Off the mark

By Ollie Field

The end of May has the potential to be heartbreaking for sports fans all over the world, as many of the sporting extravaganzas which have captured our imagination will come to end.

Let’s start with the Super 14. The Chiefs take on the Bulls this Saturday which will wrap up one of the most fascinating Super 14’s ever. Never before has the tournament had so many ups and downs for each of the teams, with even the Cheetahs providing an upset or two.

No more Friday morning wake-ups to watch some of the world’s best rugby. Supersport definitely got it right when they said “there’s no better company” than the Super 14.

The English Premier League also ended this last weekend, a tragedy to all football fans that will no longer be exposed to “Football’s Greatest Show”. And what a season it was. Manchester United have now equalled Liverpool’s record 18 titles, a feat that has really showed how good a team they’ve been over the last two decades. Fulham had such an amazing season that their manager Roy Hodson said he has no idea how to repeat it.

But the real story in the Premier League came from the bottom half of the table, in yet another tightly contested relegation battle. Seeing teams that have been in top flight football for so long getting the drop is certainly heartbreaking, but it promises a new era with the likes of Wolves and Birmingham coming up.

And, while we’re with football, the Champions League has also stopped. Supersport United have been crowned PSL champions and the Nedbank Cup is over with the Swallows coming out on top.

The final end of the chapter event is the IPL, which was a massive success and one of the best hosted cricket tournaments ever. Having cricket on every day, with the world’s best cricketers giving us “DLF maximums” and “Citi moments of success” was really a big treat for cricket lovers everywhere. Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist showed that they still have it, and youngsters like Rohit Sarma and Virat Kohli have really come through in a big way.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. June brings the promise of events such as Wimbledon, the Tour de France, the Confederations Cup and the Lions tour to South Africa, and at least we won’t ever have to see Raj Ramsammy doing his Vettori and Gilly party moves ever again.

And then by August, we start getting back our beloved Currie Cup, the Premier League returns along with the Tri-Nations, and the Formula One season continues. Definitely a good line-up.

So if your favourite tournaments have come to an end, there’s no need to get upset, because the world is packed with so many sports in the meantime that one can never really be starved of sport. And that is why sport is so widely followed, and how it becomes such a big part of so many people’s lives.


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