Jim Lyon - Who needs the hype when great sport speaks for itself?

Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.

Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.

0
Have your say

It is possible to get a little jaded with sport.

The behaviour of some highly-paid professionals can make even the most forgiving mind wonder why they bother.

And in these days of media bombardment we find almost every single live sporting event fired at us from all angles and hyped beyond belief.

It seems broadcasters feel we need to be told that Swansea against Crystal Palace, the practice round of the Malaysian Grand Prix, the boat race, the under-14 judo British championship or even the South Devonshire welly-wanging qualifying round (preliminary section) is the most important contest since a young lad called David rocked up against the defending champion Goliath.

But, aside from all the guff, sometimes sport can just speak for itself.

Those who watched it, and indeed those who did not, will always know what you mean if you refer to Super Saturday at the Olympics.

No need for promotional nonsense to ‘big-up’ an event like that.

And what about the last couple of weeks?

Can it get any better than that?

The British & Irish Lions Test series had drama aplenty.

Great tries, missed kicks to win matches, huge tackles, foul play controversy and then an amazing final game to decide the victors among so much more.

A day after the denouement of that we had one of the finest performances you will see from a tennis player. That he was British and broke a 77-year-old hoodoo – well, that it just made it even more wonderful.

Then, before we have had the chance to draw breath, the Ashes.

Wickets, runs, wrong umpiring calls, great bowling, terrific shots and a record-breaking innings from a 19-year-old on debut (or dayboo if you are from Ostraya).

And that is only the first two days of a five-game series.

Young Ashton Agar probably encapsulates all that makes sport the beautiful thing we return to.

That should not have happened.

There is nothing in nearly 140 years of Test match cricket that suggested it was possible for the Aussies to go from 117-9 to 280 all out with a kid - dripping wet behind the ears in terms of first-class experience - at the crease.

The fact he did it with a huge smile on his face – even at the end when he had so narrowly missed out on his ton – made it all the more special.

As the Indian journalist Harsha Bhogle so eloquently put it: “You think you have seen it all and then there comes a moment so fresh, so touching that you fall in love with cricket all over again.”

It is for moments like that.

And Murray’s almost tear-enducing history making.

And George North’s try.

And Ennis and Rutherford and Farah.

They are the reasons, no matter how jaded we might get with mediocre sporting spectacles and disappointment in the antics of the occasional spoilt brat, why we keep coming back to the games we love.

I know there are probably dozens of other sports worthy of mention - the Open Championship and Tour de France high among them - that I have not touched upon.

But they may yet have their chance to amaze.

Long may this summer go on.