Everyone needs a passion to keep them going through the cycles of work and the seasons of the year. I’m not talking here about loved ones, your family and friends. I’m talking about vices: music festivals, music, live theatre, hobbies, travel or holidays, that kind of thing. These are high points that can anchor a period in your life and stand out from the day-to-day stuff we do in order to afford to enjoy the high points.

For me it’s the catharsis of sport, both playing it and watching it. Participating in sport and attending or watching broadcasts of key sporting events define the time of the year for me. Let me walk you through a typical year of this sports fan, plucked out of my head without the need to check the calendar:

January – dark, miserable, poverty-stricken. Just in time, the Australian Open tennis hoves into view to save the one month that’s pretty much a waste of time. A foreign bonus comes to close the month down, in the form of the Superbowl. We in marketing can kid ourselves we’re working by watching the ads on youtube.

February – when you think Spring will never come, the 6 Nations Rugby championships comes to the rescue, closely followed by the business end of Champions League football.

March – more rugger and more soccer. US Sweet Sixteen and Final Four college hoops if you’re into that stuff. And is that the imperceptibly lengthening and warming days of Spring I detect?

April – the Masters golf at Augusta. The best major, though I’ve never been able to pin down why. Yes, and the snooker world championship too. Stick with it, it’s a drug.

May – the reward of a monster month. The death throes of the football and rugby leagues, the Champions League final, the Heineken Cup final and the best tennis major to attend – apparently; it always sneaks up on me before I’ve thought about summer trips – the glorious French Open. The lung-bursting, clay-drenched minute-long rallies.

June – Ah, the summer is here in earnest. The US Open golf tournament, the toughest major. Anyone for cricket? There’s usually a test series to follow, and the athletics Diamond League circuit winds up. The NBA finals remind me that I’m not ideally built for the hoops. Oh and Wimbledon, aka Wimbers, always the last week of June and first week of July. Happy days.

July – The Open, at the home of golf. Four halcyon days, even if the weather’s howling.

August – The US Open tennis. Hotter than the hinges of Hades, rather like the Australian Open. Supreme athleticism and the lungs of Miguel Indurain required. Sometimes they sneak the US PGA in as well during August, and so our cup over-floweth.

September – The baseball action gets down to the nitty gritty. Decent footie awaits as the Champions League swings into action with group matches to lift the mid-week blues.

October – The Autumn rugby internationals give us an annual reminder of why the southern hemisphere lads are better than us northern folks.

November – More rubgy, the final group matches in the Champions League, and the ATP tennis finals as we wind down for the holiday period.

December – Crimbo! Far too much on to think about sport, kind of, although between Christmas and New Year the good people from the darts world are good enough to give us two rival championships to help us finish off the turkey fricassee. We’re usually getting tonked at the cricket by the Aussies down under as well.

Bonus events in the summer can really make the summer: a world cup or an Olympics every second summer. The autumn is enhanced beyond measure by the biennial Ryder Cup. A Lions rugby tour or a Rugby World Cup can make the winter.

Boy! Anyone would think that there can’t be any time left for family and work. Work hard and play hard is the only way to get through it :-).