RIPPLE of excitement in out-of-the-way places for bizarre 6 Nations Championship.
The Daily Squabble asked Dr Sally Doolally, from the League of Psychologists, why people would want to watch any sport – particularly rugby.
“Of course,” said Dr Doolally, “one of the main reasons for watching any sport is to get a sexual thrill. Rugby players are modern-day larger-than-life gladiators and I, as a woman, am meant to select the fastest, hunkiest and most vigorous one to impregnate me. It’s evolution.”
“An upper-class lady, back in ancient Rome would pay the Lanista (the leader of the gladiator school) for a private service by her favoured gladiator.”
“Many aspects of fitness have a sexual background. The word gymnasium comes from the word ‘gymnos’ – meaning ‘naked’- and so, when we work out, we are meant to be also appraising other people’s dangly bits.”
“I used to catch my scumbag husband, before I kicked him out, ‘watching sport’. He was a big fan of athletics and got progressively bigger while he watched it. He first started watching ladies’ high jump because of the competitors’ unnaturally long legs and the backwards rolls they do after landing with their arses conveniently pointed towards the camera.”
“When high jumpers became too skinny, he moved to harder stuff: ladies’ pole vault. Women pole-vaulters tend to have the perfect body shape – tall and athletic with a balanced amount of upper-body strength”.
“Of course, there are some other minor reasons for watching sport. The principal one being that a sports fan has a desperate mental need to belong to a tribe, a group of people with a shared passion and common identity. That’s why it’s easier for insignificant little countries to become fanatical about sport, particularly if all the inhabitants possess major chips on their shoulders. They tend to have much more in common than us English who usually don’t care if our neighbours live or die.”
“Sports fans need to feel a sense of belonging. They cannot happily exist as independent people – this is sweet on one hand, but on the other hand really quite pathetic. If a sports fan were cast off on a desert island, they would have to organises races between different species of crab on the beach so they could continue to bask in reflected glory when their team won.”
“A team is an expression of a fan’s sense of self-worth. A fan mirrors the feelings, actions and hormones of the players. However, if their team of crabs lost, a fan would stop walking sideways much sooner than if their team had won. They would blame the loss on either bad luck, the other crabs having more money, or their team having a worse manager. They would derive comfort from imagining that the other team’s fans were much more uncouth. They would reassure themselves that ‘there’s always the next season’ right up until the day they die and they belatedly realise they have wasted most of their life watching crab races.”
“If their team loses, a loyal fan will congratulate themselves for being loyal – no matter what – hoping that eventually their team will win and everyone will see how clever they were for persevering.”
“Watching team sports is a very illogical choice because there is a 50% chance of not being happy after the event. Nobody would go to see a film, or visit a restaurant if there was a 50/50 chance it was going to make them thoroughly pissed off.”
“A sports fan might also have some sort of romantic nostalgia towards watching sport. Maybe, when they were a child, one of their parents used to accompany them to matches and so sport continues to remind them of a happier, simpler time in their lives.”
Olly Chuzzlewit said: “When I was at school, I didn’t think I was fat enough to play rugby. However, they told me that they really needed one skinny person on the team. They used to fling me ten feet up into the air during line-outs. I always caught the ball.”
“Whenever I got possession I used to sprint down the side-line but always threw the ball into the crowd if a lumbering dullard ever threatened to intercept me.”
Sally Doolally said: “As for rugby, God knows why anyone would want to watch it. Players continually kick the ball off the pitch. They hoist each other up for line-outs, like giant hairy ballerinas. There are bizarre scoring conventions – 1 point for this, 2 points for that and 4 points for the other. No-one understands all the rules.”
Peregrine Snook said: “I deny there is anything sexual about rugby. I loved to play it as a teenager. Even though we used to grapple around in the mud, bathe naked as a whole team, grope around feverishly under the dirty water for the soap and have our intimate places thoroughly towel-dried by eager games masters, it was all clean and innocent good fun.”
“I never quite learnt to dry my lower back by myself and I am fresh out of the shower. Would you mind lending a hand please? I can bend forwards if it helps.”