BACON’S BITES: You keep being offended. The majority of us are down the pub enjoying drinks, playing darts and being normal.
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Mike Bacon takes his weekly look at sport, including the Six-Nations, the progression, or not, of VAR and how the PC brigade are starting to infiltrate sport.
We all love the Six Nations!
I know I do and I know many of my work colleagues and mates do as well.
There is just something about it.
The competition, the national pride, fans mingling happily before, during and after games, Entente Cordiale, the fact we can all watch it on terrestrial TV!
What is there not to love?
For decades the Six Nations, previously Five Nations of course, has been an institution for sports fans and I don’t just mean rugby fans.
Having had a son play rugby for Colchester as a teenager, I know how much rugby means to those who play, officiate and support the game.
In some ways – and I don’t mean this disrespectfully – I always found rugby a bit of closed shop. Not that it isn’t open for all to play. But it doesn’t shout enough about itself and what it has to offer.
My son loved his time at Colchester. He made real bonds with his team-mates and the club was wonderful – their end-of-season Tours legendary!
I know rugby hates being compared to football, especially when football fans and pundits compare the respect a referee gets in the oval game to football.
But while football hogs all the headlines, it’s only at this time of the year that rugby really captures the imagination among sports fans.
Rugby needs to get its act together and promote itself better than it does. Clearly there is a huge interest in the sport, just watch the numbers of fans in attendance at the Six Nations over the next few weeks, and the numbers who watch it on television.
Rugby is tough, rough, but skilful. Has a great team camaraderie and – as I said – is open to all.
So shout more about yourself rugby world and knock the money-obssessed Premier League football clubs off the back pages.
I can’t take to this VAR stuff.
I know it’s early days and all that, but as I heard Ian Wright say this week, football will never be the same.
Of course the old drivel is rolled out that ‘change is nothing to be scared of’ and anyone who is opposed to it is some sort of dinosaur.
I’ve always believed change for the sake of change is nothing to shout about. However, I like the fact technology has allowed a referee to tell if a ball has crossed the line – a huge step for the game.
But VAR is different and, as I said in this column a few weeks ago, referees, like cricket umpires and rugby referees are, and will, be guilty of taking the easy option of passing anything slightly controversial over to technology to sort out.
That can’t be good.
The hold-ups in the Liverpool versus West Brom FA Cup game last week was an example of how it is going to be in the future. Mark my words.
And for those of you who say it’s early days and everyone is finding their feet, what feet? There are none to be found. This is it.
Referees will refer things, it will take time to sort out.
If something is contentious, VAR is going to watch it over and over again to make sure they get it right – if they actually do so.
No, for me a few tweaks, like spotting that the ball had crossed the line, is good use of technology.
The rest... Well, the rest is just Geek United.
It’s difficult for those of us with normal outlooks on life to get our heads round what is wrong with women walking darts players onto an oche, or grid girls looking glamorous at F1.
Both sports this week put a stop to them.
“Custom does not resonate with our brand values”, said Sean Bratches, MD, Commercial Operations at Formula 1, in a typically corporate sentence that no-one understood.
The Professional Darts Corporation had already called time on girls accompanying players to the oche, even though many of them who enjoyed doing it were left upset and like the F1 grid girls, out of a job.
Pretty girls will never offend me, so long as they are doing what they want to do.
However, the noisy minority PC brigade who are the great ‘offended’ in our society are becoming a dangerous force.
I’ll always support woman making their own decisions in life, be it them wanting to be teachers, doctors, footballers, journalists, working mums, or F1 grid girls.
For those of you who are now glad one of those jobs is now lost to the female sex, congratulations.
Quite a victory.