Monday, June 09, 2014


It is a truth universally acknowledged that the British, if they possibly can, will take a perfectly sensible sport and devise a race: 
1) With rules so complex that they are impenetrable to any outsider. 
2) Which is so potentially dangerous that, had it been invented today it would be banned. 
3) Where there is a clear hierarchy that is very difficult to challenge. 
4) That has its own nomenclature and arcane rituals. 
5) Where the spectators can drink copious amounts of alcohol in very pleasant surroundings and treat actually watching the racing as an option.

The photo and quotation above -  and an example of the quote's truthiness - can be found at Bumps to the Head, on the excellent 'Hear the Boat Sing' blog which, although not about sailing, must be the definitive blog in its own watery sporty niche. I only wish I had the knowledge, the talent and the time to write a blog that is even half as good about sailing.


Damian said...

In fairness, it is not just the English. The Irish sport of hurling fulfils at least four of the five characteristics listed.

I know of an American Footballer who visited Ireland for the summer and went to watch a hurling match. He loved it so much he went to watch loads of games over the rest of his stay. The family he was staying with saw he loved it and arranged for him to be able to give the sport a go with a local club. When they told him, he said that much as he loved to watch the games, there was no way in hell he was ever going to set foot on a hurling pitch.

And, frankly, you can only commend him for his good sense.

But if you ever get the chance, go and watch a game. The players are unbelievably skillfull and brave/mad.

Tillerman said...

Thanks for the suggestion Damian. I must look into this strange Irish sport of hurling. I am not surprised that that American "footballer" didn't like it. I don't really understand American "football" but as far as I can tell the whole point of American "football" is to wear tight pants and bend over with your bum in the air until the pretty white boy throws the oval thingie in some random direction and then you run straight at one of the opposing team and fall over. It seems to have little to do with feet or balls so I don't know why they call it football.

meech said...

Speaking of football (no not that misnamed one), England's first match is Saturday at 6pm EDT against Italy, in the Amazon!

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