Seven things you can do on this sport-free weekend

Jigsaws are the perfect way to replace sport on a coronavirus-hit weekend, says Steven Downes PHOTO

Jigsaws are the perfect way to replace sport on a coronavirus-hit weekend, says Steven Downes PHOTO: Matthew Usher - Credit: Matthew Usher

There are probably a few strange people out there who have no interest in sport.

Beat coronavirus boredom by tap-dancing like Roy Castle, says Steven Downes Photo: Supplied

Beat coronavirus boredom by tap-dancing like Roy Castle, says Steven Downes Photo: Supplied - Credit: Archant

In the real world of right-thinking folk, though, watching and/or playing sport is a diversion and a delight.

That is until now and coronavirus, a bullet-with-butterfly-wings that has weaponised mild flu symptoms to create the sort of mayhem and disruption that terrorists can only dream of.

So we approach the weekend, wandering into a sporting desert.

The same thing happened during the Second World War, when the sporting programme was wiped out.

Is coronavirus messing up your weekend? Try crocheting instead, says Steven Downes Picture: Getty

Is coronavirus messing up your weekend? Try crocheting instead, says Steven Downes Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

But back then, people had plenty to take their minds off the football - like fighting, dodging bombs, being evacuated to the sticks, or working in the fields for the war effort. If they weren't doing any of those things, they probably didn't have Sky Sports anyway.


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As coronavirus and its mild cold symptoms reduce us all to Cowardly Lions, jumping at the sound of a sniff, we face far more trying times.

Self-isolation combined with no sport on the TV is a vision of Hell.

Weekends ARE sport.

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Saturday means wall-to-wall football, rugby, cricket, and more - live, at home, in the pub...it's Heaven.

Sunday means playing football in the morning, then watching more of it in the afternoon at the pub.

I'm not the only person who will enter this and the next few weekends in a state of utter bewilderment: what will we do?!

Students and geeks won't notice any difference, of course. They'll just stay in bed or on their games console. But if you don't have a student or a geek to go to for advice, what on Earth can you do to kill time until the football kicks off again?

1 Become a sad loner:

Perhaps the geeks had it right all along, and are best equipped for Armageddon, so why not join them? Put on underpants and a grubby T-shirt, stock up on crisps and Coca-Cola, slump on the sofa, and get set for a Red Dwarf boxset marathon.

2 Do a solo sporting challenge:

Cooped up, wound up, stir crazy? Burn some calories by becoming Roy Castle and tap-dancing for 24 hours. Alternatively, try to pump out hundreds of pull-ups on your banister. When it all goes wrong and ends in splintered wood, you'll have some DIY to occupy yourself.

3 Talk to your other half:

This is controversial, so approach with care. The idea is that, instead of watching and playing football all weekend, you engage in conversation with your loved one. Begin carefully, with a 'good morning, how are you?' Then go from there. There will be suspicion at first, so try to avoid: 'Hi darling, there's no footie today: shall we go back to bed?'

4 Write letters:

For those who are unfamiliar with this quaint old tradition, letter-writing involves picking up a pen and writing lucid sentences on a piece of paper, then putting it in an envelope, addressing it, stamping it, and posting it to the subject of your scribbles. Write a love letter to your amour, or a begging letter to your parents to get cash out of them. Or you could even take the opportunity to dump your girlfriend, resign from your job, or say 'why, oh why, oh why?' to Points of View.

5 Do some dusting:

Sorry, only joking.

6 Crochet:

Channel the pain and loss of cancelled sport by creating a green-and-yellow masterpiece of Daniel Farke's face, then staring mournfully at it.

7 Do a jigsaw:

You'll be in pieces, so what better way to symbolically rebuild than by methodically constructing a 1,000-piece picture of a cat or a twee cottage in the Cotswolds?

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