Before venturing any further into this article, if you enjoyed the Commonwealth Games and think they’re not too bad, I suggest reading something else. I offer what would be deemed as the least informed opinion since the Backstreet Boys talked about Israel and MH17.
For some, the Commonwealth Games illustrated an empire that had reconciled its past. An empire that has forgotten much of the slavery, the imperialism, and the brutality it once administered. In fact, it showed great sportsmanship, and proclaimed “despite our grievances and you stealing much of my land, money, and resources, I am really up for a game of bowls, old foe!” Yes, bowls is the only ‘sport’ I saw of the Games; and from this mind-numbing, soul crushing, unspectacular jejune of rotund chaps throwing small heavy balls at a slightly smaller heavy ball I couldn’t help but think “I’m glad I haven’t bought a TV license.”
As I began to objurgate these ‘sportsmen’ with abuse from across the lands – Glasgow, to me, is a nether region – I found myself agreeing more and more with Usain Bolt; the games are shit. The Olympics, for instance, were fantastic. I loved all the sporty stuff. All those people doing things that I could never do, with beams and balls and other tall stuff. Those men lifting heavy things saying “aha! Look at me, I can lift much heavier things than you can!.” We all looked on in awe and said, “My gosh, what heavy things this man can lift! We ought to give him some gold. Ah, that man can lift slightly less heavy stuff, let’s offer him some silver. This other chap isn’t lifting quite as much as he must. Nonetheless, give him some bronze, it may bring value on eBay.”
Here, however, there was no exhilaration, no tension, no pizazz. It was sport for sports sake. I’m not saying tension and pace is a Sine qua non for a sporting event. People may watch for the sheer technicality of the sport and that’s what they find interesting. But for the layman such as myself, I want something exciting about the sport. It’s a bit like golf – everyone claps after a shot and I don’t know why (does the audience?). Let’s make the bowls those large inflatable ball things and you have to push a team mate towards a smaller ball with a child picked at random from the audience. Could you imagine the fun, and the crowds wishing to be picked! That is a sport I wish to see at some point.
In all seriousness, the Games didn’t – for me – celebrate anything. They were shown because they had to be shown. They were ‘tradition’. I’m all for tradition, when there is something lauded alongside it – like unity despite differences. A message, or a reason to sit with the family and drink Pimms at 2 o’clock on a Wednesday with your Grandma. There was nothing like that. It was simply a case of “here are some people running fast again, which you saw at the Olympics and are bored of now.” I want more fireworks! Perhaps this spells an end for the Commonwealth games, then? If it were up to me, I’d scrap the whole lot. Possibly.