10 of The Hardest Spectator Sports

Christmas is baring down upon us and it’s the time of year where people start to panic buy presents for their loved ones and if you are an avid sports fan, tickets to a top sporting event are always a great option. Sometimes however the family member might not realise the inclement weather conditions you have to go through to watch some sports… So smile as you receive 12 pairs of socks and your tickets to the Curling championships, and don’t forget to wrap up in your Qiviut Jacket that is warm enough to keep you warm in the harshest of climates.

  1. Scottish Golf.

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The British love complaining about everything that is out of their hands, from recent sporting events to the inclement weather conditions. This is why there is nothing better than almost being blown off the side of a cliff whilst watching a tanned American athlete hit a ball you can barely see from 300 yards away. Golf can be a fantastic spectator sport, Tiger Woods used to light up any tournament he played in and fans would come from all over the world to watch him tee-off into the Californian sunshine at Pebble Beach, the downside is that when these major tournaments swap the hills of California for the highlands of Carnoustie you end up being blown around across the fairway with nothing but your winter jacket and a tartan cap to keep you warm and dry.

2. Curling.

It is estimated that there are currently 1.5 million registered curling players in the world right now. The sport is, essentially, a mixture of housework and bowls – only noisier, less relaxing and a good deal colder. Originally conceived in the frigid highlands of Scotland, Curling has become an international sport and brings in hundreds of spectators to the events, the only downside? Being sat in your hat, gloves and scarf whilst you’re inside an arena that has to keep the ice frozen!

3. School Football.

Soccer moms are the pinnacle of the modern sports fan. They may not enjoy the sport, they may not have any idea what is going on and they may not even be able to tell you the position their child plays in, but every game day, every cold Sunday morning they zip up their winter jacket and grab the keys to the mini-bus and go and cheer for their little team. Whatever the conditions, rest assured Mum will always be on the sidelines, even if she does have icicles hanging off of her coat.

4. Snooker.

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The ghostly steel city, the balding middle aged men in dickie bow ties and the utter silence are enough to drive anyone insane, yet Snooker still attracts a vast audience from all over the world. As a spectator you expect to be able to cheer on your favourite ‘athlete’, argue with friends about the cup final of ’98 and enjoy an ice cold beverage or 5. A snooker spectator on the other hand has to keep his mouth shut, applaud in time with everyone else and if they’re lucky they may have a small sherry in the break.

5. Marathon

They have trained for months to get into their peak shape, they have been mentally preparing themselves for years and they know the route like the back of their hand. You, on the other hand, stand there waiting in your winter jacket with your calorific hot chocolate in one hand and copy of The Metro in the other. All to see them for about 15 seconds as they run past you, completely disinterested in your homemade banner inspired by Forrest Gump… What a nice day out.

6. Sailing.

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Yes Ben Ainslie is very talented and one of Great Britain’s finest sporting exports, but there are plenty of reasons as to why watching him navigate the tides of Plymouth Hoe can be far too tedious. Some sailing events are purely just spectators stood on the shore looking out, trying to work out who is winning. Some events provide big screens so you can stand out in the cold and watch TV rather than sitting on the sofa at home. And some events even have spectator boats so you can immerse yourself in the waves and have a middle class woman spill champagne over your favourite regatta jacket.

7. Chess.

Nothing screams excitement like a bold move of the Knight to sacrifice your Rook, placing your opponents Queen in imminent danger. If that doesn’t fascinate you then how about a captivatingly boring Russian man with unusually long fingers wearing a turtle neck? If these are things that really get you going then Chess is certainly the spectator sport for you… If not then might we suggest just pouring yourself a nice glass of whiskey and playing it yourself.

8. Cycling (The Tour de France)

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Any single sporting event that takes more than a day to complete is instantly disregarded as a good spectator sport. The Tour de France is no exception. It’s similar to watching a marathon, except your are in a mountain, nowhere near any form of modern civilisation and instead of seeing your idol for a good 15 seconds, they breeze past in the blink of an eye. You’ve got to feel sorry for the families of avid cycling fans who travelled all the way from Harrogate to Saint-Étienne to watch Chris Froome for three seconds and then spent the rest of the week in a tent eating Camembert.

9. Bobsled

All Winter Olympics sports require some form of quilted outerwear that can keep you safe from the frigid temperatures of Sochi or Vancouver. Although the concept of four skinny Swiss men crammed into a tin can travelling at 90mph seems exciting, the downside is that you actually don’t really get to see anything. The teams travel so fast, slaloming through the almost enclosed ‘track’ that you just spend your day hanging around in the cold, watching replays of the ‘most exciting bobsled moment of the decade’ on the small LCD screens around the area.

10. Inland Fishing

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We are sure that when you went down to the lake with your grandad when you were 10 and you caught your first little fish you were over the moon… This elation is almost impossible to transfer to spectating a ‘riveting’ riverside fishing competition. Your partner said ‘Fishing Competition’ and you instantly assumed you would see burly fishermen wrestling Marlin. You unfortunately didn’t realise that marlin don’t swim off the coast of Essex and that you would spend the entire day knee deep in mud that smells a lot like the tuna sandwich in the fridge at work that nobody has claimed in 6 weeks.

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