Sports Appreciation and Fandom

Cadel Evans in the final time trial of 2011 Tour De France

Cadel Evans in the final time trial of 2011 Tour De France

Today’s Daily Prompt: “Are you a sports fan? Tell us about fandom. If you’re not, tell us why not.”

Am I a sports fan? No, I don’t think I am. I appreciate sport, in fact I just saw Ashton Agar score his 50th run on debut for Australia in the First Test at Trent Bridge between writing the previous paragraph and this one.

To me “fandom” implies an obsession I don’t have. My father was a cricket fan, he watched it whenever he could. Indeed our family got it’s first TV for him to watch the first cricket broadcasts and we got a colour set in time for him to watch the first Ashes series broadcast from England in colour. Not only did he know the entire Australian team well he also had a good handle on all the state players. He was a fan. He was obsessive.

By contrast I’m just an appreciator of sport. I enjoy watching good cricket, I can watch the Sydney Swans play Australian Rules, the Patriots play US football and I even like watching a mountain stage of the Tour De France.

While not an expert I know enough about each of those sports to be an informed viewer and to appreciate good play.

As I write this Ashton Agar has just become the highest scoring number 11 in Australian history and finished the over at 67 runs. His stroke play has been brilliant and the English bowlers are playing right into his strengths. He and Phil Hughes have been together for 97 of Australia’s 215 runs. After a terrible start to our innings Australia has now equalled the English first innings score.

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Taking It Slow

Big bike ride

Today’s Daily Prompt: “You’re going on a cross-country trip. Airplane, train, bus, or car? (Or something else entirely — bike? Hot air balloon?)”

My favourite cross country trip was my first Big NSW Bike Ride. I’ve travelled cross country in cars, buses, trains, large aeroplanes and small aeroplanes and the only thing that came close to the fun and joy of the Big NSW Bike Ride was a trip from Brisbane to Kingaroy in a Robinson Helicopter. I have yet to do a trip by motorcycle and it is high on my bucket list, now I’m over fifty it would be much harder to cover 650 kilometres in a week on a pushbike so a motor holds a definite appeal.

Eight days of cycling over nine days took 1500 cyclists over 650 kilometres. You can read my essay about the ride for some details.

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