Monday, August 17, 2009

World of Rupe

Being regular readers of this diary you will be well aware that I do not possess one of those new-fangled highly-defined televideograms that everyone seems to have now so while preparing my dinner yesterday evening, I turned on the wireless. It was having none of it so I was forced to listen to it.* It was that little gardener cove, Titsarse, doing your 100 Best Tunes or whatever it's called now, apparently Hubert Gregg no longer being up for the gig having passed away several years ago. Didn't fancy it, nor the god slot after, so I tuned to the medium wave to catch the athletics world championships from Berlin just in time to hear the commentary on something that was quite frankly remarkable.

Exactly a year ago in Beijing, Usain Bolt strolled 100 metres in a time requiring something approaching warpspeed to complete. It was a truly stunning piece of human athleticism that anyone who appreciates any kind of sporting prowess could admire. He made a quality field of the best athletes in the world look like club journeymen. As he had a bad start and also appeared to be slowing down and showboating for most of the second half of the "race" it was surely only a matter of time before he would get everything right and produce something memorable and last night was that night. He ran an insanely fast time and broke his own record by 11/100ths of a second and over 100 metres, where world records are measured in one or two 100ths at a time that is a ridiculous amount. Tyson Gay ran the third fastest time in history - what would have been a world record a year ago - and came second. It sounded a spectacle. But some spectacles can only truly be appreciated visually; it is often extremely thrilling to watch someone do something expertly and if they are a peerless master at that skill then that thrill becomes a privelege, even though that privilege is being shared with millions.

I texted my sister, no mean athlete herself (a multi be-medalled Veteran world champion) and asked whether she'd seen it. Yes, she had and it was superb. Bugger. Oh well, it was 9 pm and time for my Sunday evening indulgence; I'd go and watch the replay in the pub. Bound to be on - that was history being made, wasn't it. 15 minutes later and I was propping up the bar in the Gaffer's Row watching two screens in turn, one showing Rupe-O-News and the other Rupe-O-Sports News. A big yellow tickertape was flashing along the bottom of both screens announcing the breaking news of Mr Bolt's triumph. "Good", I thought, they'll show it soon. Did they bollocks. Two hours I stood and watched that shite. Oh they mentioned it enough and on the Sports channel I saw miniscule highlights of lots of things. Rugby League; Andy Murray winning a tennis match in Montreal; a seagull nicking a bail at the Australia v England Lions game at my spiritual home, the St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury. They talked about the unravelling final round in the US PGA golf and showed a bit of the Moto GP. Wayne Rooney gave a lucid and intelligent interview, Neil Warnock showed righteous indignation at the "non-goal". It was on a loop, the same stories over and over again and and presided over by two of the most vacuous, uninspiring and boring presenters I'd ever witnessed. No sense of history at all. This was the sports channel for crying out loud! Something truly remarkable in the world of sport had happened and you weren't talking about it. Why not? Instead you were showing the Dutch football league table. Who's interested in that? Who buys this crap? Go hang your heads in collective shame.

*© S.Milligna, 1955

8 Vegetable peelings:

Blogger Vicus Scurra said...

Not sure what point you were making - I'm a bit distracted by watching Somerset v Sussex.

5:04 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Have they broken away from it to show the running highlights yet? The thing that really pissed me off was that they were quite happy to show Bolt in a press conference before the meeting - as if that was some kind of consolation.

5:31 pm  
Blogger Vicus Scurra said...

It may have been that they didn't have the rights to show it - the world drug test avoidance championships are on the BBC. Not that I would ever stick up for Murdoch (other than to annoy you).
If you haven't seen it yet, Bolt won. Sorry if that spoilt it.

9:26 pm  
Blogger Phil said...

Here you are Richard:

It really was stunning to watch and they showed Michael Johnson's reaction after which was sheer disbelief!!

Sorry I couldn't find and english version.

5:58 am  
Blogger Morton Shadow said...

Was it Sky Sports Richard?

If so, then there's a simple explanation: the athletics world championships are being covered by the BBC. Because they are funded out of the licence fee the field of broadcasting has been *disgustingly* rigged by the government in favour of the Corporation at the expense of poor, plucky, entrepreneurial Sky. By way of protest, Sky boycotted Bolt's 100 m triumph as a small gesture aimed at ending this awful tyranny.

Hope that's clear.


7:29 am  
Blogger Rog said...

Ah yes...Mort's put his finger on it.

Hopefully Rupe will start charging for his news service in the next few months and go out of business.

10:30 am  
Blogger Richard said...

Phil and others, yes I did realise that the BBC had probably got the rights but I didn't realise the embargo extended to the showing of highlights some time after the event. Rupe is theoretically offering a sports coverage service. He quite blatantly isn't. And I did watch it, and Michael Johnson's stunned disbelief, on the BBC site in the library yesterday morning. It was very impressive. As for charging - you can watch it on your mobile if you pay extra for it. I can see that service really coining it for him. Ironically they were pushing the service on a theme of "Running late for the match? Watch it on rupe-o-bile" "Missed the race? You can't see it here because whereas the BBC pay us to show highlights, we can't be arsed to use your subs to run a reciprocal arrangement"

12:02 pm  
Blogger Dave said...

Highlights are like 10 second clips, right? Showing the whole race probably doesn't count as a highlight.

7:13 am  

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