Monday, 9 April 2012

Postpone the Class War!

There I was, just about to wade into the ridiculous annual, smug, bore-fest known as the Boat Race, and bugger me,if it doesn't suddenly becomes interesting!  Fingers poised over the keyboard, ready to list all the usual leftie rubbish about the Boat Race, such as seeing all those smirking Pims-swigging Henrys, with their wearing-it-for-a-bet blazers and improbably large adams apples.  The exotic crews with names like Pilchard Jerusalem, Flickers Knobjockey and Raffles Frankenstein III.  Wondering how the same two teams had made it to the final yet again?

The Boat Race.  Invariably as interesting as this,
and then, suddenly......
Worse still, there was the hours and hours of build-up to the "event".  Claire Balding seemingly interviewing anyone and everyone on the towpath.  James May and Oz Clarke drinking their way up and down the entire length of the Thames.  There were also the lengthy flashbacks to previous encounters of note. 

It seemed the BBC couldn't pad the programme out enough.  I'm sure it wasn't always the case.  I seem to recall many years ago, when the Beeb could still show real sports, the Boat Race got the coverage it deserved.  In my mind's eye I can see Dickie Davies interrupting the post race interview with Lester Piggot from Chepstow, to inform the viewers that the Boat Race was already underway and we were going to pick it up at the halfway mark.  If any commentator was given the race to cover, he was never entirely sure which team was which, and certainly didn't hang around to interview any of the wheezing participants afterwards.  No, it was straight back to BBC Centre and coverage of the Darts.

This year it was different.  Whilst we all meekly drifted over to Non Park to watch our heroes casually succumb to relegation, the Boat Race suddenly become fun for the first time in 762 years.  What with a one-aussie mid-Thames protest causing a hold-up, then a mid race clash of oars, which looked like developing into a full scale cutlass-waving broadside, through to a collapsed competitior being hauled out of the boat at the end, the race was at least dramatic. 

Whilst our players were sleepwalking towards derby games with Brackley, our brainiac leaders of tomorrow were probably slugging it out in winebars the length and breadth of the Kings Road.  A much better spectacle, I'm sure you'd agree?

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