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The missing of a beginning

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So I guess some elements of sport that you can avoid.

It took about 2-3 weeks before word of the new English Premier League season reached this writer’s ears. Normally I’d be right across this fact, checking for early signs of form from my beloved Man U and hoping for some signs of weakness from familiar foes such as Chelsea and Arsenal. Sorry, Liverpool, you do not make the cut. At. All.

This time? It took a friend to mention a score to me from the second or third round of action (I don’t know where they’re up to) before I realised that play was underway. This was followed, hilariously, by him reacting in shock horror to my puzzled face, thinking he’d spoiled a ‘media ban’ for me. (I won’t go on about media bans – they are their own posting; their own series of postings. So so many ill-fated stories…) No, dear friend, my confused look was about an inward recognition that the season had started and a pleasant startling that I was completely unaware of it.

So is it different?

Am I pleased that United has started off strongly? Of course. Do I feel less of a part of it because I’m haven’t followed one bit of action. Yes. But here’s the thing; soccer was a sport that I would only watch on my own. It’s not that I’m friendless, though there have been rumours, but more that hardly any of my friends who live in this country are regular soccer watchers.

There’s probably 4 hours a week that I would devote to soccer – the Man United game, the other ‘game of the week’, decided by yours truly, plus the entertaining one hour highlights package every Monday night. For all the soccer haters out there, and ridiculously, there are many, I do have to admit that a long day at work + my recliner + a soccer game can = sleep within a quick period of time. I blame old man syndrome, not the beautiful game.

That’s a lot of time to be plonked on my own watching a sport that draws me away from community. And, unfortunately, there are very few people with whom I can relate an unbelievable match, goal or moment. And soccer haters, there are many; ev-er-y week.


If I was to re-enter the world of sport, I’d have to watch the soccer one carefully. Not having Foxtel will change a lot. There is plenty of access to EPL that I will not have without that luxury. However, I don’t want to punish myself and not be allowed to see any games because no one around is that into it, but nor should I probably be taking in two games + a highlights package each and every week; sitting there, conversing with no one. Keep in mind, EPL would be my no.3 viewing option behind AFL and NBA, so it’s more the icing on the cake than than the foundation. I’m mixing my metaphors; it’s time to move on.

A good solution may be to note down some of the bigger games that United would be involved in and plan to watch those; see who else is up for it and go from there… Tune into the highlights package and possible fast forward through the ‘nothing games’ (sorry if that comes across as United arrogance) and take in the main parts of Man U and their competitors.

Too much?

I know it can sound like I’m making way too much of sport, ‘denying myself the simple pleasures’, as it was put to me recently. But I need to be aware of my own obsessive personality and my propensity to go ‘all in’. Geez I miss poker! Setting up these boundaries can safeguard against falling off the wagon and simply re-immersing myself in the world of sport once May 24, 2012 ticks over … if I make it that far.

One of the great elements of this journey is that it’s got people engaging with this concept of obsession with sport. A number of people have already confided that it’s got them thinking about changing their behaviour in this area and believe me, there’s many more for whom doing so would be a very positive step forward.

All I can do is undertake the journey honestly and authentically and hope like hell United are still in the mix come 24.5.12!


About petek8

Pete Evans has just finished going 12 months without watching any sport. The journey stemmed from a sense that the balance was out-of-whack with my time and my priorities. Everything seemed to revolve around creating enough time and space to fit in the last game, games, recap shows or space to surf the net for the latest numbers and analysis. The cycle never ends - one season leads into another, seasons overlap if you follow various sports and the media's insatiable appetite for a new 'story' means that even the greatest of achievements aren't heralded for more than 3 days. So I stepped away from the machine for awhile and intentionally engaging with the journey by writing about it.

One response »

  1. “I know it can sound like I’m making way too much of sport, ‘denying myself the simple pleasures’ “. – On the contrary, too much sport or attention to the circus around sport deludes us from knowing what the ‘simple pleasures’ actually are in life.


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