Collage - football fans running town in the 1970s UK

How to Make Sport Interesting

You don’t get “sports”. Who can blame you. School sports were terrifying and full of equally terrifying teachers and students. Post-school sports, for you, are dead times, moments murdered by inanity, reminders that hell is other people who insist on talking about sport. Follow this quick guide to discover how you can be in charge of the conversation with hardly any work and no real knowledge.

In order to steer any conversation, pub or bar time, car or plane journey that is being ruined by a Sports Fan (I have to admit to being one such) you only need to know a few  handy pieces of info. This handy list will enable you to derail conversations like this in several countries around the world. Make a note of it, you will find it endlessly useful.


Parents are wrong. It is possible to eat a full meal (or in the case of cricket, two full meals of lunch and tea) and then immediately run around outside without dying from cramp. Change the subject to food.

Soccer/Football *TOP TIP

Falling over in floods of tears and holding any part of your body can sometimes get you a booking: this can also work with hard-to-get-into restaurants.  TOP TIP


Legendarily, the Inuit people have billions of words for “snow”. The same can be said for baseball players and fans when it comes to throwing a ball. The curveball has at least 1,000 names including: “Yakker”, “Yellow Hammer”, “Drop Down”, “12-6”, “Bender”, “Uncle Charlie”. Change the subject to language or other cultures.

The Excelsior: Once a great pub in Sydney.
The Excelsior: Once a great pub in Sydney.

Rugby Union/Gridiron

Rugger and Gridiron, are fabulously interesting sports now please may I leave this pub/bar I appear to have stumbled into and may I have my trousers back and could you stop lifting me off the ground and throwing me like an dodo egg, thank you.

Rugby League

Rugby League is played in New South Wales, Australia, especially in Sydney. There used to be an excellent pub called The Excelsior with a pool table, live music, interesting clientele, and very decent beer in Sydney. It’s now serviced apartments. Don’t let that stop you changing the subject to from Rugby League to live music, travel or serviced apartments.


King Henry VIII invented Real (e.g. Royal) Tennis at Hampton Court Palace as a way of sorting the wives from the corpses (hence 15-Love). The game morphed into several other racquet-ball versions all of which have the same things in common: they are played on Courts (as in Hampton), watching them can end your marriage. Change the subject to famous buildings or divorce.

Winter Sports

Any Winter Sport is immensely entertaining because they are all based on people far more wealthy than you will ever be injuring themselves while dressed stupidly. Change the subject to Christmas, eggnog and the fact that everything is going downhill fast.


Seriously? Change the subject to anything you like involving catching things in your shopping basket.

Gauloises - as interesting as pelotons.
Gauloises – as interesting as pelotons.


The original bicycle was invented by an English woman who left the country because the opium, absinthe and other drugs were easier to get and higher in quality in France. The lady’s name was Penny, she would ride from one end of the Left Bank to the other daily, singing ‘God Save the King’ and smoking Gauloises. Change the subject to Paris or drugs.

That’s how you make sports interesting. Thank you.