19
Aug 08

Olympic Avoidance Log 2008: Day 9 – Jolly Hockey Sticks

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Less medals = less news coverage. That is a good thing to the determined avoider. What else has been good is the monotony of the sports involved in the British medla haul. It is quite easy to tell if its the Olympics when the staggering diversity of potential sports to be shown are narrowed down to cycling and sailing (or indeed general watersports*). There is a safe bet that if my eye catches wide open expanses of grey water, that the TV is not on an ITV3 re-run of Hornblower or the Onedin Line, but rather another untelegenic sport with unclear rules. For instance its not clear to me if in the Yngling all the contestants have to be female (and blonde). Sex would seem to make little difference to a sailing crew, but what do I know. Except having “Laser” as a boat class name is a pretty pathetic way of making your sport sound cool!

One place where I am surprised to see a lack of the mixed version of the game is the hockey field. (Or field hockey field if yr expecting ice hockey). The mixed game is pretty established so its surprising the Hockey Federation doesn’t try to wring another medal out. I caught a bit too much of the British Women vs the USA match yesterday which ended in a 0-0 draw, effectively ending both of the teams medal hopes. But then I have always been a bit of a sucker for hockey which, but for a few flaws in the games design, should be a major spectator sport. Watching about ten minutes of GB under the cosh reminded me that the game is as tactical, and brutal, as football. But the ball is a bit too small to comfortably see, and when played well it moves to fast for a cameraman to comfortably follow. There is also a few rules which are less easy to explain (the short corner / long corner rule). I forgot, for this ten minutes, that it was in the Olympics – though I should have remembered as it is about the only time hockey is on the TV. Apperently our result does mean we qualify for the World Cup or something, so there may be more hockey, which I can enjoy outside the pervasive losing atmosphere of the Olympics. And why not mixed hockey too?

Stickball Minutes: Ten
TOTAL OLYMPIC MINUTES: Thirty Five!

*Perhaps the presence of watersports in over 50% of UK lonely hearts ads as an interest is not actually some sort of sexual code, and people actually just want someone they can Yngle with.

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