I start by saying, again, I am no fan of sports, but what I am a (big) fan of is hard work and graft. I am a meritocrat, plain and simple.
Before the Olympics started, a friend of mine was teasing his followers on Facebook by challenging why certain sports were now classified as Olympic sports: e.g. tennis and indeed football. After watching some of the Olympic Games, only one sport didn’t deserve to be in the Olympics, especially considering the money thrown at it, and that is football.
Over the last two weeks, I was very impressed by the dedication, effort and pure talent on display by our British athletes, all of which I had never heard of (apart from Bradley Wiggins and only for obvious reasons). For four years, the likes of Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah and Samantha Murray have trained day in, day out, getting up at 6 o’clock in the morning to run several kilometres before continuing with their gruelling training regime alongside studying for A-levels and university exams. Leaving aside the fact footballers can’t read or write, they certainly do not train as hard as athletes, preferring to lie-in in their multi-million pound mansions in Cheshire and Chelsea.
Then after all that hard training, the athletes have taken part in their chosen sports at international level and have beaten the world’s competition. Let me repeat that: they trained hard physically and mentally, then won!
My view is football – which has a perverse status akin to religion – deserves a big backlash after the Olympics. Just compare our articulate athletes who cannot only string one sentence together, but two, three, four, five, six, seven or even eight together in one interview to the likes of Steven Gerrard and John Terry, who just mumble something like “well, you know, whatever the manager says” and walk away back to their luxurious lifestyle. Our athletes hardly have any money, with some still living at home with their parents, but nevertheless they put every ounce of energy into excelling at their sport and also have so much pride in winning for Britain, their country. Compare this to squillionaire inarticulate neanderthal footballers who if they play for England miss penalties and couldn’t give a stuff about their country. They should hang their heads in shame.
Call football a sport, I don’t think so.