonna say it loud and proud. I hate all sports.
Phew, I feel better already.
Now the sane amongst you will go, ‘Is that it?’ There are surprisingly few of us who will have that reaction.
Most will say, ‘Yeah, I get you. ……………. (insert the name of a sport here) is boring but I love the ………..(insert the name of another sport here.)’
But then they get a little confused look on their face when I say,
‘No, I don’t like any sports.’
The normal pattern for this conversation then follows.
‘Yeah, but you must like the Olympics – all that national pride?’
‘Not even the opening ceremony?’
‘Or the athletics, cheering on the long-distance runners, the fastest man on earth?’
‘The tennis, though?
‘Hang on don’t you live in Wales, Rugby is in your blood – you’ve gotta follow The Five Nations if nothing else.’
And again, ‘No.’
‘Is it watching it on the telly you don’t like?’ a friend asked recently when questioning why I wasn’t watching the synchronised swimming in the Commonwealth games. ‘You need to go and watch these things live, soak up the atmosphere, then you would get into it.’
And again, the answer is ‘No.’
For clarity, I wish to publicly state that I do not like
(send answers on a postcard if you can think of some I might have missed.)
I didn’t even like watching my kids in Sports Day.
I have no interest in watching Sports live, I have no interest in watching them on TV. I have no interest in cheering on a team, a country, a club, an individual or a squad.
I am thrilled that you do. I couldn’t be happier. But I have no interest in you talking to me about it.
My husband, in desperation, when literally no other living person on the planet is available, may try to engage me in banter about football and ‘The Tottenham???’ I sit patiently letting him waffle on, half listening to gauge whether I need to deploy one of my two set responses.
‘I am sorry for your loss.’
‘I am happy if you are happy.’
You see I don’t know if I have mentioned this. I don’t know if I’ve been clear.
I have no interest in sports.
I have no problem with you liking sports. You do you, and all that jazz.
I have no problem with it being the only thing on the telly (well I do, I mean how can there be sport on every channel?)
I have no problem with you cheering along. And yes, it’s great that women’s sports are getting parity with men’s. Absolutely. Go lionesses!
I just never knew how divisive it was to simply not care about any of it. How people’s foreheads would crumple in confusion, how they’d look concerned or just assume I’ve misunderstood while they explain this amazing feat in the diving.
I am sorry if this makes you think less of me. I am thrilled/sad if your team are doing well/bad. The whole competitive thing (hey, don’t You start with the whole, it’s not about competition, its about taking part, it’s about working with a team, about competing with yourself, about being your very best.- see now even you are doing it.)
I do not like sports.
Ooh look though, they’re getting ready for Strictly!!!!!!
Ooh, are you watching?
Who do you think will win this year?