Sunday, May 14

American Sports

The Gnome supposes it is inevitable he will have to write about American sports eventually, so feels it is as well to get it over with now.

What are they all about?

No, really- somebody explain it. How does the world's only superpower end up with a monopoly on the world's most boring sports? Sports that virtually nobody else plays, or has any interest in?

American Football
A game resembling rugby with all the speed, skill and excitement surgically removed. American Football had a brief moment in the sun a decade or so ago in England when a (then) new television channel started showing highlights. It did very well, and understandably so. It is a great spectator game when something is happening. The trouble is, things only actually happen for about 30 seconds and then there is a 5 minute break. As soon as games were shown live everybody turned off through boredom.

As an avid cricket fan, the Gnome can sort of understand the fascination with baseball. The traditions, the history, the slow pace, the arcane rules. All of these are familiar to anyone brought up on cricket. But you have to ask the question - why not just play cricket? All the other ex-colonies took it up, what made the USA think rounders was a more suitable sport? And as for the concept of a 'World' Series between Toad Suck, Arkansas and Glory Hole, Montana, no comment will be made.

NASCAR racing
Come on, be serious now. Driving round and round an oval track for two hours is not a sport. It's dull. More fun can be had watching the M25 around London - at least people occasionally try to overtake each other and sometimes even change lanes. There's also more chance of seeing a life threatening accident which, let us all be honest, is the only reason anyone watches motor car racing of any kind...

The Gnome's strongest dislike is for this 'sport'. Grown men (rather too well grown if one is to be truthful) run up and down a small court and score every single time. So the score goes from 0-0, to 2-0, to 2-2, to 4-2, to 4-4 etc etc ad infinitum. Thirty seconds before the final whistle, every game the Gnome has seen has been tied on 110-110. These last 30 seconds determine the winner of every game... Basketball could, and should, be reduced to a 30 second game. Everything that went on before is pointless.

Whatever sport is watched on American TV, it is constantly interrupted by adverts. Despite his profession, the Gnome does not generally approve of adverts interrupting sports, but in the case of American style sports, he is sad to say the adverts are often far more entertaining than the sport they interrupt.

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