Helen McDermott: Am I the only one enjoying this current sport-free world?

No Olympics, no Euro 2020 and no Wimbledon. Helen McDermott loves it, but for many sports fans it's

No Olympics, no Euro 2020 and no Wimbledon. Helen McDermott loves it, but for many sports fans it's hard to stomach a summer of very little live sport - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Apart from a bit of German football, there isn’t much live sport on TV at the moment. Helen McDermott is in a dream world

Stop me if you’ve heard this before but I really, really wish I liked watching sport. I know I may have mentioned in the past (about 50 times) that although I do enjoy going out for a run and dashing off a hundred lengths of the swimming pool, generally trying to keep fit, when stuff such as football, tennis, golf, snooker, boxing, athletics and so on appears or is mentioned on TV or radio it’s an immediate switch-off. None of them has any appeal for me whatsoever.

If I’d actually enjoyed watching or hearing sport life could have been easier in so many ways, especially when some dreary match displaces a favourite programme on the box and then is followed up with slow-motion replays and sporting celebrities and their mumbled analysis of what’s just been allowed to disrupt my evening’s viewing.

Now here comes the virus and the lockdown to disrupt sports fans and their viewing pleasure. Of course I sympathise with them being deprived of seeing their chosen games (see the tears pour down my cheeks, just as they shed tears for me when their games monopolise the radio and telly) but I have to admit that it is rather pleasing that for the time being our screens are relatively sport-free. I understand that the football season is finishing early in some leagues, regrettable for the fans but a mystery to me when it seems that football is on all-year-round as a rule.

If it makes you sports folk feel any better the virus and the lockdown are depriving me of my loves of going to live theatre to enjoy ballet, opera, drama, musicals, and I’ve been unable to go to the pictures.

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I’ve never understood why any old big sporting event has to be put on the main TV channels, shoving everything else aside to make way for it. If you’re a sport watcher aren’t there enough channels for you to watch it on without inflicting it on me? I can’t be the only one to dare relish the fact that the tedious jungle grunting and the bop of the ball in tennis is for the time being not taking up space on every TV.

I know that sport makes a lot of people a lot of money, and I know it’s good to encourage fitness, but that comes only if you play it and not just buy the shirt and scarf and watch it. Football’s in the family, in a way. My great niece loves to play and she’s only seven. The other half has a cousin good enough to play for Chelsea ladies and win a football scholarship at some American university. It’s a love that passed me by, but if they like to play it I’m all for it.

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Not only locked down but also knocked down, that was me a few days ago. Tonsillitis swept me off my feet. At first I really thought it might be the virus because it came on so quickly, it was so painful and I felt so ill. Eventually we called 111 and between us managed to convey the symptoms and a duty doctor later diagnosed the tonsillitis and prescribed some medication. At 2am the other half had to drive to the centre of a completely deserted Norwich to collect it. In the entire trip there and back he saw only three people in the city.

Unfortunately, I had a bad reaction to the first dose. (Was it spiked by UEFA and the Premier League?) An alternative dose was prescribed later and after two weeks and a rattle of pills the tonsils are still there but the itis has vanished.

On the plus side I didn’t eat for four days and live in hopes that this had the Adele effect and might have slimmed me down. When I mentioned this to a friend she said we should pity all the Adele tribute acts who will have to shed seven stone. They’ve certainly got the time to do it: they won’t appear anywhere for a long while yet.

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