Wait until next year

Putting off what could be done tomorrow, today

Category: tennis

Fiction and tackling the British sporting experience

Old football team photo

I read today an interesting article in the Financial Times on the portrayal of sport in fiction. The main argument of the piece is that American authors have never been afraid to tackle the subject and have covered sport extensively, and well. Meanwhile, British authors have been far less inclined to cover sport in fiction, and have been far less convincing when they’ve tried. Reading this piece alongside an article from the Observer covering similar ground a couple of years ago, has left me wondering about sport in fiction, and how sport could work in British fiction. Read the rest of this entry »

Sport is horrible

Sometimes sport is horrible. It should be an escape from the real world, a release from the daily grind. But sometimes it is that niggly, horrible thing that threatens to ruin your day. Today is one of those days. Read the rest of this entry »

Man Crush Friday

I thought I’d follow up on the discussion that took place earlier this week on how wonderful Fernando Torres is, alongside many other things, and highlight a couple more man crushes of mine. While I don’t expect this to become the next huge internet meme, if it does take off to any extent then maybe this could become a regular (fun?) feature.

To help, here’s a definition of ‘man crush’ from Urban Dictionary:

“The highest tier of a man’s love for another man, without having any sexual want towards the man.”

So, who do you idolise in the world of sport, who makes you sigh at their prowess, marvel at their skill, gaze at their cheekbones. Er, no. Not that last one. No. Never confused. Never.


Roger Federer

You could make a strong argument that Federer is the complete tennis player, and on his way to being the best ever. It’s incredible that despite that, and so much success, he seems so grounded. And here is also one dapper man. I think I first developed a full-on man crush on him when he wore a crisp white blazer when taking the field at Wimbledon. Such a wonderful nod to tradition – and such style!

david wright

David Wright

My main Mets man crush. Their best player, de facto team leader, and all-round nice guy. Just see his Wikipedia entry. I was very sad when I didn’t get David on my fantasy baseball team this season. Probably too sad. Maybe next year.

So, who is your man crush this week?


Federer by Squeaky Knees, Wright by Kidsire, both via Flickr

Sports stuff I’ve enjoyed this week

This week I put an inadvertent curse on two sides by making them my surrogate baseball teams and looked at twitter, telly and the future of watching sport, which were fun to write for me, if not fun for you dear reader. By enough about me, what did I enjoy looking at this week?

What have you enjoyed this week?

Watching sport on television – no longer a passive activity?


I recently read an article in the International Herald Tribune about how sports coverage on television in the States is evolving. Cable companies have started to integrate twitter feeds into their service, so viewers can not only watch the feed while they watch a game, but also tweet themselves through their remote control.

mlb.tv, meanwhile, has integrated twitter into its media player, so you can tweet (with hash tags handily added for the game in question) and read the feed as the game progresses. I’ve tried this myself and it really is a fun addition. I imagine it works well with sports like baseball and (American) football as there are so many intervals in play. As the match is made of a series of discrete moments there are plenty of opportunities to tweet, and read other people’s tweets. Would this work so well in a faster-paced sport like basketball, ice hockey or football? I’m not sure.

As the article suggests, this sort of interaction makes watching sport at home a lot more like watching sport in a bar or with friends. Rather than just letting the game wash over you, you can state your opinion and find out what other people think, in real time from the comfort of your very own comfy chair.

‘Interactivity’ isn’t necessarily new in sporting coverage on television. Here in England, the BBC has experimented with ‘red button’ technology, where the viewer can choose which match to watch at Wimbledon, or which audio stream to listen to when watching the football – the TV commentary, radio commentary, or no commentary at all. Sky has offered similar options, plus offering a number of camera options for games. But did anyone ever watch the player cam, focusing on one man all game?

What’s interesting about the twitter developments are that the ‘interactivity’ is all about creating dialogues, between viewers and also between the viewer and the television company. Previous technology has concentrated on providing a series of viewing options. The experience remained a passive one. Now the viewer isn’t restricted to shouting impotently at the TV. Now s/he can share those views. And have them saved for posterity on his/her twitter feed.

Will this revolutionise television? Probably not in the short-term. There will always be plenty of people who aren’t interested in articulating their views, and certainly not interested in reading the views of others. There is also the quality control issue. If the feed is full of drivel, it won’t catch on.

However, if it can be built upon and refined, interactive sporting coverage on television could work. It certainly seems the best ‘genre’ for it. It’s on regularly, has a dedicated and opinionated audience, and its integral unpredictability should, most of the time, bring up plenty to comment on. A twitter feed alone may not be the answer, but something more sophisticated might be just around the corner, that will put a stop to television being a purely passive pastime for the majority of viewers.