Thursday, August 16, 2012

Carlos Tevez for Manchester City (v Chelsea), 12 August 2012

So, the Olympics was great.  We got to cheer a wide range of people we'd never heard of in sports that we could barely identify.  From loudly encouraging a Welsh teenager to kick someone hard in the head to praying that a small Chinese man would hit his noggin on a diving platform, it was a fortnight of memorable sporting moments.

I idly flicked through the channels last Sunday as the Olympic events were drawing to a close and happened upon ITV's coverage of the Community Shield.  And, my heart sank.  Here we go again.  Ten months of whingeing idiots whose ability to kick a ball about is the only thing keeping most of them for a stretch in a young offender's institute.

Next time you see a footballer (Nani, I am looking at you), go down after a tackle like he has been smashed around the head with a high quality frying pan, it may be worth remembering Chris Hoy's Olympic training regime.

“Some sessions deal with technical details and are not so hard but after others you are curled up on the ground, vomiting. It’s grim but you have to do it."

Hearing the stories of world athletes who earn threepence ha'penny, eat nothing but celery and train for 22 hours a day in order to perform for about 5 minutes every four years rather puts the trials and tribulations of footballers to shame.

I don't want to carry on the Daily Mail 'athletes are great, footballers are imbeciles' argument and I acknowledge that it's not a straight comparison.  When realising that the football season was upon us again, though, I just couldn't get excited.  Who really gives a **** if Sunderland pay £15 million for Steven Fletcher?  Who cares about the second round draw of the Capital One Cup?  And who can get excited about a brave new era for English football which sees Michael Carrick and Frank Lampard paired in central midfield (combined age: 65).

Clearly, that won't stop some of the football being interesting and it won't stop us writing about it.  Still.  A mixture of it and modern pentathlon would be great, wouldn't it?

I've mentioned this clip a gazillion times before, but at the start of a new season, never has it been more relevant.



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