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With a great book, movie or album you can always find new things. Sport is different

Eamonn Sweeney


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‘I marvelled at a superb individual try by Michael Jennings (above) for Paramatta Eels against the Brisbane Broncos as Australia’s National Rugby League resumed.’ Photo: Patrick Hamilton

‘I marvelled at a superb individual try by Michael Jennings (above) for Paramatta Eels against the Brisbane Broncos as Australia’s National Rugby League resumed.’ Photo: Patrick Hamilton

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‘I marvelled at a superb individual try by Michael Jennings (above) for Paramatta Eels against the Brisbane Broncos as Australia’s National Rugby League resumed.’ Photo: Patrick Hamilton

I hate watching old football matches. Old hurling, rugby and tennis matches leave me cold too. Virgin Media apparently showed 13 Champions League finals this weekend. It's a vision of hell. The whole orgy of retromania over the past couple of months has been pretty infernal. In the absence of live sport, it seems like every notable match of recent times has been rerun on multiple channels. I haven't watched a minute of those games. It would have felt utterly pointless.

It's not just that I don't want to rewatch games I've already seen. There are famous games I haven't seen, the 1970 World Cup final, the 1968 All-Ireland hurling final, the 1974 Lions Test matches in South Africa, but still have no interest in watching now.

I'm interested in sports history. I've watched almost all of the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary series. Yet when I think about it, the ones I enjoyed most were those where my lack of knowledge about the events covered lent the programme a cliffhanger aspect.