Simon Kelner: Sport brings passion to my life, but it's not the be-all

Kelner's view

Share

Was yesterday just that little bit anti-climactic? Did you feel there was something missing from your life? Did you find yourself doing all those jobs you'd been putting off for a while?

If all or any of these statements applies to you, the chances are that sport plays a significant (perhaps too significant) role in your life, and that slight sense of emptiness you experienced yesterday was, I'm afraid, just the end of the football season. Even an adrenaline junkie would have found the denouement of this past campaign a little too much to bear, but for many of us it provided all the drama, extremes of emotion and excitement that, thankfully, is missing from our everyday lives. Now, I bow to no one in my love of sport, but even I think that, as a nation, we are in danger of exaggerating its importance. And that's before we've got to the European Football Championships, never mind the Olympics. In fact, the hysteria that attends most major sporting events these days is, I believe, another example of the way we have become infantilised as a nation – Chelsea's European triumph was the first item on the 5 Live news yesterday morning, more than 12 hours after the event and relegating the G8 and the Euro crisis to a supporting role.

Of course, sport provides welcome relief from death and disaster, catastrophe and collapse, and I'm sure George Osborne appreciated that, for a couple of hours or so on Saturday night, he was able to concentrate on something other than the potential meltdown of the European banking system. (There are those of us, however, who feel that if he could make time to go to the football, he might find a space in his diary to appear at the Leveson Inquiry, where he has some interesting questions to answer.)

Sport is simply a diversion for all of us, not just for Chancellors of the Exchequer, and we sometimes need to be reminded of that, particularly at times when the sporting action is so thrilling and the news from elsewhere is so depressing. We have a short break from football now before England take on the rest of Europe – something Mr Osborne might recognise – and then comes the Olympics, which promises an inexhaustible supply of highs and lows. (By the way, I do know there is a Test Match going on at the moment, but when it feels like mid-Winter outside it's hard to get into cricket.) Heaven knows what those who don't like sport make of it all. I couldn't really understand the people who said they were getting out of London for the duration of the Olympics. Why wouldn't they want to experience such a huge global event at close quarters? And if it's the hype and the hysteria they're trying to avoid, they'd do better to leave the country. In the meantime, we can get on with our lives. Now where's that paintbrush?

React Now

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, Accreditation, ITIL)

£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...

C# Developer (HTML5, JavaScript, ASP.NET, Mathematics, Entity)

£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

C# Integration Developer (.NET, Tibco EMS, SQL 2008/2012, XML)

£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...

Biztalk - outstanding opportunity

£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Left in limbo: Refugee children in a processing centre in Brownsville, Texas  

Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Rupert Cornwell
Harman has said her gender affected her employment  

Gordon Brown could have had a woman as deputy PM. He bottled it

Joan Smith
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?