It was weird. There I was, watching the mighty Roger Federer, arguably the tennis player king of all time, in the final of the Miami Open. Up against him was another great – Rafael Nadal. On my TV set I could see the crowd cheer them onto court, applaud each point won – but I couldn’t hear a thing. No sound signal at all, for the first few games. I saw all the action but missed out on the atmosphere.
Any frustration I felt was balanced by sympathy for people who are hard of hearing. On-screen subtitles may be helpful, but with live broadcasting their inaccuracies can be an amusing or irritating distraction.
Eventually the TV sound returned and I was there court-side, hearing the cheers, the oohs and ahs, and noting the silences when a player was about to serve. A hush, then clapping. Tense faces, then grins of delight or grimaces of despair.
In heaven the deaf will hear, the blind will see, the lame will walk. And everyone will see the King. However lasting Federer and Nadal may seem to be, their reign will end. The reign of the King of kings will last for ever. Heaven’s cheers will be deafening. Er, no, they won’t, but they’ll be loud and joyful.