I’m not going to lie to y’all – I’m not a huge fan of professional golf. It takes ages, winners and losers are often determined long before the game is finished, and how seriously can you take a sport where guys like Angel Cabrera can become champions?
I always groan when golf is the sport du jour on the gym TV screens…yet I don’t mind playing a bit of mini-golf or even hitting a few balls at a driving range. Just recently I found myself taking a couple of swings at a golf course here in Johannesburg, and with a cloudless blue sky and incredible highveld vistas I suddenly understood why so many people love to play.
Which brings me to that essential distinction: sports we love to watch vs. sports we love to play.
I’m a fairly committed middle-distance runner, always training for the next 10K or half-marathon. A colleague recently asked whether I was interested in joining her harriers club, and as I analyzed what turned me off about the prospect I realized that what makes running my favorite activity is that it’s completely solitary. Every run comes down to me versus my personal goals, and having to make conversation or keep up with a group is the last thing I want.
On the flip side, one of my favorite sports to watch – but not play – is football (or soccer for my fellow North American natives). Weirdly, what I love most about it is the team dynamic! I find it fascinating that a player can be a superstar on one team yet become shockingly bad when he moves to the next, or the way the addition of a new player can transform the cohesion of a side. And let’s not forget those on-pitch moments that are practically soap operatic with thrown-up palms and angry pointing!
How do your preferences shake out when it comes to playing versus watching? Are there any sports you love to do but can’t bear to sit through on TV? Tell me which sports you love and loathe and why, and one lucky commenter will win a copy of THE STRIKER’S CHANCE, my Carina Press debut about a sexy soccer superstar who joins a failing team and meets his match in – and loses his heart to – the ambitious publicist assigned to revamp his image.
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