Tag archive: Mark Selby
And so it ends. After 18 days of squinting at shifting, swirling, pixellated blobs of colour and light on the lousy bbc.co.uk feed, the World Snooker Championship packs away its balls and white gloves for another year. My eyes may never fully recover.
Incidentally, my better half’s suggested technique for rendering clarity to the dizzying vortex was to “unfocus my eyes”, thus (presumably) unlocking the wonders of Magic Eye snooker. It didn’t work…
It wasn’t until mid-way through last night’s captivating (and gruelling) final session that I discovered a feed of the crystal-clearest resolution over at eurosport.de. No need to unfocus here. The eyes could do their standard, everyday focusing job, and mighty relieved they were to do it.
The only downside was commentary delivered in German: a language in which I can confidently ask but one question: Wo kann ich ein kühlschrank magnet kaufen? (Where can I buy a fridge magnet?). Sadly, there’s no particularly amusing anecdote behind why I learned the above. I was in Düsseldorf and I wanted to buy a fridge magnet. Er…that’s it.
Anyway, the rather excitable Eurosport commentator had (from the little I could understand) a couple of enjoyable idiosyncrasies. He insisted on referring to both finalists as “markselby” (all one word) and he made generous use of the (possibly non-existent) word “luftbar”. I’m no expert on the language of course, but I assume by this he meant an energy snack of some kind favoured by one (or both) of the “markselbys”. Back in the old days a fistful of beta blockers washed down with a skinful of pints was the performance enhancement regime of choice. Times change however, and sipping on a glass of iced water while munching a luftbar may now be the preferred option.
Educational as all this was I soon grew weary of it and tried to get the BBC audio and the Eurosport video to synch. Results were not satisfactory. “What a shot by John Higgins!”, Dennis Taylor would prognosticatively cry as the elder, Scottish “markselby” chalked his cue pondering that very, yet to be executed, shot.
The whole lagging behind/racing ahead commentary phenomenon left me conflustered, to the point where rational thought started to fail me. I was about to wonder aloud (entirely seriously) as to what might happen if the commentary in the Crucible audience’s earpieces actually skipped a few seconds ahead of the live action when I caught myself…realising the temporal impossibilities involved. One can only imagine the freaked out expressions on audience members’ faces if it did occur. Voices from a (twilight) zone more live than real life. Aaahhh!
Speaking of all things weird, the BBC’s little filler segments (during mid-session intervals) continue to be as tedious and odd as ever. Twelve months ago, you may remember, we were treated to the bemusing sight of a forlorn Graeme Dott revisiting his old secondary school. Last year’s me takes up the story:
The school was totally deserted and we got to see Graeme mooch about the empty halls and classrooms before playing basketball (by himself) in an empty gym. It was like a kind of dour, snooker-based episode of The Twilight Zone (co-written by John ‘Where’s the white going?’ Virgo and Richard Matheson) with Mr. Dott the sole survivor of a global apocalypse.
The best bit I saw this year was yesterday afternoon.
Steve Davis sits (in front of a laptop) at a hotel bedroom desk. He delivers a monologue to the camera about the unique pressures of going into the final day with a big lead (as John Higgins had). Upon finishing, he glances casually over his shoulder. The camera follows his gaze to reveal…John Parrott, lying (fully-clothed) on the room’s sole double bed.
I know the Beeb have been pushing Parrott and Davis as the (‘amusingly’ mismatched) snooker equivalent of Laurel & Hardy, but I hadn’t expected them to go to the lengths of implying they share the same bed. Hot stuff entirely.
What would “The Lovely Hazel Irvine” say?