I am currently overwhelmed with life, especially between life and work balance, and more often than not, I find myself stupendously busy all-round. People have often said “You’re insanely busy” and others often say “How do you do it?”. One of the therapies I use to help keep sane and keep going is to follow Snooker on the BBC and/or play Snooker.
Snooker is one of the top two sports I follow. The other being Cricket. I’ve been a fan of snooker ever since I was a child. Not only do I follow Snooker on the BBC I play the game allot.
While at University, playing Snooker, was one of my favorite pass times. During stressful times, it proved to be a therapy to overcome assignment/projects and exam depression and anxiety.
Live coverage of Snooker on the BBC is outstandingly the best sport commentary programme I have ever heard. To compare this to almost any other sport programme is like comparing Charles Dickens with some car wash leaflet that came through your letterbox.
The talent lies in knowing what to say next.
The game, football, only lasts 90 minutes and commentators frequently have to resort to clichés, but a single snooker match, it doesn’t last 90 minutes, the contest can go on for a day or even two. In Snooker, the game has to go on, there isn’t any interruptions like rain or bad light, and so, the people (both men and women and during match play or pre/post match analysis) who commentate on it have to keep going.
To do this, they have to have best knowledge of their subject. They have to analyse individual players from head to toe, understand and explain their psychology, their strategy including their strengths and weaknesses. They have to explain what the player (at the table or sat waiting his opportunity) is thinking, what shot selection(s) will be or are being made, including identifying which ball(s) on the table the player will position himself to pot two to three shots ahead. More importantly, the commentators have to possess certain amount of verbal adroitness. They have to be able to talk about things that have nothing to do with Snooker, when required.
The period of Overwhelming-ness that I am currently experiencing in my my life is not the first. During an earlier one, I heard John Parrot say the following about referee Jan Verhaas.
“Jan was nicknamed ‘James Bond’ from fans during 2002 China open due to his suave demeanor, since then, he is just as big of a star in China as any top 16 world snooker ranked players.”
Never mind the fact that Ronnie O’Sullivan has the most maximums of 147 in the professional game with 13, or Stephen Hendry who holds the record for most 100’s by one play in a tournament (16 in 2002 World Championship), or Cliff Thornburn’s victory over Terry Griffiths in the 1983 championship was completed at 3:51 am (the latest ever finish for a match at the Crucible), the latest finish for a final was 00:54 am between John Higgins and Mark Selby.
The stuff about referee Jan Verhaas known as ‘James Bong’ has kept me sane and kept me going.
While you are commentating on Snooker, you are also keeping people alive and sane.