At the National Rust we pride ourselves at tilting at windmills and we have already attacked the wall-to-wall coverage and hyping of the Commonwealth Games by the BBC. We are not alone. Tom Peck in yesterday’s Independent could not see the point of the Games, other than to remind us of the embarrassment of empire – see here – THE INDEPENDENT
The BBC have been naughty here. Because they have so few sporting rights, they big up the events they have but, as Daley Thompson said to a gushing Gary Lineker, these Games come after the Olympics, World and European competitions in the athlete’s ambitions and calendar.
Its not unlike the women’s sport that the BBC also buys and promotes. Here political correctness and fear of being labelled sexist means they will get a soft ride. It’s not the fact that women are participating but the level of sport you are watching. Nike. in their adverts showcasing the ball skills of Ronaldo. realise the pull and attraction of seeing something and someone you cannot emulate. I happened to be watching the Canada Open golf and Jim Furyk had a dreadful lie on bare ground. He worked a low back-spun pitch onto the green and achieved a par. The weekend hacker like myself would have been pleased to get the ball onto any better lie on the fairway.
Tom Peck even has the bravery to challenge para sport. Of course, we all admire the determination of the disadvantaged in participating in sport. It’s inspiring but can it ever be elite sport and, unless its Oscar Pretorius, can one ever criticise? The sanitisation of sport is not really what it’s about; we have always love our mavericks like Alex Higgins, George Best and John Daly.
In 1968 ITV had few sport rights and appointed Jimmy Hill as Head of Sport. For the 1970 World Cup he came up with the panel of Derek Dougan, Paddy Crerand, Mal Allison and Bob McNab, which gave us hours of pleasure and trumped the staid Beeb. Auntie needs to show some similar bold thinking and not try to fool us with hype.