As you may know, I do seem to spend rather a lot of my time hanging around with Australians, for some reason, so if England do somehow manage to win the Ashes this year, then I will be a very happy man. Of course it’s not as if I’ll actually have watched any of the games: I’ve mostly been following the series on a small auto-updating Firefox window secreted at the bottom right of my monitor. It’s rather like watching the football on teletext, except it lasts for five days. (Although I do enjoy the occasional refresh on the summary page, to watch the blurb at the top swing wildly between saying that one team and then the other is now comfortably on top).
Even when I’m not at work I’ve somehow managed to hardly see any of the action: when England managed that dramatic 2 run win at the end of the second test, I was sitting beside the rooftop pool in Barcelona, expecting us to have long since wrapped the game up. I did make it home to watch the last few balls of the third test petering out into a draw, but the Saturday afternoon I’d set aside to watch it two days earlier yielded nothing more than about twenty minutes play, some rain, and a lot of filler features presented by Michael Atherton.
I can’t see that we’ll catch much of the rest of this one either, with it being the long weekend, so that leaves just the final test. Actually, it’s probably better that I don’t watch, as my viewing of sporting events that I care about is usually enough of a jinx to result in the team I want to win losing, although perhaps that’s just an Everton thing: over the course of the last few years I’ve seen them live in London at several different grounds and I don’t think I’ve even seen them score a goal. It’s usually 3-0. I’ve seen three of the four matches we’ve played so far this season on the telly, and given that they only won one of those, you don’t have to be a genius to work out which one I didn’t see… Wednesday’s Champions League defeat was particularly gutting, what with that perfectly good goal being disallowed by that scary bald ref with the dodgy eyesight and everything, although that incident did provide some light relief after the game, as Everton legend Trevor Steven discussed it with the other pundits back in the studio, repeatedly referring to the Everton striker as Darren Bent. You could almost sense the presenter cringing each time he said it, and wondering if they should somehow drop into the conversation the fact that his first name is actually Marcus, and that Darren Bent plays for Charlton (they didn’t).
So perhaps I should stick with my ball by ball updates. And stay well away from the TV when the UEFA cup game at Dinamo Bucharest comes around…