Monday, February 23, 2009

more crazy eurosports

One of the net three English language channels at the hotel is a EuroSport channel that has a distinctly U.K. flavor to it, which is understandable since where else is an English language channel going to be coming from around here.

Along with the ridiculousness of bowls that I discussed before, they also have arm wrestling on this channel. Evidently, the competition is called Arm Wars and it's written in a font that is reminiscent of (but not identical to) the font used for the "Star Wars" at the beginning of each of the movies during the opening crawl. There are weight classes and even a women's division. I just saw a match between two teenage girls!

The first weekend I was here there was gymnastics, but it was pair's gymnastics. It was like a cross between pair's figure skating and conventional gymnastics floor exercise. It was different. Then came the men's pair's gymnastics. Much like the mixed pairs there is a male gymnast, pretty strong, stout guy and then instead of a woman, the partner was a smaller guy, usually younger. It was straight out of Blades of Glory or maybe Blades of Glory got the idea from this sport. The bigger guy was unironically called the 'base'. They did throws and catches and it had all the trappings that would preclude it from being a sport in the U.S. any time soon.

I mentioned big hill ski jumping a couple weeks ago. There is apparently a variation of it called sky flying which seems to be big hill ski jumping on really big hills. These guys were going in excess of 200 meters with take-off speeds over 100 km/hr. Yes, I'm on the metric system now which is making some parts of work more confusing since some items are still described in inches and lbs/ft.

Snooker is evidently pretty big in the U.K. as well. I think I've figured out most of the rules and it's surprisingly interesting to watch. The maximum score of 147 is an unusually unround number which is kind of nice.

There have been some equestrian shows on as well, but those are less compelling for people not worth at least seven figures.

Team handball is like a cross between basketball, ice hockey, water polo, and dodgeball. Lacrosse is a good comparison except it's not indoors and they use those net-stick dealies. Or it's really not. Evidently, it is really big in some countries in Europe and, from what I have gathered, it's a moderately big deal in Hungary. After all, it is an Olympic sport. It's simple enough to follow (unlike, let's say rugby). You score a point when you get the ball into the net. You have to dribble if you want to take more steps than NBA basketball players are allowed to before traveling gets called. I think there are five steps in Lebron's crab dribble. But a lot of contact is allowed, you can't step across a line around the goal which keeps people from simply running into the goal with the ball, and apparently you can substitute almost anytime you feel like.

Perhaps the most ridiculous 'sport' that airs on this channel is classic WWF (now WWE) matches. These are from when I was a kid and I remember some of these guys like Bret 'The Hitman' Hart and Million Dollar Man and Andre the Giant. I remember my brother and I used to watch this at 9 or 10 pm on Friday nights on what used to be channel 44. It is so delightfully campy. I almost feel compelled to watch it to see if I can catch a glimpse of Jesse Ventura from his pre-Predator and political days.

1 comment:

Snook said...

Snooker is not a sport.