Chewing on My Shin Pads
And so, after a glorious summer of worshipping tearful lady cyclists, cute blond judo champions, and plucky young female boxers, it is with a sigh that I realise the start of the football season is nigh.
I like the game, don’t get me wrong. It is a sensible, honest sport requiring little equipment, all-round fitness and a pair of feet. Much more equitable than, say “equestrianism” (horses, just call it horses).
But it is the dominance of the game – uniquely the men’s game – in our culture that gets me chewing on my Sondico shin pads in frustration. What are young girls suppose to think about their potential relationship with sport if the closest they get to a role model is a handful of stunning Sharapovas in designer mini-skirts once a year at Wimbledon?
I know a lot of people who care about the footy – they are clearly desperate for those dreary Sunday Sportsline round ups on the news channels – but a lot of people couldn’t give a flaming referee’s toupee for it. Politicians have to be seen to enjoy it too, remember those pics of Cameron, Merkel and Obama cheering along at the Champions League final. I wonder who invited the photographers along.
The Olympics has been so refreshing – with the nation genuinely obsessed by everything from pingpong to pole vault. And why not? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to hear about these sports all year round? Wouldn’t it be great to have pictures of lady boxers in the sports pages every week? I’ve had enough of hearing about the exploits of hairy blokes doing a very narrow range of sports. I haven’t got time to decipher a three-day cricket match – give me a short sharp dose of slalom canoe any day.
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