It takes a lot for me to shout and scream at the TV. I’m a fairly quiet, reserved type, and also I don’t want to spill my wine.
But on the occasions when I’ve lost the plot at the telly in the last decade or so, there’s a 95% chance that Mark Cavendish was winning a bike race.
The World Championships in 2011 were the only time the neighbours knocked on the door to check whether a murder, or a mental breakdown was in progress.
“Better than that”, I said, “Cav’s just won the worlds!”
Implausibly, they didn’t share my excitement.
Other memorable examples of me verbally abusing the TV in recent years include: Peter Sagan’s win at the World Championships in Richmond in 2015; Geraint Thomas leaving the road on a hairpin bend and head-butting a post in the Tour de France; and a recent episode of the BBC’s Planet Earth II that involved a flock of bemused hatchling turtles wandering into busy traffic instead of flapping off into the sea as planned.
I’d post a clip, but I’m welling up, and tears are dripping onto my keyboard.
Anyway, back to the mighty Cavendish.
Not too long ago I’d mentally resigned myself to the fact that his best days were long gone. I was busy consoling myself with re-runs of Wiggins, wearing yellow, leading him to victory on the Champs Elysees.
Again. Tears on the keyboard.
As it turned out Cav’s glories were not in the past, but still very much in the present.
After scrabbling around for a couple of years winning lower ranked sprints he re-emerged, and took four stage wins at the 2016 Tour de France, suffered a brutal near miss against Sagan at the World Championships, and won track gold with Wiggins.
It was glorious.
The primal screaming at the TV resumed. I pretended I’d never doubted him, and the neighbours were left in no doubt that Cav was back to his best.
All we need now is for the unseen baby turtle footage to emerge; the bit where the film crew round up the disorientated hatchlings in a bucket, transport them down the beach, and wave them off into the ocean.
Cue more screaming at the TV.
And tears on the keyboard.