Back to openDemocracy Email us Powered by TypePad  
political magazine Help bring democracy to the US
political magazine The New oD Today
political magazine China's modernisation and its discontents
political magazine openDemocracy widget
political magazine Goodbye Habeas Corpus
political magazine Dance the guns to silence?
political magazine Don't be a lawyer in China
political magazine Have we hit the ground yet?
political magazine The strange ways of Falungong
political magazine 2000 dead
political magazine April 2006
political magazine December 2005
political magazine November 2005
political magazine October 2005
political magazine September 2005
political magazine August 2005
political magazine July 2005
political magazine June 2005
political magazine May 2005
political magazine April 2005
My Photo oD Today
A weblog from the editors, staff and friends of

« Sudan in children's drawings | Main | Women face constitutional setback in Japan »

Snooker is real!

It has been a wonderful sunny spring ‘bank holiday’, the strange term for a Monday that turns a weekend into an official three day break in the UK. It ended with millions of us glued to the snooker. This is another particular aspect of life on our islands. I have always found it odd and parochial for the Americans to talk about ‘The World Series’ in a sport that they are almost alone in playing to first-class standards. But we too have a ‘world championship’ in a sport few nations share. Today Shaun Murphy, 22 years old and a 150 to 1 outsider beat the still young 27 year old Matthew Stevens by 18 sessions to 16 in a gripping final, played out over two full days, to become world snooker champion.

It was as if the general election had been turned off by the weather and an authentic competition of sustained nerve, strategy and quality. Televised in close up, with a hushed commentary, character and calculation are played out ball by ball. There is no artificial pumping of crowd enthusiasm. Restraint governs the intense focus of players and spectators. The championship lasts for over two weeks. In the first round where games last less than a day, the odd smattering of competitors from the Far East (including Australia) are eliminated by players from the British Isles (including Ireland). The final is played to the best of 35 sessions. Today’s went to the wire with 34.

When it was all over, I channel hopped and there was Tony Blair defending himself over Iraq, pretending it was his decision. There was a tremendous lowering of energy, expectation and belief. The charade was unbearable. Sport has become the location of the real.

Real names comments weclcome

May 3, 2005 in Blair's Bust - UK election | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Snooker is real!:


The comments to this entry are closed.

Back to openDemocracy Email us Powered by TypePad