Tag Archives: Television

Everyone loves sport; but only those with taste love Darts

After the first post about the whole “is darts a sport?” thing, we thought we’d carry it on a little further. Here, Jamie takes a passionate look at how the argument about whether darts is a sport is perhaps a lot deeper than first imagined – David.

The argument as to whether or not Darts is a sport is irrelevant.

I’ve never understood what point those who argue so passionately that it’s not a sport are trying to make. There are umpteen sports that don’t involve physical exertion; Snooker, Shooting, Angling, Curling, Archery; we could be here all day. You could say that Golf is no more than a long walk (what do you mean someone already did?). This is a futile discussion, either you believe or you don’t.

There are some who still regard Football as no more than twenty-two men kicking a bag of wind around, despite the somewhat overwhelming evidence to the contrary. And as for the question ‘What is Sport?’, well okay while we’re at at it, ‘What is Art?’, ‘What is Truth?’ ‘What is the Meaning of Life?’ ‘Why are we here?’ Leave your answers in the comments.

Are we to understand then that the naysayers theory is that Darts shouldn’t be on TV for this reason? Hmm, only sports are allowed on television…well that’s a view that would earn you a drink from me, but regardless of whether you would include Darts in your schedule, it’s not exactly realistic.

Or is it? It strikes me that sports-only television is already here (and I’m not simply referring to dedicated sports channels). It also strikes me that it’s not the fantasy I envisaged. Today’s TV schedules are crammed with shows that involve real-life activity being turned into a sporting contest. Nobody would sit around watching the raw materials of the most popular shows, be it crap singing (X-Factor), crap dancing (Strictly), or even just crap human existence (Big Brother, I’m a Celeb). The element they all have in common is competition. What is actually going on in all these productions is utterly mundain, but place it in a competitive environment with rules and judging and point scoring and, most importantly, a champion crowned at the end of it all, and suddenly you have crowd-pulling dynamite.

You also have sport, for it is surely in the contest that you find its definitive aspect. Golf fans (Yes, I am picking on Golf, you’ll get used to it) just ask yourself what your beloved game looks like seen outside the environment of the final round of a major, or the Ryder Cup.

That’s right, what the masses are obsessing over is sport. All you sat out there transfixed infront of the TV on a saturday night, you obviously love your sport. Glad to see it, but you could have been doing this all along. After all, the thrills and spills that make your favourite sports so compelling have been served up by Darts for years.

The problem these new sports have is that they are made specifically for television, not to be enjoyed by a live crowd. They will soon be replaced in the schedules (who knows, maybe by old-fashioned creativity; Drama, Comedy, anyone remember those?) and they will thankfully leave no legacy. They will not stand the test of time. The great sports all earned their followings without the power of the media to help them. It is television’s privilege to play host to the greatest reality TV of all – that’s why it costs them so much money to broadcast it, and why what cash is left after the real sport has been purchased goes into producing cheap sports alternatives.

Us genuine sports fans know where to go to get our fix of healthy competition. The sports that have been tried and tested and repeatedly enjoyed, by millions of fans who have spent a lifetime devoted. The sports that are best enjoyed live. If there’s a place in the public domain for competition dancing, competition singing, and competition idiocy, then there’s more than enough room for competition Darts.


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Filed under Darts, Opinion, Sid Waddell, Sport, Television

Pleat’s up in the ascendancy / Welcome

Pleat’s up in the ascendancy

“And Arsenal really must feel that the sight is in end”, said David Pleat in 2006, as Arsenal were 1-0 up, and 26 minutes away from winning their first European Cup against Barcelona.

As I watched the final in a Moroccan café 50 yards away from Highbury (all the pubs were full, and my friends and I were desperately searching for somewhere to watch the game. Then, the kindly proprietor noticed our dilemma, and waved us in; it felt rather bohemian at the time, like something Albert Camus would have done), no-one seemed to cotton onto the Pleatism until I burst out laughing, and told everyone. Little did I realise the impact the Commentator’s Curse would have. It was wrong in so many ways, yet beautiful in others.

Another Pleatism (again involving Arsenal) closely follows, and was again in a game of the utmost significance: the title decider against Liverpool at Anfield in 1989.

While Arsenal are in desperate need for one more goal to snatch the Barclays League title (strange how things come back in roundabouts, isn’t it?) from Liverpool, Pleat goes on to blabber:

“Although Arsenal aren’t going to win the Championship, it is somewhat poetic justice that they have a result on the night.”

Has anyone else ever been able to find a glint of irrelevant solace like Pleat?

Anyway, while trying to find a clip to illustrate the above (but to no avail), I found this this beauty from the underrated BBC animation series, Monkey Dust – it’s up for grabs now!:

The Sight is in End will take an irreverent look at all sports (although I admit that this is football-centric, but fear not! Cricket! Tennis! Polo! American Football! Chess! Bridge! Yes! Chess and Bridge are sports, according to the IOC – it’ll all be here!), with the hope of being humorous, entertaining, and most importantly, informative.

It will keep in touch with the goings-on in the world of sport (or offerings that have some relevance to sport; or, a tenuous link…) especially when we have a busy year ahead of us. We will try to bring you everything from the widely covered, to the almost forgotten. They’ll be dogmatic opinion and pragmatic thought, expressed in comment pieces, reports, features and maybe the odd interview. We shall try our best.




Filed under Arsenal FC, Football, Pleatism, Soccer, Sport, Television