What to Watch?

Late this afternoon I’ll be confronted by a conundrum which afflicts us armchair sports fans once or twice a season. Not a problem of earth shattering proportions by any stretch of the imagination, nevertheless a decision still requiring careful consideration.

This trivial poser the three football/rugby teams I follow being broadcast live on TV almost simultaneously. Subsequently, yours truly will be later confronted by the first world problem of deciding which of the trinity of games to view from my seat in the Living Room Stand.

A choice made harder by my cardiologist’s advocacy to reduce stress levels in my early days post-cardiac arrest. A consideration that, due to anxiety experienced watching live games when non-neutral, if strictly adhered to would result in having to completely avoid this afternoons trinity of sporting encounters.

That being said, I refuse to countenance not seeing any of the games. Consequently, I’ve got to decide before 4.45pm today which of the following to watch:- Ireland v England’s rugby union match, Warrington v Leeds Rhinos’ rugby league game, or the Leeds United versus Norwich City football encounter.

Ordinarily I’d have most likely chosen between the Rhinos or Leeds United encounters. A selection made as the game’s outcome matters more to me than the England rugby union result. However, taking my doctors advice into account, as I’ll be less anxious watching the England rugger match it’s probably prudent to choose that as my early evening gogglebox companion.

Leeds United’s (LUFC) encounter with Norwich City will be a very nervy affair. A top of the table clash involving my footballing amour who’re seemingly incapable of partaking in a game where the result’s not in the balance until the very end. Consequently, for the good of my heart, I’ve more or less decided to later avoid Sky Sports Main Event channel; relying instead on my BBC Sport mobile alerts to chart ‘The Whites’ progress.

Bill Shankly, the late, great manager of the Liverpool team of the late 1960’s/early 1970’s, once opined “Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it’s much more serious than that.“…… Sorry Bill, but after my heart attack I can’t and won’t subscribe to that mantra.


As much as I think the Warrington Wolves v Leeds Rhinos game will develop into a thunderous gladiatorial sporting event, Sky Sports Arena channel is also unlikely to add GJ Strachan to their early Saturday evening viewers ratings.

Under new coach David Furner, it’s the first match of the season for a revamped Rhinos side against last season Challenge Cup and Grand Final runners-up. Without doubt a mouth watering prospect; however, as with the simultaneous LUFC broadcast, it’s triggering of a different type of heart-stopping encounter mid-watch which concerns me.

So it appears it’ll be Eddie Jones’ England rugby union boys who I’ll be cheering on, via terrestrial channel ITV, later this aft. Winner of their 15-man code challenge in Ireland laying foundations towards an overall Six Nations championship victory.

It’s frustrating when you’re lifestyle is impacted for the worse by changes to your health. However, in the grand scheme of things my cardio-vascular recuparation obviously usurps the short-term requirement to watch a live Leeds United or Leeds Rhinos game.

After all, to be quite blunt about it, if I don’t look after the former there may not be other instance of the latter!

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