by Alan Watkins
There was no way I would waste my time watching the Olympics. Over-priced, with loud-mouthed sports personalities - watch that debt-laden programme? Never!
I did report on the torch relay, but that was by instruction, rather than by choice.
Hand-ball? - much prefer rugby.
BMX racing? - a game for primary school children seeking a thrill.
Women’s boxing? - bound to be handbagging and hair-pulling.
Equestrians? - over-rich titled twits (and that’s just their horses).
Football? - show ‘em the penalty spot and it’s game over.
What else is there to watch? - Brits getting beat, that’s what. Except....
Despite all my doubts before the first chimney appeared on the athletics stadium floor, somehow I became embroiled in the whole thing.
I thrilled as the imperious Usain Bolt broke all the perceived rules for focused champions, and still won golds.
I winced as women belted each other and still grinned.
I roared as the BMX riders smashed into (and through) each other, wondered how Jessica Ennis could still smile so softly as she broke records - and her opponents - and felt for the marksmen as they tried to win more than a single medal.
Fortunately, my scepticism about the whole event was secured by the football team. I told you: point at the penalty spot and it’s game over for the Brits.
Now it’s Games Over. We all await the Paralympics, and the long-term legacy of inspiring a generation.
Well, I wonder whether the Games inspired the generation loitering around the High Streets in Chatham and Gillingham?
I talked to a number of teenagers in Dartford a couple of weeks ago.
The town had hosted the British judo team, and the beaming 100 metres runner, Adam Gemili, is a local schoolboy. This, surely, was added inspiration.
Unfortunately, such aspirations were swiftly dented. It wasn’t a scientific exploration of youth minds - more a straw poll.
Not one of them was inspired by the Games. Some were quite articulate, and said the £11 billion reportedly spent on the Games should have been used for getting younger people ready for a work environment. Another said the health service should get the money.
One young lady named Natasha said: “Me watch the Olympics? No. It’s boring.”
I have to admit, I would never have described the Olympics as boring, but in at least one town Seb Coe and his crowd of motivators may not have inspired the generation they promised to.