Wednesday, June 8, 2011

No Score

Field hockey is a silly game. Golf clubs are uniquely shaped to perform the task at hand. Rugby balls can be kicked and tossed, ice hockey sticks are the perfect length and both cricket and baseball bats have a sense of intelligent design. Field hockey sticks make no sense. You may as well play with a rake. I just watched my first field hockey game, a thrilling 0-0 tie. Of course the score often does not tell the exciting and captivating tale of the contest; I mean... there was a total of 2 shots on net. Look, I could be wrong - perhaps played by a talented cleaning crew skilled in the art of using a mop, the game can be navigated with the precision required to make it into a scintillating event. But I doubt it. I think any game which when played for an hour does not produce a single legitimate scoring change is inherently flawed (see my chapter on soccer).

I'm not struggling with all of the southern hemisphere sports, just most of them. For me soccer holds the appeal of overcooked pasta. For all of the oohing and awing about the players' alleged skill, meh...not impressed. Soccer nets are huge yet most of the players look like they'd have trouble scoring if they rocked up to women's penitentiary with a fistful of pardons. Rugby is nonsense, I mean - seriously, mix in a few rules! I ventured out to a Rugby Union match a few weeks ago (apparently different from Rugby League), I knew about 40% of what was going on, the fans were at 60%, the players were at 70% and the official could only have known about 80% of the "conventions" at best. In my opinion there were things going down on the pitch that the police should know about.

The two I do have time for are Aussie Rules Football and Cricket. Aussie Rules is a mixture of Roller Derby, Triathlon and capture the flag. It has to be exhausting to play as it is exhausting to watch. Cricket players are the epitome of cool, they have absolutely no hustle in them whatsoever. Their team mascot should be the sloth. They have great sweaters, which they wear in the blazing sun, they refuse to pass up on any refreshment breaks and they don't bother going to the effort of dressing up in opposing colours, white tops / green hats unless of course your England then its all together hats.

I suppose old habits die hard, and I'm sure the balk rule in baseball would be enough to make a foreigner cry; but I am unapologetic. I will gladly hoist the North American sporting contests over any from Australasia and if you disagree I have two words for you "Net Ball".

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