Friday, April 29, 2005


Ordinarily at this time of year I would be obsessively watching NHL playoff hockey - but living in the UK and there being no hockey this season has cramped my style. But never fear, I have found a new sport and television viewing obsession - the glorious game of Snooker. The World Snooker Championship is currently on in Sheffield and thanks to ridiculous all-day coverage on BBC, I barely leave my flat. My friends think the Ph.D stress has finally taken me over the edge, but snooker proves to actually contain much more than slamming different coloured balls into some pockets.

There is strategy, brutally intense mindgames, and incredible smashing of the rules of physics (or at least the rules I understand). The players themselves are also vastly interesting - they have all the archetypal characters. The kind but perpetually coming-short father figure, the wise man, the rebel, the David, the Goliath. My favourite player, Ronnie O'Sullivan is the tortured genius - which even The Independent picked up on. Now that he has been knocked out of the championship, I am rooting for the young, fearless, Odysseus character - world ranked number 39, Shaun Murphy.

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