Sunday, November 15, 2009

It's That Time Again

This year seems like it's gone by so fast. It's already the middle of November; getting closer to the holidays. Which means that it's around the time that people start making lefsa. Yesterday my dad and sister came over to make some. You can click here to read my post about it from last year if you don't know what it is or need a recipe to make it.

I'm watching the Minnesota Vikings right now. They're leading 17-10, but that could change very quickly. It's only the middle of the third quarter. For those of you who are followers of football, it's been an interesting season with Brett Farve on the team. This is the first year I've really gotten into watching football. I find it actually quite exciting now that we have him on the team. Not everyone feels the same way. Especially fans of his former team, the Packers.

I've never really talked about sports on my blog before. I do like to watch them. After all, I did used to play basketball and softball. I'd like to know how you feel about sports and weather you watch them on TV or play them so feel free to comment.



Matthew Smith said...

We have lots of sports here in England, but football is dominant, and lots of people hate it, including me. I'm nominally a Crystal Palace supporter as I grew up round the corner from their ground, Selhurst Park, near Croydon. But I've never seen them play. They are in the so-called Championship, which is the division below the Premier League (i.e. the old second division). Then there's rugby, which is a rougher football-like game with an elongated ball (as in American football) with a less widespread fanbase and a reputation for injuries, most notoriously high-level SCIs (this is the website of one of the victims, Matt "Hambo" Hampson, who now runs a business selling sport memorabilia). We also have cricket, where the teams are organised on a county basis. American sports are not that popular here.

What we don't have are college athletics on TV (apart from the London boat race, where the teams are from Oxford and Cambridge) and we don't have teams that everyone in a city can get behind. London has many teams - Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs), Chelsea, Fulham and West Ham in the premiership alone, then there's Palace and Queens Park Rangers (QPR) in the Championship - which are geographically based and there is lots of rivalry, so if a London team is playing Liverpool, a lot of Londoners will become Liverpool fans for the day! Any big city will have two major teams which are rivals: Man U and Man City, Liverpool and Everton, Birmingham City and Aston Villa. Sometimes a player will cross from one of the big teams to its rival, like Sol Campbell from Spurs to Arsenal a few years ago, and they attract a lot of hostility sometimes.

A lot of us don't watch sport and only notice it when England get knocked out of a big international tournament! Then we start scratching our heads and wondering how we can produce great sportsmen again like those who won the 1966 World Cup! But our major teams are usually full of imported players, often from countries where sport is a way out of poverty, which it isn't so much here. Also, there's a lot of discontent about the huge payments the players get - more than an average yearly salary per day in some cases - and it puts up the prices of going to a match. A lot of them have a reputation for behaving like prima donnas and sometimes thugs. I think we neither have an investment in our sport (like Germany) nor a poverty drive (like, say, Brazil), which is why we don't produce winning national football teams. We do produce great athletes, particularly runners.

As for me, I was never particularly interested in participating in sport - at school I enjoyed cricket and cross-country running, but nowadays I exercise by riding my bike (I do this daily, unless it really does rain all day). I hated football because it means you have to stand around until someone kicks a ball at you, and I don't much like having a ball kicked in my face. There was rugby at my first secondary school (not my boarding school), but I stayed as far away from the ball as possible as I didn't much like the idea of having someone grab my legs and throw me to the ground, or having a bunch of other boys on top of me.

Jenni said...


The sport here that we call football is different from England. The football you're talking about is actually called soccer here. The sport that we call football is actually played using your hands. Odd isn't it?

Matthew Smith said...

Yeah, I was aware of that and I did mention what we call "American football" in my comment. Rugby is officially called rugby football (it originated at the elite school of that name) and our football is association football (hence soccer). There's also Australian-rules football and Gaelic football; the Gaelic Athletic Association is very big in Ireland, although I'm not sure if it is anywhere else. So there are many different types of football.

You also throw the ball in rugby. It tends to be only in our football that touching the ball with your hands is taboo, and not always, e.g. when throwing the ball in from the side. Back in 1986, an Argentinian player called Diego Maradona scored against England by punching the ball in with his hand during a World Cup knock-out game. Everyone saw that on TV but the referee didn't, and it was allowed. It wasn't premeditated, but it would have been disallowed if the ref had seen it. It became known as the "hand of God" incident.

Anonymous said...

talking about sports,i miss those great days when i was able to do sports such as soccer, hockey, softball, swimming etc.. i was also a national team member for wushu in my country.. wushu is a chinese form of martial arts... but now all these are gone from me permanently and the only thing i can do now is just watch people play.. hai :(