Posts Tagged ‘sky sports’
Technology can discombobulate. There were real concerns that the passengers of the early steam train journeys would be so unnerved by the motion that their heads would explode. When the Lumiere brothers showed the first moving images in a Parisian cinema the audience were so terrified they stampeded out onto the street.
I wonder if the elders at Sky Sports considered these dangers when they decided not only to premiere their 3-D Masters coverage but also to roll out the powerful sexual entity that is Colin Montgomerie. Not literally roll out, although that would be an operation rendered facile by the epic undulations on the Augusta course. It’s these vast green slopes that Montgomerie seems completely fixated on and are of course only revealed in their proper glory in the 3-D format.
Montgomerie himself has a mesmeric quality. It’s mainly his chops, which have the same elastic potential as a Creature Comforts tortoise. It’s also what comes out of his mouth: the strange burbles, whispery coughs, the giggles at nothing, and the odd mid-sentence boggle in which the same word will be repeated three or four times like a skipping CD. It’s like he’s become lost in his own huge jowls. 3-D jowls. There’s a head-exploding thought.
Question of Sport is filmed a few weeks before transmission but sometimes the wily production team like to give the false impression that the show is going out live. Thus on last night’s show Sue Barker conspiratorially wished David Haye good luck for tomorrow’s fight. And a millisecond’s panic was seen on Haye’s face that he was actually facing up the giant Valuev the next day (everybody seems to be referring to Valuev like that, as if he’s a character from a Slavonic folk-tale). Mental sparring with a leathery tennis commentator is hardly the best last-minute preparation for a fistfight with a massive Cretaceous throwback.
The rise of heavyweights from Eastern Europe has meant that less fights are taking place in the States and more in places such as Nuremburg and Minsk Square Garden. A positive effect of which is that if you’re in the Greenwich Mean Time gang you don’t have to staple your eyelids to your forehead to tune into the action.
As usual for bouts of this magnitude Sky are broadcasting it on a pay-per-view basis. I wouldn’t baulk at stumping up the £15 cost so much if I knew how much action I was going to enjoy. Because if Valuev brings down his anvil-fist onto the top of Haye’s bonce and knocks him out in the first round then I will certainly feel short-changed.
I suggest a pro rata system, with possibly a cab-style meter running in a top corner which ticks over for the duration of the fight. That would be Valuev for money.
I somehow managed to get live SkySports on my mobile yesterday. The capacity to watch actual sport on your phone is the greatest technological advance since the videprinter. It’s a revelation.
The picture is obviously rubbish and the commentary feeds through about a second before the image – my physics teacher told me that light travelled quicker than sound but anyway – and after about 15 minutes the massive absurdity of it overwhelms the little handset and it gives up the ghost. But I as I whizzed down the M4 last evening I could still ascertain that England were in the process of booting out the South Africans from their own tiny tournament. I hasten to add that I was in the passenger seat, there are rules about driving while watching ODI cricket.
It was all a bit much for me. I felt like Marty McFly in Back To The Future 2 and that bit when the giant holographic shark comes out from the cinema to chomp him. TV phones and a classy performance from an England one-day team. I just undid my seatbelt and rolled out onto the hard shoulder outside Reading Services.
I knew that Ashes fever had reached London this morning when I minced out of Oxford Circus to be immediately offered a SkySports promotional miniature bat, one of those that cricket fans collect autographs on. Slightly optimistic given that my work is a good 30-minute walk from Lords and the chances of any of the cricketing glitterati wandering aimlessly down Baker St towards the West End were slim. Although I did see Lords Taverners legend John Kettley outside my office once.
Of course I was excited today. Not only was it the morning of the Lords Test against Australia, but also the first round of the Open golf championship up on the Ayrshire coast at Turnberry. I am normally more enthusiastic about this tournament but it has been relegated by the Ashes to the status of a diverting sideshow. I reckon that is because if Geoff Ogilvy or Adam Scott or some other plucky Australian finds their name etched onto the side of the Claret Jug I will stand and applaud and say ‘jolly well played cobber’.
If the name of Ricky Ponting is inscribed onto the little brown urn I will think that is wrong on several levels, but mostly because England have been vanquished again in the series. That particular fear subsided briefly this morning as the England openers set about the Australian bowling with eye-popping ferocity. Mitchell Johnson looked as if he was going to walk away there and then with the Jason Gillespie award for being surprisingly shit.
But as I suspected at lunch the English batsmen found new and novel ways to invite Australia back in the game. I wondered whether Paul Collingwood was worried about being typecast as a nuggetty cricketer after his performance in Cardiff as he pranced negligently down the wicket and back to the pavilion against Michael Clarke, a bowling temp.
Andrew Strauss will be proud of himself but frustrated by his colleagues as they missed an opportunity to put Australia out of the game. He might also be hounded by the terrifying thought that 500 might not be enough on this pitch against these baggy green batters.
The course of this game will be massively influenced by the weather and probably dictated the pace at which the match moved forward today. Perhaps Strauss and Ponting should consult John Kettley for some advice. I know where he is. He’s outside my office.