I've heard it said - or maybe I simply read it somewhere. One or the other, or maybe even both - that confession is good for the soul. So, in the hope that if indeed I do have a soul and confession is, indeed, good for it, perhaps it is time for me to (as I believe my American friends might say) 'fess up. I must say, that always sounds to me a most unsavoury thing to do, 'fess up. I know that "'fess" is a contraction of "confess" - the leading ' gives the game away anyway - but "confess up"? Oh, come now, please!
But my confession.
I don't understand American football.
I have studied a concise version of the rules, the idiot's guide, you might say. I've read John Grisham's Playing for Pizza. I even spent a few minutes watching a game the other weekend when one was in progress on the Waterhall playing fields as I took the dog for a walk. To somebody brought up on (proper) football, the game seems to have no flow. There are stoppages every few seconds, it seems. And to have two entirely different sets of players to chop and change depending on whether the team is attacking or defending... Well, it simply blows my mind.
I do at least have an inkling of what is happening on the baseball diamond. And no, I don't consider it to be a slightly odd version of rounders. As I say, I have an inkling, but that is all. There are many terms that are quite beyond my comprehension.
But then, that is the case with cricket. I don't know where to find the gully or the difference between a cover drive, a sweep and a square cut so explaining the niceties - or even the basics - of the sport to somebody without much knowledge of it would be quite beyond my ability. But it doesn't spoil my enjoyment of the game.
There are, no doubt, plenty of other "sins" I should or could confess, but sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.