There was a guy on the ‘Today’ programme this morning who holds down a job as a farmer as well as being a professional darts player. Scott Mitchell has just become a champion of some sort and he had my respect for being a farmer as well as a professional darts player, until he tried to convince us that darts is not merely a pub game but a ‘sport’. This is for two reasons, apparently: one, because your arm gets tired after a few hours, and two, because of the maths involved.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06tqsbx if you want to listen – it’s about 2 1/2 hrs in.
Right, so… your arm gets tired and you have to do some mental arithmetic. Well, in that case, forget ‘leisure activity’ – shopping is also a sport – because one, your arm aches from carrying the basket and two, you have to add things up in your head to make sure you don’t go over budget. Not to mention walking to and from the shops, which I do on a daily basis. Do you think I could have a Sports’ Council grant please?
I don’t think darts is yet an Olympic Sport, though the day is probably not far off. I’ll be honest – I think the Olympics was better when it was just a handful of activities – things you could understand like running and hurdling. Of course women should compete on an equal basis, so it’s good that’s changed since ancient times, but as for recognising stupid things like tiddlywinks and obscure events that need to be explained in great detail before anyone knows what they’re watching, forget it.
And yet this is not a new phenomenon. It turns out that older Olympic Games have featured just as many weird activities as are around nowadays – for example, live pigeon shooting and solo – yes, solo – synchronised swimming.
I can’t help feeling, though, that the Olympics is somewhat overloaded with events. And don’t even get me started on the money and drugs.
And as for darts – is it a sport? Come off it, sunshine. If you’re a sportsman I’m a member of the SAS.
I’m feeling terribly blunt today – must be the effect of watching Charlie Brooker’s 2015 Wipe. If you haven’t seen this yet, go watch: