It’s something all of us males do and becomes quite a skill as we lie on the couch like a beached whale, desperately searching for something to watch. In fact, it can be described as some sort of physical exercise as we move our thumb to press the up or down button on the TV remote repeatedly, scanning over the digital television stations which seem to constantly air the same shows.
“The practice of quickly scanning through different television channels in order to find something interesting to watch. Modern viewers, who may have satellite services beaming down dozens if not hundreds or thousands of channels, are frequently channel surfing. It is common for people to scan channels when advertisements are on.
However, during one of these periods of boredom, I came across a show which attracted my attention instantly. I don’t think I’ve ever actually watched a programme ITV4 before this but their documentary on Fabrice Muamba during the week was simply outstanding.
ITV4’s normal schedule includes police chases uncovered, black and white movies and dour ancient English television series. However, their exclusive “Sports Life Stories” has received a lot of attention and praise with famous sporting figures including Gareth Thomas, Dame Kelly Holmes, Lawrence Dallaglio, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Barry McGuigan, Amir Khan and Brian Lara all featuring during the eight-part series.
It was by pure chance that I came across Thursday night’s edition in which former Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba talks about how he was at the centre of one of the most extraordinary sports stories of the year.
He was not a widely known footballer, if you weren’t into football the chances are that before the 17th of March 2012 you would never had heard of him. His story is quite remarkable and one that has touched the heart of every football fan across the world.
On that day, Fabrice Muamba collapsed during Bolton’s FA Cup clash with Tottenham at White Hart Lane in front of a crowd of 38,000 and for all intents and purposes was medically dead for 78 minutes. That he survived was incredible, that he seems to have suffered no lasting brain damage is a miracle. 41 minutes into the match with nobody around him, Muamba collapsed and within seconds it became clear this was not just a muscle sprain or cramp, it was something much more serious.
As a football fanatic, I was inevitably watching this game live and it will stick in my memory for a long time to come as the horror on his fellow professionals, the fans and the coaching staff’s faces was there for all to see. Everybody was sure that he had died on that pitch. His story united the footballing world as tributes were paid to the 24-year-old during his lengthy recovery in hospital.
He indeed went on to make a full recovery and the documentary follows him as he experiences two more poignant moments in his incredible life to date; his wedding and the incredibly emotional moment when he returned to the exact spot on the pitch where is life flashed before his eyes.
It was a brilliant documentary and reminder how we should make the most of the life we live.