Monday, July 6, 2009

A sport for kings and kettles

Several years ago some friends of a friend of mine decided to pick a sports team to follow. The two halves of this couple had grown up in different cities so rather than having one ardent supporter and one meh-whateverer they decided the best and fairest thing would be to choose a new team to love and cherish together.

They spent considerable time figuring out the criteria for their new team, none of which I can remember other than the team had to have the potential for greatness but not actually be too great at the time of choosing (so they could enjoy its rise), and it had to be based in a town with a population over 135,000.

That's right, because they were going to move there.

These friends of a friend were looking for a little more than a team to support. They were looking for team colours that matched their skin tones, a supporters' club that knew a bbq wasn't about the sausages, and a place to bring up their kids. They were looking to fill the void of modern life.

It's possible I made fun of them at the time. It's possible I called them crazy nutbars, but now the void has come whistling around my neighbourhood so I too have decided to turn to sport for salvation. My sport of choice? Le Tour de France.

Sure I only just figured out it's started already (who knew?), and sure I know nothing about cycling, but what's not to love about a sport that uses words like 'peloton', 'rear cog cluster' and 'derailleur'?

But my desperate over-justification doesn't end there: I had a pale blue Malvern Star all through primary school, I enjoyed The Triplets of Belleville when it first screened in 2003, and I even saw what could have been Le Tour itself when I was driving around France in July 2002 (or else the French have a crazy habit of motoring through narrow streets in small towns with bikes on their roofs):

Note my nascent fandom peeking out from under the front tyre of the second bike on the yellow car.

So unlike my crazy nutbar friends of a friend I feel well qualified in my sporting choice. I'll report back on Le Tour's void-filling capabilities; what fills your void?


squib said...

I have a Malvern Star. I'm a bit sentimental about them. It doesn't get used because we live on a massive hill (in order to avoid imminent submersion in the Indian Ocean)

The Triplets was so depressing

Sometimes I catch MrSquib's fever at World Cup time but mostly I find sport infinitely boring and I can't understand why people get so worked up about it. It's only a ball, people

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Test cricket.

Test cricket is the bunny.

the projectivist said...

what on earth do they mean by:

"a supporters' club that knew a bbq wasn't about the sausage"?
good lord, i should think that's the only thing that makes turning up worthwhile?

i feel my eyes begin to glaze over at the mere mention of rugby. and i'm so fed up with hearing about the shenanigans of a bunch of idiots in shorts who think they're demigods.

i did used to go to tennis camp in the school holidays, i played netball back in the day (goal defence - i'm tall) so i don't mind watching a bit of either of those when there's nothing else on the telly.

for some reason i like watching marathons on telly. i've never been in a marathon, i don't run either, but i have a healthy admiration of the dedication involved.

i wish you'd called me and told me the Tour de France was on. i quite like men in tight pants. is it on sbs at 2am?

words, wine, coffee, art said...

Kettle, I just can't raise the necessary passion to get excited about ANY sport.
Nor can I bear to watch it. I get too anxious that the participants will either (a) hurt themselves (VERY likely in the Tour)
or (b) make a mistake (possible in ANY Olympic event and extremely nerve wracking).
I suspect your interest in the Tour, Kettle, has more to do with picturesque French villages and mountain scapes than sport!

Kettle said...

Oh Squib a Malvern Star would be crying out to be released down that hill. Sure the walk back up would suck but what a ride.

I've tried to catch World Cup fever, without much success either. It's no 3,500km bike race, that's for sure.

Ramon the problem with writing a post about sport is that I have no idea about sport. I know there was an Alan Border at some stage but I couldn't be sure if he's still alive. And wasn't there something called a Boony? I hear the kids are watching 20-20 these days, which I understand is like a one night stand version of test cricket tantric?

Ah Ms P, the only reason I'd ever go to Bunnings on the weekend is for the sausage sizzle; I'd move cities for a good sausage sizzle. By the sounds of it you wouldn't need a sausage to get you into a sporting contest: netball, tennis, you're a regular all-rounder. And I completely understand about marathons, I have the same thing with iron-person contests and triathlons (except long distance, open-sea swimming, that just shits me).

If you're a pretend sports fan like me you can just tune into the half hour wrap-up of the Tour every evening at 6pm. A very efficient way to get water-cooler ready. I too like the tight pants, as well as the bit at the end of the race when they unzip their tops, that's good tv.

And Words and Wine, dang dang dang you've blown my cover. You're quite right, it's really all about the French towns and pretty mountains. Sometimes I forget to look at the riders at all.

Sorry so long, I'm clearly under-tasked tonight.

the projectivist said...

oh how i laughed -

"I too like the tight pants, as well as the bit at the end of the race when they unzip their tops, that's good tv."

oh my giddy aunt!
yes, my lovely Kettle
it IS good tv!

Kettle said...

Oh, Ramon, the Ashes are about to start! Award for the dimmest headlights in the carpark goes to me.