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by Gwen Boswell

What attracts the opposite sex is a much researched and recorded topic, and one conclusion is that women often find sportsmen very attractive due to their appreciation of the male form toned. Also, maintaining a desired level of fitness is seen as a very positive characteristic, due to the discipline and hard work that comes with being slightly bulgy. Note the word slightly here, as men that have thigh muscles developed to an extent that their walk resembles a baby’s gait when wearing a soggy nappy, or, parts of their upper torso are similar to washed pillows that have inadvertently gone through a 1000rpm spin cycle, are automatically excluded from the following personal assessment of sportsmen and their rate of appeal.

On considering the sport that has included in its ranks the most desired shaped men, both physically and mentally that I personally would be attracted to, I began with dismissing the golfers. Notwithstanding some of them are indeed reasonably fit, I cannot respect a man that chooses to dress like Rupert the Bear when playing his sport. Yes, yes, I agree that over recent years they have improved their colour co-ordination, but this is still a brotherhood where its men desire more than anything to have hanging in their wardrobe a green jacket.

I was rather shocked when surfing the sports channels of TV the other day, to see a darts match being played. I was almost at the point of writing to Foxtel to ascertain if the company had taken legal advice before airing this activity on a channel related solely to sport. I thought there has to be a legal definition of sport somewhere, and one would think that it has to involve some sort of physical movement that gets the heart rate up? (Besides that is, running around trying to find out who has nicked your fags!). But I restrained myself and generously added these, ahem, sportsmen to my audit. I must say, the dart players did score very well on their powers of concentration and magnificent eyesight. Sadly though, their score was drastically cut on the basis that there appears little athleticism involved to perfect throwing a small, pointy thing over a few metres. Plus, I could not be doing with having carrots every night as part of my dinner.

Two groups that were also very quickly given the flick, were the ice hockey players and those burly gents that play rugby. Sure, the ice hockey players are skilful and in great shape, but I would be a little nervous dating a man that, when his opposing player scores a goal, he feels a need to immediately whack him violently over the head with a big stick. The rugby players were dismissed on the same type of grounds, as some of their on-field habits are just a tad too basic for my liking – eye gouging being one of them.

The footballers I examined with great scrutiny and they almost came out on top, but then I thought, could I really be with a man that wants to be in the hairdressers more than I do? Or insists on driving a red Ferrari even before his mid-life crisis? What about if he wants to pick me up from Sainsburys after I have done the weekly shop, where will I put my fourteen carrier bags? There would be toilet rolls and potatoes rolling all over the place. No, my ideal sportsman would also have to drive a reasonably sensible car.

I therefore moved on to the football managers, as given that they are usually ex-players, they are generally not in too bad a condition. They soon were given the boot (sorry....), because I became perplexed about the amount of gum that it seems compulsory for them to chew. Look at all the work involved with getting that off the garden pavers, or the regular jaunts to the drycleaners due to it being stuck on the inside of their sheepskin coat pockets. Plus, there is the financial uncertainty that comes with being associated with a football manager and I am sure most of them would have bad nerves.

So in the end I settled for the cricketers. When I was little, I remember thinking it was a bit strange that many of these sportsmen were the same shape as my dear old dad, who enjoying a few pints on a regular basis was of rotund stature and thus slow on his feet. It seems those days are now long gone, and the cricketers are muscular, athletic, brave (I am thinking of the poor buggers that have to face the likes of Brett Lee bowling at them in excess of 145kph!) and their sport is truly unique. They have to be constantly alert under extreme conditions, including having a pint of perspiration sloshing around inside their helmets whilst standing at the crease. I imagine it would be rather lovely sitting in the stands supporting my cricketer during the long hot summers and this support would have the added benefit of me acquiring a large collection of fashionable hats. I feel it is such a dignified sport too, due to the cricketers not getting really dirty and what other sport stops for tea?