I love watching sport in America, live or televised. Nobody know how to make sport so dramatic. Nothing highlighted this more than growing up in Canada and during Olympic Games flipping between our national coverage on CBC and US coverage on NBC. CBC was great for unbiasedly covering every sport, live. NBC drenched the whole games with drama and pomp you forgot it was all tape delayed and ignored the fact that other countries competed in and won at Olympics.
I loved watching sport in America, until I made Europe home.
Watching sport in France is very different. They don't make sport all that dramatic. Instead, the fans have great eyes, ears and heart that appreciate the natural drama. No need to manufacture drama.
Last week we puttered out to Roland Garros and caught a handful of matches, including Canadian Daniel Nestor, the winningest active tennis player (doubles specialist) took on a French team. The hometown crowd certainly wanted France to prevail but gave great applause to all great shots by any team and a standing ovation to Nestor and his partner when the won the match.
Television coverage is very understated, and apart from the ongoing lamenting of a glaring absence of any French players in the second week (again) the coverage of the game is restrained and elegant. Sport literacy certainly is high. Even those in the corporate free-be sets clearly know the game and are not there just to do deal and air out the casual corner of their wardrobe.
A couple big months of sport are ahead, the World Cup of course along with the The Open (golf) and Tour de France. The latter two we will enjoy in person and further our unofficial studies into national psyches through sport.