Refuges of a desperate insomniac

Commercialisation of sports, either by individuals or conglomerates, bugs me. Look no further than what Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan has done to the club. Welsh people are fiercely – and rightly – proud sports people. How must the Cardiff fans feel to have seen the identity of their club more or less discarded?

The word their was deliberately employed thence because surely a vital component of any sports team is the support base. They must at least be entitled to feel some kind of connection with those they like. Something as simple as a team’s nickname means a hell of a lot. But the Cardiff bluebirds no longer fly. And they don’t seem to have been replaced by anything. Shameful.

Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks
Companies like Emirates and Etihad hardly need stadia called after them for their betterment. As bad as that is though, seeing GAA grounds following suit is even worse. But what Tan has done in Wales must be regarded as the first step on very dangerous road for sport.
Yet, commercialism seems to dictate terms now more than sport itself. With the television companies left in the best position of all. Which is most likely what has led to the rumpus which threatens the greatest club competition there is – the Heineken Cup. Feelings in this corner regarding same are well known at this stage, and it’s hoped the will of the masses will be heeded. If a disgruntled minority are left behind, so be it.
Such is the way that money dictates things now that it even decrees what sports fans can or can’t see. For example, one of the ESPN channels yours truly used to catch most of the basketball action Stateside on is no longer part of the package in the homestead. Thus, hope of seeing any hoop action this season had more or less evaporated.
Only for the situation to be rescued by BT – who are, of course, at the centre of the situation regarding English rugby clubs and the future of the game on this continent as we know it. They wouldn’t be very popular here because of that, but, if they’re showing NBA and colleges basketball I’ll watch them. Such are the refuges of a desperate insomniac!
As it happened, discovery of the on-court action occurred at the same time the Ashes series in cricket was bowling off in Australia. The latter will be explored in more detail at a different juncture – it sort of was already – but, suffice to say, it hasn’t taken long for the buzz generated by the fast paced five a side action to return.
Even if, in the beginning, there was a severe degree of channel hopping going on while the action at the other end of the globe was still interesting. Given the manner in which the holders imploded – in the first two instalments at least – it didn’t take long for the remote to find its standpoint for an elongated period.
Now, this corner would have extremely fixed feelings about Christmas but at least with the basketball back on the agenda the tradition of taking in NBA action after the big feed while downing a few cans of the black stuff will be able to be upheld. In between picking winners for the following day in Leopardstown, that is!
The final element of the channel hopping around the time of the Ashes involved going from cricket, to basketball and then on to American Football. Difference between the last two being that where you can never be sure who is going to win out in the gridiron fare, most seasons, the other can be narrowed down to a handful of teams.
A while back, reference was made to what my favourite positions on various teams would be. Teams whom an especial interest is maintained in would be fairly well known to regular readers. Choices mightn’t often sit too well with some folk, but that script will never be changed.
Curiously, however, a favoured outfit has still to be settled upon in basketball. Temptation would of course be to side with the Miami Heat, simply as they are the best team in the NBA. Why wouldn’t they be with the likes of LeBron James and Dwayne Wade in their ranks? Recollection of the old thing about once bitten, twice shy would hold back such thoughts though.
The – albeit jest-fuelled – slating received amidst murmurings of bandwagon hopping when an interest was declared in the New England Patriots is still fresh in the mind. So much so that the San Francisco 49ers have now been settled on as the team of choice. And, leaving the Heat to one side, the LA Lakers would look the next logical stop as they have Kobe Bryant.
But no, the net shall be cast a shade wider. For obvious reasons, there’d be an attraction of sorts to the Boston Celtics. Preference for now, mind you, might just side with the New York Nicks. That could change during the season. At least it’s great to know it’ll all be seen unfolding.

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