King of the Mountains

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Before you read the following piece of listener feedback about last week’s Tour de France chat, consider this: which outfit better behoves the King of the Mountains?

This:

TDF-2013-KOM-jersey

Or this?

fast-custom-new-yeti-mascot-costume-c667

I think I’ve made my point. You may continue, Sammy from Pocklington:

I was disappointed to hear Olly mockingly describe Le Tour’s polka-dot jersey as “a consolation prize.”

Whilst the yellow jersey for best general classification is the most esteemed, the King of the Mountains jersey is far from being a consolation and is an very prestigious stand-alone category. It requires huge strength and effort to amass a winning amount of points over some of the toughest and most demanding challenges in world sport.

In fact, your general tone when discussing Le Tour (and other sports in previous podcasts) leads me to ask – why the hell do you hate sport so much?

I can’t speak for Olly, but I’d guess that he started out indifferent, then this was calcified into active dislike by the expectation of Society that he, as a man(n), must give a shit about it.

In my case, you might interpret it as a rebellion against my background; for I grew up bloody well surrounded by sport. Every other member of my family is a sports enthusiast. Of rugby and cricket was the majority of discourse formed. The soundtrack of Sunday lunch was the insidious whine of the Grand Prix buzzing in from the television left on in the other room so that my dad could pop out to check the progress of the race every few minutes. All summer, the living room curtains were closed so the sun didn’t strike the TV screen while my brother was watching cricket. In autumn, there was the interminable wait for the end of the football scores being announced so people could check their pools; the prospect of watching telly that was actually entertaining telly seemed impossibly distant. The injustice stung that we were never, ever allowed to watch television in the morning, but my dad could, as long as it was athletics. My spine even now spasms involuntarily at the unmistakable tone of football commentary: the unmodulated sub-shout. And I still think it’s unfair that so many quiet pub suppers have been ruined by big screen sport – but NEVER big screen films or sitcoms or YouTube playlists or David Attenborough programmes.

Also, people take sport too seriously. Especially YOU, football fans. Don’t start fights or let your mood be dinted by a loss, because… it’s just a game! No, it is.

It really DEFINITELY is.

AND DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THE TORTURE OF OUR FORMATIVE YEARS THAT WAS SCHOOL SPORTS.

So there are a few reasons for you to chew on, Sammy. But perhaps you’ll be placated to hear that we both managed to swallow our natural antipathy for long enough to record the Answer Me This! Sports Day album. We don’t mind sport so much if we can use it to fund the show, as it turned out.

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