Saturday, 11 August 2012

Usain Bolt's "Moment to Himself"

Why does the BBC ignore Usain Bolt's God? The question asked by Cranmer. We all saw it Thursday as Mr Bolt celebrated his 200m victory by kneeeling, crossing himself and giving praise. Or, as the commentator put it, having a moment to himself.

There seems no point asking why "the BBC" does or does not do anything. This is, after all, an organisation that is based in the most exciting, fantastic capital city. The home to a massive financial centre - where fortunes can be made and lost. The home of the Government of the UK. The place where monarchs have had their heads removed - where Wat Tyler and William Wallace met their end. Where the great decisions of Church, State, Sport and Business are made.

So naturally they chose to report on all this from a space-ship orbiting another planet. Sorry, Salford. Nothing against Salford, it's an up-and-coming place. It's just 200 miles from London, that's all.

I guess the fact of the matter is that commentators routinely ignore athlete's devotions - not being able to distinguish between those that are genuinely, unaffectedly devout, those that are pure superstition and those that come through upbringing. They ignore them in the same way they ignore footballer spitting and clearing their noses during games - as something rather embarrassing and personal that you'd rather not bring to the country's attention. The last gesture that could be taken as religious that I remember being remarked upon was that of Frank Lampard gesturing to the sky after scoring shortly after losing his mother - a gesture that could safely be commended without offending anyone. 

But I look forward, in these diverse and tolerant days, to when this studied indifference to religious actions can be put to the test. The Genuinely Celtic Revival of Rushden are hoping, in the vacuum caused by the loss of the old Rushden + Diamonds, to storm the non-league.  They hope, within three years, to at least make an FA Cup 3rd round. Being Genuinely Celtic, their approach to making tactical changes is a little unconventional - they stab a chicken and examine its entrails to see whether they should go to five in midfield or maybe throw on another striker. Let's see if the commentator ignores that.

1 comment :

  1. I'm sure Sheffield United supporters despair that the BBC continually ignores Jessica Ennis's devotion to that team and there are some local teams I know where chicken entrails would be a "step up"..


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