My elder brother let me borrow a book he had just finished reading – one he had thoroughly enjoyed and he thought I might enjoy it too. He was right. I will pass it on to my elder sister as I know she will enjoy it too as we are all lovers of sport. My sister will particularly enjoy the insights into the golfing world as she is a keen golfer.
The book is called Get Her Off the Pitch: How sport took over my life by Lynne Truss. . . . .. She wrote the book Eats, Shoots and Leaves, a book about punctuation with which you may be familiar, the book that is, not the punctuation! The book was a best seller.
This book follows her time as a sports writer for The Times and the trials and tribulations she suffered as a female in the male dominated world of sports reporting.
The first chapter started with boxing and I am not the slightest bit interested in boxing but because it was the author’s initial foray into sports writing I went along for the ride and found it to be rather funny. When she discusses tennis she draws the comparison between Agassi and Sampras and makes no apology for being in love with Agassi which obviously colours her humorous comparison.
Golf was the sport that gave me the most laughs and educated me on the political aspects of the Ryder Cup. I had no idea how emotional people became regarding the Ryder Cup. The author starts off by saying that golf is an elite sport that is protected staunchly by males but by the end of the book she admits that golf is one sport that she continues to pursue!
She also admits that she is not the first woman to write about sport but says that she was writing from the point of view of a novelty act. Not to be taken seriously.
“. . . .as soon as I had to face the totally galling fact that, as far as sports writing is concerned, I was valued almost entirely for having two Xs and no Ys. To which I could only say, “Oh fuck, fuck, fuckety-fuck.” But it was all too true”: my gender was my USP*. Had I woken up one morning with a smart new pair of testicles, it would have been curtains for me as a sports writer. Can you imagine how annoying to me it was that my gimmick – being a woman – was a biological accident common to over fifty per cent of the people on this earth? And that the premise – Look, a woman writing about sport! – was at base quite sexist, anyway?”
If you follow this blog you will know I follow rugby so it was interesting to read her thoughts on that sport.
“The final game I didn’t understand and didn’t enjoy much either was rugby. This may come as a surprise, when all women are supposed to be fantastically turned on by the sheer heft of the rugby-playing physique, but I can only protest that a meaty male thigh shaped like an upended lightbub has never done a thing for me. . . . . .as far as I could see, it was a game that no one watching it fully understood, because that would entail having the mystic ability to read the mind of the ref.”
I loved this book and had a good laugh. Certainly one for sports lovers and indeed those who are not keen on sport.
* I didn’t know what USP was and had to look it up – unique selling point.