Well done, Andy Murray. He emerged victorious yesterday morning. Not against Roger Federer, no. He lost that. He came last in that thing, definitely. I saw him lose that so he must have lost. You could say he came second but there's only two players so we might as well just say that Andy Murray came last. But as far as I am concerned he won. He won, sports fans won and sport itself won. Again. As fucking always. Because when a sporting event happens we must all stop what we're doing and get involved no matter what little interest we have in it. The newspapers, even though they have a sports section, plaster sport on the front page. Pubs, a place for socialising and discussion, force sport into our heads by showing it on big screen TV's on all of their walls. And television, even though there are thousands of sports channels available, puts everything aside to show these ridiculous hobbies on one of the main channels so we can all watch it. Even though most people don't want to.
I have never watched Country Tracks in my life. I have also never wanted to watch Country Tracks in my life. Until that point yesterday when whatever lifeless dullard was commentating in this little game said "If you've tuned in to see Country Tracks it's been postponed for 20 minutes and will now be shown on BBC2".
The Ulsterman in me immediately leapt to attention. I have every right to watch the Country Tracks television programme that by rights belongs to me and the English television corporation has no right to deny me that. NO! I will NOT be re-routed to BBC2. Me and my people have a long tradition of watching the scheduled programmes on BBC1 and will not accept an alternative that insults that great tradition. If I have to plant a bomb in A Question of Sport to raise awareness of this cause then I will. If I have to paint murals of families watching a scheduled episode of Doctor Who on the side of my next door neighbours house then I will. If I have to smear my own excrement over Match Of The Day then I will. Yes, I am open to the idea of negotiations with Sue Barker (she's the one who looks closest to Mo Mowlam) but the facts remain: People who hate sports have no rights to this land and THIS. MUST. CHANGE.
And, yes, I did HAVE to watch the fucking tennis actually because one of my kind married one of their kind. I know it's frowned upon when non-sports fans marry devout sports fans but we rise above the social stigma. We do this by me occasionally having to suffer through a fucking sports event forced upon me by my country's and my wife's Paisleyite regime. And, in turn, I give her the freedom to be forced to watch Being Human, like some sort of heroic Michael Collins figure of hope.
Can you tell that I've been watching Mo?
It's not perfect but Mo, a Channel 4 TV film that was on last night, is very good. Julie Walters hams it a bit too much at the beginning as Mo Mowlam, Northern Ireland's 90's symbol of hope, but once she settles in to the role it becomes fantastic. It goes without saying that it is pretty damned moving. When, post-IRA ceasefire and the announcement of The Good Friday Agreement, a voice in the crowd shouts "This is the greatest day in Northern Ireland's history" I just started blubbing. That wasn't helped by the footage of the then equally hopeful Tony Blair at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast, congratulating everyone involved in this incredible political achievement. It wasn't until he said "our own Mo" that the entire room rose to their feet and applauded. I was a mess at that point.
It's only based on a true story but one would like to think that this naturally charming negotiating genius really did call Peter Mandelson a devious cunt to his face. Among everything else she did, it's a wonderful legacy to leave.