Saturday 28 April 2007

Somewhere between the sacred silence and sleep


I like sport. Having played some kind of team-orientated game since I was old enough to stand you could say I have a somewhat deep rooted love of all things involving a ball of varying shape and size (stick to control the ball is optional). Because of this lifetime engrossed in playing I naturally acquired a desire to watch sport on t.v. at any given oppurtunity. This has on occasion been to the detriment of my education slightly (world cup in J.C., Lion tour during the L.C., the Heineken cup in general, the six nations, NFL) but other than that it is a completely harmless addiction and I can quit whenever I like by simply turning off the t.v.

Or not, in the grand pantheon of sport I have a particular soft spot for ones of extreme violence. Having spent 6 years playing rugby I think I've developed a somewhat sadistic desire to watch, as much as possible, two groups (or just two fighters) of hilariously large men beat the living crap out of each other. To this end the NFL, NHL and UFC have become firm favourites of mine in the last couple of years, months and weeks respectively. There is also rugby, in any way shape and form and the occasional Aussie Rules, both of which I watch religiously too.

The main difference between my new favourite sports and the old guard is the average kick-off time. I'm not a late night kinda guy to begin with and the UFC isn't that bad cos of bravo's delayed coverage (they show the fight the night AFTER it happens, but at a normal hour) but watching the NFl and NHL is almost painful.

Right now it is 10:51 a.m. (I've been up since 9) and I'm watching the overtime in the Vanvouver - Anaheim hockey game. I went to bed at 5:30... just a little over 5 hours ago. I've had 3 and a half hours sleep, my eyes are actually fighting to stay closed I'm so tired. This is my only real grievance about watching hockey or football. I think both are fantastic spectator sports but damnable time difference makes watching them live a chore.

What would improve the experience significantly would be the removal of the goddamn ad-breaks, once you've seen the same ad for Zoom airlines 3oo million times, you don't feel like flying cheap from the U.K. to Canada, you just wanna kill someone. I thought it was bad in the NFL, but yank football lends itself to numerous ad breaks with its stop/start nature. Hockey though... how they manage to drag an ice hockey game, thats 3 periods of 20 minutes into a 3 hour long affair is quite a feat of time management. To compare with say rugby, 2 halves, 40 minutes long, 15 mins for half time, 15 mins for build-up if you wanna watch it, maybe another 15 if you watch the match reaction after; thats a grand total of 125 mins, just over 2 hours. So in the space of time it would take you to watch 2 hockey games 12:00 a.m. -> 6:00 a.m you could potentially watch 3 rugby matches... and a hockey match is 60 minutes total, rugby is 80...

hmmm something is rotten in the state of sports television

[Puppy sleepin pic is in honour of my dog, who decided to taunt me by sleepin on the rug in front of the t.v. this morning]

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