Every day in the lead-up to Christmas, open the door to reveal a Spinoff writer’s short, sizzling commentary on a weighty subject. Our arbitrary and strictly enforced word limit: 365. Today: José Barbosa on how one thing could change the sporting world forever.
First up, a declaration. The last sports match I watched was a video I saw in a news report about a football team getting hit by lightning. That was in 201o, so I can’t find the original news item but I did find the video itself on Youtube. Someone has uploaded it with a light funk groove music track which, as commenter PensilKase writes, “really captures the raw emotion of the moment …”
What I mean is that I’m no longer a sports audience member. I don’t find sports of any kind interesting to watch or even follow in a vague way (expect for canoe dancing. That shit is out of the fucking gate).
So if I’m not watching (and I’m a pretty mainstream guy) I’m assuming a whole of people aren’t watching. As the media landscape fragments like the base of a Mallowpuff, this is a serious problem for professional sports. So, I asked myself, what would make me sit down with a burrito bowl and watch sports on my television? And the answer I kept coming back to was loud in my head and one I couldn’t ignore.
All sports can be improved by the inclusion of naval cannons.
Let me be clear: the only cannons I’m talking about are the large heavy cannons used in the age of sail, generally considered to be between the years 1571–1862, on wooden sailing ships. And to quell any debate the only cannon considered is the Paixhans gun with classic round cast-iron shot.
Imagine Dean Barker and co tacking past some dirty Spanish tub that’s nearly at the finish line. The fuses are lit and the Spanish boat explodes into fibreglass shards littering the bottom of the Waitematā Harbour and the local ecology for 200 years.
Rugby (and all team-based, ball-passing sports)
Basically the same sport, but now it’s like Top Town, but instead of the players having to avoid large wet sponges, they have to look out for iron balls travelling at 438 metres per second.
(Editor’s note: copy filed extended to 3000 words, well beyond the 365 word limit, but you get the idea)
Read the Spinoff Hot Take Advent Calendar in full here.
The Bulletin is The Spinoff’s acclaimed daily digest of New Zealand’s most important stories, delivered directly to your inbox each morning.