In Martin P’s continued absence (we very much hope to have him back soon), Bernie Owen has again taken the reins and has decided to take us through a few alternatives when there is no Norwich City to occupy our weekend.
All yours again, Bernie.
These pesky international breaks allow plenty of thinking time (always dangerous – Ed) and in doing so it got me wondering what sport or sports Canary diehards follow in the two weeks of yellow and green hiatus.
Do you stick with the football and watch the internationals?
But, this time, that brought its own challenge – England played (and narrowly beat) Australia at football on Friday but that didn’t feel right when the big battles with those guys should surely be reserved for the cricket and rugby fields.
So, let’s start with the cricket. Fortunately, there are some World Cup Finals going on in India – the 50-over variety – and so far England have been thrashed by the New Zealanders, done much the same to Bangladesh, and yesterday succumbed miserably to their first-ever defeat by Afghanistan.
I was boggled by the crowd at the New Zealand game. There were a reported 40,000 plus in the stadium but it looked empty. After a bit of research, I discovered the stadium in Ahmedabad (pictured above) is the biggest cricket arena in the world and is capable of holding 140,000. No wonder it looked empty!
There is plenty of time to catch up on the cricket as it goes on for weeks and so, for now, we’ll ignore England’s tepid defence of their world crown.
Now let’s head to rugby union where there is also a World Cup going on. Over the weekend the quarterfinals took place with England, Wales, and Ireland all involved. Someone put weed killer on the Flower of Scotland as they, along with the Aussies, did not make the last eight.
As it transpired, the Welsh were the first to fall by the wayside when they were beaten by Argentina in the first quarterfinal on Saturday afternoon and were followed to the exit door a few hours later by Ireland, who lost to the All Blacks in a proper humdinger.
England had, on paper, the most comfortable route to the semis but it was lost on no one that their opponents, Fiji, beat them at Twickenham in a pre-World Cup friendly just a month ago. In the end, in a titanic struggle, England edged through to the semis, winning 30-24.
But the best was saved to last. In quarterfinal 4, the French played South Africa in a game that could so easily have been the final itself. In the end, it was French tears that flowed down the Seine as the Springboks won the game of the tournament by a single point.
So, after all the hype around Ireland and Wales, little old, written-off England are the only team from the Six Nations to have made it to the last four. How did that happen?
But returning to football… I know a couple of Canaries who love football so much that they will go and watch a semi-pro game weekends if City are not playing and, you know what, I applaud them for doing so.
I even know one guy, mentioning no names Mick, who will take the opportunity to go fishing.
But there’s no sitting on a riverbank with a radio and catch a cold for Mick, bless him. Instead he will be offshore in his little fishing boat, using lines and a small net. I’m up for a codling or one of the flat ones, please.
So, whatever it is you watch or do, instead of watvhing Norwich City, enjoy it. Live sport needs to be seen live and not as a re-run when you probably already know the outcome.
Yes, we all have tried to avoid results so that Match of the Day has a bit of edge to it and failed miserably. For once, Sky have it right – it really is only live once.
Kudos too to those who rather than watch sports actually go out there and play.
What sports do you play Or did you play? We’d love to hear in the comments below.
Me? Well, I played a round of golf Saturday, and was awful. That applies to last weekend and/or next weekend too.
Nice one, Bernie. Cheers.
To carry on Martin’s Monday tradition, we’ll conclude with some music – this time an ode to Joss Buttler as he contemplates his role in the carnage that unfolded yesterday in Delhi.