News filtered through earlier in the week that snooker, or more precisely cue sports, will not be given Olympic status at Tokyo in 2020. Despite a lot of running around on a year long global schmoozing tour by Jason Ferguson, alas, his efforts at least for now have been in vain and we will not see potters on the podiums just yet.
It’s a shame that it hasn’t been elevated to the status that I think it probably deserves given the numbers that play and watch it globally.
Once you rid the world of those who believe snooker, pool, billiards or any other manifestations of someone knocking balls around a table with a stick isn’t a sport, there isn’t really any reason I can think of not to include it over some of the rubbish you have to sit through every four years.
Other ‘sports’ that rightly got the knock-back include Bridge. Yes, BRIDGE. A game which round our way is played only by people with blue hair and dead husbands whose other hobbies include making jam and voting UKIP. Now that my friends, is not a sport, end of story.
As many of you will know from my rants on here and Twitter, I am not usually a fan of summer (well, UK summer) snooker but for the Olympics I would have made an exception, I’m good like that.
On that very subject, the stuttering start to the season continues next week as the Australian Open in Bendigo enters its fourth year. This follows the World Cup last week which I didn’t watch and is then followed by a barren month on the snooker calendar before the season really begins to get going, albeit with the tedious best of seven format taking the lead. So is this gap in the calendar a good thing? I say yes.
I quite enjoy the Aussie event and somehow it seems to a traditionalist anorak such as I, quite fitting that the only decent tournament in these sunny months is down under, which us pommes generally associate with surfing, barbecues, sunkist beaches and beer-soaked, overly-macho, belching men.
But I also like the balanced feel we get from the downtime in the calendar and although Barry Hearn seems to think we’ve all forgotten his promise of a snooker tournament somewhere in the world for 364 days of the year, presumably the other day being his birthday, to me the balance this season is near perfect and enough to make me look forward to the real season which begins around November and goes right through winter to early spring and the Crucible.
This view is often challenged and disagreed with by other snooker fans, mostly I’d say those from Europe and sometimes further afield, who feel the more there is the better, they are usually younger than me too so what do they know?
I suppose it depends on your outlook but I’m not a fan of over-exposure in sport and never have been as it inevitably leads to saturation point, look at what it’s done to football? You can’t avoid it no matter how hard you try and believe me I do. The endless banal natter and ‘analysis’, not to mention the laddish, tribal, passive aggressive ‘banter’ about it is enough to drive me to drink, and it frequently does. Who would want this for snooker? Not me. The ‘Go On Ronnie’ gang are quite enough already.
I see snooker as a seasonal sport and a break from the baize for both players and fans alike can only mean more interest when things get going again. So enjoy the Aussie Open and then enjoy some time off, watch the tennis, watch the golf, go for walks and enjoy the outdoors, that’s my advice.
The Aussie Open preview will follow shortly.