Saturday, 5 February 2011

The Screensaver of Life

Enough colour to burn the retinas off a blind man

I don’t often watch sport on TV. Mainly because I just don’t like the idea of wasting 90 minutes of my life watching a ball bounce back and forth across a piece of grass while 22 overpaid simpletons chase after it like children chasing a balloon. Or spending hours on end seeing athletes put one foot in front of the other again and again until they reach a certain line.

I’m not saying I don’t enjoy watching sport, I’m just saying I wouldn’t go out of my way to watch it. It’s perfect as a life screensaver, quietly existing in the background while I go about my daily business. Every so often you catch a fleeting glimpse of the action, pause momentarily to see what’s going on before continuing with life. This visual distraction will always continue to exist, seemly repetitive yet unnoticeably different each time, a perfect screensaver for life.

I do however enjoy participating in sport. The whole idea of sport is the notion of exercising, getting out of breath and doing it yourself. You feel good after you’ve spent a lot of time exercising, doing real sport but the same feeling of satisfaction doesn’t happen after watching it for hours on end. And watching it for an extended period of time can have rather detrimental effects. Especially on your eyes.

Sport on the box is very much a visual explosion of extravagant colours. Football players wearing bright red and blue against a green pitch. Snooker tables with the entire visible spectrum represented in different coloured balls. Even athletics with an orangey-brown track whose colour sometimes seems to engulf athletes as they power round it. It’s a swirling vortex of varying wavelengths of light; a garish laser of vibrancy that burns your eyes like a flamethrower. It’s like someone’s eaten a packet of Skittles and vomited a rainbow. Not nice.

Different sports look like they’re trying to compete to be the most colourful, like male peacocks trying to woo a female. I reckon that’s why pubs always tend to show sport on their TVs. The drab colours of the pub, combined with the dreary colours worn by most of their patrons seems to create a colour vacuum that needs to be filled with an eruption of colours, painting happiness onto the souls of everyone there.

Sports news is incredibly tedious as well, usually involving a presenter reading out scores of matches and events that have happened recently. It sounds less like a news report than someone reading out an arbitrary string of randomly generated numbers. They might as well read out the first million digits of Pi. This is usually followed by a lengthy discussion about the matches and events, including highlights which basically remove the need to watch the match at all. It’s nostalgia for people with short term memories.

And it’s incredibly invasive on other news. I switch on to BBC News in the morning, expecting a concise, succinct update on the news stories of the moment so I can be well informed of important events in the world as I go out into the real world. Instead, I have to sit through some idiotic presenter babbling on about how someone kicked a ball in quite a lucky way and how it hit a bit of net. There seems to be equal amount of time spent on breaking news stories such as the recession or pandemic diseases and some people running around.

Some of you reading this may feel strong opinions against this article, because you enjoy watching sport on TV on a daily basis. To be honest, I’ve only addressed my side of the argument. Just like football, I'm not really being a good sport.


  1. I agree 100% - it's just boring, and a waste of your time when you could be doing other things. Well put! - Tommy

  2. Yeah, I don't watch sports on tv either. Boring.

  3. Oh man! My husband is a HUGE sports fan! We are always watching something, basketball, American football, soccer, tennis, hockey, baseball...

    But when it comes to soccer, I'd rather watch grass grow or watch paint dry. It's soooo boring on TV! But live, it's much better.

    I'm also a former collegiate athlete, so sports are a big deal at our house. But I'd rather be playing them than watching them!


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