Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I don’t follow baseball, football, basketball, tennis, golf, bowling, archery, badminton, et al. I’m just not interested in the least. I come from a family whose interest in sporting events was also nil, except for the “prize fights” that my father and Uncle Bill used to listen to on the radio.

There have been two times in my life when I’ve been inflicted with sports on the telly. First was in the first year of my marriage to Jerry, who during that period was most interested in bowling competition, which as I recall was shown on Saturday afternoons. If I wanted to sit next to him on the couch, which of course as a newly-wed I did, then I had to take the sounds of bowling along with it. My eyes were always on knitting or cross-stitch or some other sort of feminine diversion; I didn’t have to watch it but oh, could I hear it.

The second time I have been inflicted with sports has been now in my old age, when Jerry has taken up golfing at dawn on Sundays, which also means that when he’s not on the golf course on the weekend, he is in front of the TV watching the golf competitions. A small apartment means that unless I want to rudely shut myself up in the extra bedroom I call “my office” for the weekend, I will be surrounded with the sounds of golf. I must admit these sounds are not as intrusive as balls hitting bowling pins, but after a few hours even the soft-voiced commenting and the occasional outbursts from the observers can seem awfully loud. I am pleased that Jerry is healthy enough to play 18 holes of golf each weekend and grateful that he skips the 19th hole. But very honestly, watching golf all weekend is not my idea of fun.

I have been spared having soccer brought into our house. I do believe soccer fans are about the worst of the bunch, “worst” here meaning loud and obtrusive. “Rabid” is another word I’d use to describe them. I’ve seen the outworkings of soccer in a society first hand in Istanbul, where vans full of “futbol” fans hang out the windows of these vans, waving flags and cheering for hours after a win as they drive through every single street in town! I’ve watched on Facebook my darling grandson who was raised in AYSO and who now, in his mid twenties, posts only about his two passions, beer and soccer. I wait for him to grow up ... but technically he is grown up. He’s just a soccer fan.

But I digress. Today I saw that a couple of British Reverends have devised three prayers for the upcoming soccer World Cup. I shouldn’t have been surprised that this was done, because I do know a little about the frenzy of Manchester United fans and know that England is another hot spot of devotion to the game, to put it mildly. But I was impressed that these religious men would devise prayers for the occasion.

One prayer is aimed generically at all the national teams and starts “"Lord of all the nations, who played the cosmos into being." Very clever, I think. And I trust the good lord is listening to this.

The second one is specifically for South Africa, who is hosting the games. I do hope that this prayer covered rowdy behavior by losers.

The final prayer is just for me, I think, although the Reverends say it is "A prayer for those just not interested." It has somewhat the same sentiments as the serenity prayer and I suppose we who are truly not interested should take it to heart. I will apply it to myself liberally as I watch my grandson’s Facebook posts and keep my comments to myself.

Lord, as all around are gripped with World Cup fever, bless us with understanding, strengthen us with patience and grant us the gift of sympathy if needed.

It would be well if I applied this to myself on the weekends and changed the prayer a little, substituting “golf” for “World Cup.”

No comments: