Believe it or not, I do consider myself a sports fan, but not all sports. I would rather help my dad figure out a new phone for the hundredth time than watch Tennis for example. My love for sport started with rugby. I remember growing up as a huge Blue Bulls fan, but my love for Rugby faded over the years.
I remember when the Currie Cup and Super Rugby were these huge tournaments, but over the years they have become comical. You can see this when you look at the amount of fans you see in the stadiums. I still support the Springboks and I still enjoy the Rugby Championship and of course, the Rugby World Cup though. Just for the record: Rugby Sevens is not a sport – it’s what kids play during break (if you ask me).
Cricket is the sport that has broken my heart the most over the years but I still love it. I have gotten over break ups and deaths faster than it took me to get over the 1999 Alan Donald incident. Frankly, I still wake up in the middle of the night at times yelling run Alan run!
Since 2007 (when I worked on the Isle of Man) I steadily grew into a big football fan. My friend Marc (who I met there) was a huge Everton fan and my dad is a Manchester United fan. I also had FIFA 2000 and FIFA 2001 on my Playstation. I also loved watching the World Cups, but after 2007 I actually started following the EPL and more importantly, Everton. The Premier League still has that magic that Super Rugby and the Currie Cup once had.
But enough about these mediocre sports… There’s one sport I love more than life itself: F1.
25 December 2000 was one of the best days of my life and the most important in shaping my tastes in sport. After years and years of begging, hinting and nagging, my parents gave in and got me a Playstation 1. I spent day and night on that thing and loved every moment. I got it chipped and spent most Sundays going to flea markets picking up games for R30.
On one occasion, I couldn’t find anything that I really was interested in, so I just picked the one with the coolest cover: it was F1 2001. The cover on the pirated disk was a picture of Mika Hakkinen in his McLaren. Up until then I knew little about F1. I knew my dad watched it every now and then and that he supported Ferrari and that basically everyone supported Ferrari and of course I have heard of the soon to be legendary Michael Schumacher.
As I popped the disc into the Playstation I was almost instantly hooked because of the graphics and how cool the cars looked and how challenging and realistic it was compared to other racing games I was used to at that time. When it came to choosing a team to race with, I went with the team with the best-looking livery, McLaren and the rest is basically history. I think I would be able to count the amount of races I have missed in the last 14 years on one hand.
So, I have decided to write about F1 this year and follow this season and to convince you to watch one of the most under-appreciated sports in our country. Keep an eye on Running Wolf’s Rant this year as I will be guiding you through the rules, the tracks, the teams, drivers and crashes while keeping it semi witty and semi entertaining.
Watch this space for regular updates in the Sport category.