Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Palladins of the Posts

Sports journalists: A lot of fun to read, as long as you ignore the content.

I always head first for the sports section of the Guardian each day, because I am a philistine, for one thing, and because the news is slightly less depressing for another. Finally, the writing is a little more imaginative, as I suppose they have more room for artistic manoeuvering in reporting a cricket game than carefully-worded press releases about paedophiles.

What I consistently fail to understand, however, is the predilection for back-page fogies to witter on about how things were in their day, or how morally giant some whiskered amateur was before the wisdom and gentle glory of the game was absorbed by dirty monies. I resent being subjected to their senile drool.

This morning, it was David Foot writing about collecting autographs. Is there anything as dull as a list of sports stars from a distant decade? Free from their context, presumably supplied by the fading recollections of older readers, they are close to meaningless. Eddie Hapgood anyone? (He captained England during that tricky, yet heroic Nazi salute business. Way to go, Ed!)

This incidentaly underlines the utter uselessness of collecting autographs, or having your picture taken with celebrities for that matter. You've seen someone famous at the shops; why do you need written confirmation? How would that enhance the experience? I suppose folk just whip out their phones and film them these days. Or play with themselves.

I understand that we are supposed to worship the values and heroes of whatever era of sport in which the writer enjoyed their boyhood, and it is always a boyhood, of course; but I don't understand why. Won't someone fax me the secret?

Your pal, Coc x

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