Load of Balls

In one of many controversies surrounding the current men’s football World Cup, the BBC chose to show the opening ceremony as additional content rather than as a primary broadcast. Gary Lineker’s defence of the decision seems more than reasonable to me. But then my perspective is somewhat different from those who are complaining.

My hobbies have never been broadcast in prime time slots on major channels: Critical Role and similar have perhaps moved roleplaying from something a minority of people did to something people watch—but for all Matt Mercer et al. are famous among those I tend to spend most time with and in the areas of social media I tend to most past through, they do not have the ubiquity of a sportsball player; and when was the last time a channel rearranged it schedule because a discussion of the latest cosmic horror novel ran long?

So, it really seems quite a trivial thing that people with a hobby of watching men’s football had to press another button to see the ceremony rather than having it on the primary channel of a national broadcaster. That’s the problem with today’s youth: their obsession with men whose only skills are kicking a ball and looking good with the assistance of a dresser, makeup crew, and professional photography company, and their endless debates about the off-side rule and whether the change to VAR has deviated too far from proper refereeing has got them obsessed with made-up issues about erasure of their hobbies.

Obviously, I’m being humorous: I’m not suggesting the BBC shouldn’t broadcast the men’s football World Cup at all.

…Although, it would be a powerful statement about the many human rights abuses Qatar is trying to sportswash if we replaced all the matches with discussion of serious issues.


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