Friday, 15 April 2011

Is TV Ready for a Sports Series About Luge?

I was reading a newspaper article – I know, right? – about the decline of bizarre sports programmes. When I was a child I was roughly the same age as the reporter when he was a child, and his disappointment about the disappearance of Trans World Sport and Gazzetta Football Italia struck a nerve with me. Hello if you’re reading by the way, Johnathan Liew. Isn’t it weird how some people are called Johnathan? Like, they actually think that’s a real name? Anyway. Trans World Sport was a short programme dedicated to showing Britain how uncultured it was. Showcasing the best and most exciting sports from around the World, it was designed to show off the global culture which is rapidly taking over the World and may even now be considered ‘officially’ international. It was a noble cause, but the reality was that Worldwide sports are bollocks and played mainly be mentals. Instead of being surprised by inspirational acts and ingenious sports, we instead laughed heartily at people cycling backwards or attempting to play trampoline volleyball. Most sports seemed to end with someone lying concussed on the floor, while other players ignored him or order to showboat at the camera. Trans World Sport was mad, quirky, and the funniest programme on telly. And now it’s gone.

To Sky, where sports programming goes to die. It leaves a hole in the schedules which has been swallowed up by cooking shows and home improvement advice, and people who don’t like sports but like laughing at people who do (the internet) are left with nothing to watch. Youtube has filled the void for many people, but there’s still something impersonal about that website and the way it lets everyone do whatever they want. If an enterprising and exciting television channel were to decide that they should put some more sports on TV, there would certainly be an audience for it. But what sport could possibly be MASSIVE enough to keep us all entertained? The answer is ludicrously, literally Luge.

Luge isn’t even recognised as a word on Microsoft Office, let alone appreciated on a mass scale like football or baseball or tapir-pouncing (national sport of Gibraltar). But it is exciting, entertaining, and British people are actually quite good at it. The premise is that people lie down face-forwards on a tray and go down a slide made of PURE ICE. Whoever gets to the bottom quickest is the winner. Now I know what you’re thinking – there is no sportsmanship involved in this, it’s an event which relies entirely on body shape and weight. And yes, that seems to absolutely be the case. But Luge looks AMAZING on television. It’s the right mix of dangerous, speed-freaky, and all the contestants wear skintight outfits. Fetishists and sports enthusiasts are going to love it. Is TV ready for Luge? We’re going to start pushing for more Luge coverage on TV over the next few months. Stay tuned to see how our campaign goes…

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