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What Sports to See

Unknown Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Given time, I will watch practically any sport (well, almost) particularly team ones even though I don't really understand the finer points of some of them. The reason is that often the spectacle on the stands is as fascinating as the one being played out before them. If I'm being picky, however, there are some events that I would like to witness firsthand and this is a list of the top ten of such events.

England at Twickenham
If you like rugby, a trip to the home of the game is essential.

All Blacks play
Jonah Lomu. The legendary New Zealand powerhouse is the main reason why I follow rugby and although England remains for sentimental reasons 'my' team, it is impossible not to feel the attraction of the All Blacks.

Diamond League
Although I like watching athletics, it is undeniable that as a sport it fails to elicit the same raw emotions that team sports do. For one thing, there isn't the antagonism between two sets of supporters that inevitably fuels passion. But athletics also has its merits: the tactics in the longer runs that are played out in front of you, its pure simplicity, the sheer strength and power that goes into most events...all of this is what makes athletics so popular and why I feel the need to experience it at the highest level.

Wimbledon
Tennis has its on and off moments for me. Much depends on the players: if there is someone who I have a particular attachment to then I tend to watch more than usual. That being so, the attraction of Wimbledon transcends that of any player: the history and tradition makes sure of that.

Rugby league Grand Final
It might not be as popular worldwide as rugby union, but in its strongholds nothing beats rugby league. Coming from Birkirkara, it was somewhat inevitable that I would fall for a club named St. Helens and my hope would be to see them play in the rugby league final. That in itself isn't a difficult ask as they've made it there for the past three years. The hard part is seeing them win as they've lost each one of those three finals!

African Nations Cup
Since this piece was kicked off well before the 2010 edition of the African Nations Cup began, the desire to take in some games from the competition still ranked highly. The shooting on the Togo squad that was heading to Angola has somewhat quelled those desires but, as yet, it is handging in there.

English play-off final
The play-offs have their critics and it is impossible not to feel for those sides who finish just outside the automatic promotion spots only to then fail miserably in the play-offs. It is equally undeniable, however, that play-offs bring about a level of drama that is impossible to match which is why there have been so many classic play-off games over the years.

Texas High School Football
Lately, I have been watching the show Friday Night Lights and, although I freely admit that I don't really understand the rules of the game, it is fascinating that there are entire towns whose existence seems to be devoted to American football.

Superbowl
This is linked to the previous entry because I still won't understand the rules of the game but it is built as being such a big deal that it is impossible not to want to see how it matches up in reality.

Non league game
The truth is that (ironically) every game outside of the Premiership has a strange appeal to me. Yet it is outside the football league that stories of support truly become inspirational and this choice is inspired by the desire to feel a part of that.

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Copyright 2010 Paul Grech: Writer