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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