DAVID PYE COLUMN: Sport is full of different opinions but leave us to have our own

David Pye

David Pye

First published in Sport The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , sports writer

SPORT can do funny things to the people of this great kingdom of ours.

Just a hint of some rare medal success at the Winter Olympics and the whole country has gone skeleton and curling mad.

The curling, in particular, has been a massive hit with people watching the action beamed back from Sochi – there were even people watching on in pubs and cheering like it was a big football match when the men made it through to today’s gold medal showdown.

Likewise, when the women’s team secured bronze yesterday to make it our best medal haul since 1924.

It takes me back to when I watched the 1988 Calgary winter games as a youngster and the whole nation got behind unlikely ski jump hero Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards.

On that occasion, it was more about heralding a plucky loser – like we have often done over the years – than hailing success. This time, like the London 2012 Olympics, we are proudly praising success.

Just like the summer games two years ago, the euphoria has been seismic and just shows the craving we have for national glory when there is a sniff of it.

If anything illustrates that perfectly, it is the bi-annual frenzy around the England football team in major tournaments – providing they qualify of course. Whether it be false hope or not, the numbers watching in pubs are swelled as those not normally interested in football join regular fans to cheer on the Three Lions.

Others will dress their cars in national colours; some will drape the flag of St George from their bedroom windows – for as long as England are still involved, the trend will continue.

I think it’s great to have a togetherness brought about by national sporting pride but, like anything, there is also a down side.

And for me that is the number of people who suddenly become so-called experts on what they are viewing.

It is bad enough to have the overkill of all the needless punditry on the likes of Match of The Day. To then have wannabe pundits analysing their analyses in the pub or office the next day is just too much.

I don’t like the vast majority of pundits in football anyway – I’m thankful for the invention of Sky+ for allowing me to only watch the action and not have to listen to Lineker, Hansen et al by whizzing through their drivel at x30 speed.

They are not all bad, but I can forge my own opinion; I do not need anyone telling me what to think, let alone someone then conveying the same vacuous reasoning the following day as if it was their own.

By all means get on board the sporting bandwagon; just do not get bogged down too much with what others think.

It’s all about opinions, but it’s better to have your own.

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