Short answer, no, but you’re not here for the short answer are you? I hope not, I hope you’re here because you’re bored out of your mind, stumbled across this blog, read my previous work, liked it, then thought “hey, I like the way this guy writes, for the first time ever he’s given his opinion in the first paragraph, so I don’t NEED to carry on reading, but I will, I require humour!”… This is the dream anyway, if it’s not the reality, I’ll wish you a more eventful and enjoyable use of your spare time. I disgress a little.
The Commonwealth Games, the opening ceremony is currently on television in the background and the mighty Mauritius just came out with their team, the flag barer n’all, good times. Ok Pakistan just had a weird entrance, first of all the crowd over-compensated to welcome them into the stadium for as we all know, India and Pakistan have a rivalry on the level of England and Germany, Germany and Holland, Germany and Argentina, my point is, it’s quite heated. So clearly India either ordered to before the cameras were turned on, or person goodwill, cheered and applauded as if Pakistan were their own countrymen. Then Pakistan’s 50 year old (well he looked it) weightlifter (and flag bearer) got barked orders by a suit in the team to either lift the flag higher or wave it a certain way, and the smile the flag bearer showed seem oh so forced, like you going to visit your gran and you’d rather want to complete Halo:Reach. And now Haroon Khan, boxer, (Amir Khan’s brother, and seems unofficial promoter, remember Amir Khan fight December 12th), and man of dual nationality, so as a man born and bred in England, he has elected to fight for Pakistan, as a fellow man of dual nationality, I can see the appeal, “instead of small fish in a big pond, I’ll be a big fish in a small pond”… Hero.
I think I’ve digressed again, is it still relevant, well no as the only reason it even came to be was when Britain literally owned all these small countries, and either forcefully or willingly, mainly forcefully, these countries succumbed to British rule and were colonized. Most of these countries are now independently ruled, in Nigeria’s case, independently ruled for 50 years (Happy 50th Naija), so is this a celebration of a Commonwealth that’s not really there any more? That at one point, this event was called ‘The British Empire Games’. So the British Empire fell, and so did the name, yet some countries felt the need to “keep up appearances” and play along with such events, no actual rule, but still a part of a society, like a bigger, better ‘European Union’ I suppose. I was listening to Fighting Talk on BBC Radio 5 Live last week and one contestant said he saw The Commonwealth Games as a nice geography lesson, and to be honest, so do I. I know where places are in the world, their flags, a bit of their history, mainly because of The Commonwealth Games, it helps a lot. But this is the view of a viewer, not all viewers, this is me, I can only talk for myself, what about the participants?
A number of high profile athletes have pulled out of ‘The Commonwealth Games’ due to “safety conditions”, “injury”, or to be honest, “other priorities” showing that even certain participants don’t favour it. This is the chance for people that may not necessarily be a part of the a 4x100m relay to join it, as the 6th, 7th, 8th best 100m runner in the country as essentially that’s what you are when you qualify for these types of global events, this event is your chance to be in the line-up and show on international television what you’ve got to offer, what you can do, what the future has to offer. Phillips Idowu, Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah, Christine Ohuruogu, to name a few have all pulled out for one reason or another aren’t in New Delhi, even The Queen can’t make it. The other thought is there are a couple of events that aren’t Olympic sports but are Commonwealth Games sports, off the top of my head Rugby Sevens comes to mind, so The Commonwealth Games IS their Olympics, but then if it isn’t good enough to make the Olympics, it’s just not good enough surely? I mean Tiddlywinks isn’t a Commonwealth Games sports.
It just strikes me as outdated is all, with all the sport on television today, generally in life, not literally today, you can’t help but think much like how there’s a “Crown Jewels List” of sporting events that need to stay on terrestrial television, some include the Olympics, the football World Cup, and the rugby union World Cup, I feel the Commonwealths Games can be struck off if it is in fact on this list, it’s just not as important to viewers, to the competitors, the organisers, I say the organisers, did you see the condition of the athletic village. Not even sure if the BBC are taking it all so seriously, they have Huw Edwards covering the opening ceremony, slow news day Huw? Don’t be a Kay Burley now!