Growing up, I hated watching any form of sport. I’m already stressed enough, so watching people run around chasing a ball and getting injured for no good reason.
And they get paid millions for this.
I have never understood the amount of money that sports personalities get paid, especially footballers. Every time there’s something sport-related on the news, you hear the hundreds of millions of pounds that are being thrown about to move people from club to club, and, personally, I don’t see why they need to be paid so much.
Don’t get me wrong, I know athletes are at the top of the game in what they do, and the amount of crap they put their bodies through deserves merit and recognition, 100%. Just maybe not enough for them to be literally making money in their sleep.
So, apart from being made to be goalkeeper in my Primary 7 girl’s football team at school (I was in goals because I was so shit in any other position but they had to include me somewhere), I’ve always been able to avoid sport, whether it be as a participant or an observer.
The only thing I got myself involved in were individual sports. Weightlifting? Running? Count me in- I don’t need to worry about anyone else, it makes me feel good, job done.
Then my boyfriend toddled into my life.
The first few times he talked about rugby, I nodded along like I have done for years while talking to my brother about football. It’s not that I wasn’t interested at all, it’s just that I knew there were a gazillion other things in the world that I’d rather have been talking about, and rugby, compared to football, is such a brutal game, and it’s always made me uneasy how massive men ramming themselves into each other is a sport.
It’s weird how you watch something once and you can get hooked. Over the years, I’ve tried so hard to get into football for my brother, but, after 22 years, the verdict is the same. I will watch games during the World Cup, and that is it. I refuse to give it any more commitment than a few games once every four years.
Then, one Saturday, while waiting for my brother and his girlfriend -who I was meeting for the first time that day(!)- to arrive at my flat, my boyfriend and I watched a Six Nations game (Scotland vs. Italy) that happened to be on the tv. One game turned into two, and to be completely honest, I took to it so much better than any other sport I’ve ever watched on television.
Over the next couple of weeks, I watched a couple of games, and bless him, since that first game, he’s put in heavy effort to explain all the rules of the game to me and how it all works.
Did you know in rugby you can only pass backwards? 👀
I’ve never seen someone be so patient… I reckon he’s described some rules more than once and he’s still fine about me asking loads of questions. I even put a cheeky bet on one game! – I lost though, and £4 down, I do not recommend doing it unless you properly understand how to.
What cemented the new found love for sport?
The day I got my awful dissertation result, I phoned my boyfriend, who, given how little time he’d actually known me at the time, dealt with my tears so well.
That night he said he’d got me something…and I’ll never ever forget this because I honestly did not think I’d react so well to the present he got me to cheer me up. Tickets to an actual, real life rugby game. To see the Glasgow Warriors. Because who else? I mean, at the end of the day, whether or not I liked rugby, I would’ve gone to the game regardless, because who would turn something like that down? But, given that I’d started to get interested in it, it was such a good way for him to give me something different to look forward to after a nightmare day.
And what better way to learn the rules properly and get heavy excited about something than actually be there?!
The atmosphere was something else. We were a bit late, and missed the start of the game, but the whole thing – walking up to the stadium, hearing people shouting on their own teams – was such a new experience, I felt like a kid waking through Disneyland. Or just me walking through Disneyland, because everyone knows it’s the most magical place on earth. 💜 I will fight anyone who disagrees.
He held my hand throughout the entire game and explained everything while it was happening. I didn’t ask for either but appreciated both. In a weird way, it felt like we had something else to have a connection over, and I was so happy I could be genuinely interested in something he loves so much.
Glasgow won! Of course they did, they had to. Who wants to go to their first rugby game and watch their own team lose?!
Since that game, we’ve been to another live one, and we’re watching one on tv together tonight… who would’ve thought that I, of all people, would voluntarily watch a sports game?!
Attendance at one game obviously means I’m a superfan now.