What makes sport so good?

Why does sport cause so much emotion? Why does sport make us so happy, so sad, so excited and so angry?

My favourite sports are cricket and football. I used to play them both, but now I can only watch. I enjoy watching most sports. I even watched veteran table-tennis last week-end (see: Isn’t life wonderful, October 15th).

I’m not a big baseball fan, but since I’ve been in Japan I’ve always followed Yakult Swallows. Their strange coach was Mr Nomura and their energetic, young catcher was Atsuya Furuta. Yakult won the Japan Series four times and it was very exciting.

I once saw them play, against Yokohama Bay Stars at Kusanagi. Sasaki was the starting pitcher for the Bay Stars. Later he played for the Seattle Mariners with Ichiro. His nickname in Seattle was ‘Daimajin’ and he was a very successful closing pitcher, with many saves.

However when I saw him he wasn’t good. Yakult won 13-2 and Ikeyama, O’Malley and Furuta hit home-runs. I waved my turquoise umbrella with the other Yakult fans.

But my favourite baseball team is the Detroit Tigers. I even have a cap which I bought in Detroit. The Tigers are now in the World Series, and they lost the first game today. Please support them with me!

Last night was the start of the Japan Series between Chunichi Dragons and Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters. Neither is ‘my’ team, and baseball isn’t ‘my’ sport, but I watched the game with interest.

At the top of the 9th inning my phone rang, but I didn’t answer it. I wanted to see the end of the game. What makes sport so good?


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