Niche sports that got their 15 minutes of glory in Hollywood

THERE are only so many movies about boxing the public can endure. This is why Hollywood has resorted to making whole films about these niche sports.

Arm wrestling – Over The Top (1987)

A film seemingly created by a Hollywood executive throwing a dart at a board of A-list actors, and another dart at a board of random sports. There’s no other way to explain away a film where Sylvester Stallone plays a truck driver competing in the World Arm-Wrestling Championship. At least everyone was spared a film about bog snorkelling starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

NASCAR – Days of Thunder (1990)

Although wildly popular among US rednecks, NASCAR is a niche sport in the UK. If Brits want to watch overpaid drivers endlessly race around dull tracks, they’ll stick on F1 and pretend to enjoy it. This blockbuster dud only has a 38 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so at least it’s more entertaining than watching Lewis Hamilton.

Ice hockey – The Mighty Ducks (1992)

Another popular North American sport that has a following of f**k all in the UK, which is odd because the ensuing violence would be well received. Audiences in this country were disappointed to find the film was about Emilio Estevez coaching a group of young hockey players, and not genetically enhanced ducks going on a rampage as its name suggests.

Bobsleigh – Cool Runnings (1993)

The cult classic beloved by every white undergraduate with dreadlocks, Cool Runnings tells the story of the Jamaican bobsleigh team who competed at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. And just like the real Winter Olympics, this film is less entertaining than you remember it being and you’ll never sit through the whole thing.

Chess – The Queen’s Gambit (2020)

No, this Netflix series isn’t technically a film, but chess shouldn’t be recognised as a sport because you were never forced to change into your PE kit to play it. Only wildly popular because people had bugger all else to do due to Covid, The Queen’s Gambit made a whole generation try the game before saying ‘f**k this’ after five minutes of tedious play.

Baseball – Field of Dreams (1989)

Baseball is rounders for Americans who have not grown up and moved onto a proper adult sport like football or dog racing. This could be why Field of Dreams has failed to leave a lasting cultural impact in the UK, although Kevin Costner’s annoying-to-look-at face must surely shoulder some of the blame as well.

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Six ways to piss off your partner without even realising

IRRITATING your partner does not need to be an elaborate affair. Annoy them with minimal effort by doing these things.

Leave the toilet seat up

Returning the toilet seat to its horizontal position only takes a second, but there’s no point when you might need to piss again in a few hours. While you can’t see anything wrong with this bulletproof logic, an upright toilet seat will lead to a tirade from your partner about hygiene risks and basic courtesies. She’s right of course but you’re too old to change.

Talk over the telly

Match of the Day has just started, so obviously now is the perfect time to talk to your partner about important things like your friend Sarah’s latest row with her boyfriend or an interesting cloud you saw. It’s not as if he needs to concentrate on crucial dialogue, like when he inconsiderately mentioned he’d been made redundant while you were trying to watch Bridgerton.

Tell them about your day

Your partner will not care that Matt from marketing used your favourite mug or that the new trainee is f**king useless. Instead they’ll listen to your rambling anecdotes in dead-eyed silence while secretly wondering how their life ended up like this. Your decision to never ask how their day has been should make them mad, but they’re used to it by now.

Forget to empty the dishwasher

Dishwashers are magical appliances that take all the back-breaking labour out of doing the washing up. And if you leave the door open long enough once it’s finished, all the plates will eventually tidy themselves away. Quite why your partner finds this miraculous phenomenon annoying is a constant source of confusion to you. Maybe you should tell them how it works?

Never change the loo roll

Leaving one last forlorn scrap of toilet paper on the roll is a sign of utmost respect and consideration. You wouldn’t want your other half to be left with nothing, plus you’re saving on waste. On the rare occasion you’re forced to change the loo roll, add a charming personal touch by putting it on the wrong way round. Your partner will appreciate this.

Leave crap in their car

Discarding empty crisp packets and half-finished bottles of Coke in your runaround is so habitual you barely think about it. Yet when you do this in your partner’s car they take your littering as a personal affront. It’s probably because they love their Audi more than you, so don’t feel bad about accidentally keying it next time you walk past.