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Friday, June 14, 2024

What other sports need to do

Tennis is far and away the most exciting sport on TV these days. With the triangle of power at the top producing historic matches every time they face each other, men’s tennis is pretty much in its Golden Age. Women’s tennis is both exciting and easy on the eyes. We haven’t had a bad Grand Slam in recent memory, and that’s just awe-inspiring.

I think there’s a big lesson for other sports in all this. They need to look at tennis and be inspired to pull up their socks and make themselves more watchable. Here’s a list of sports, along with what they need to do to become as exciting and pull as much viewership as tennis.

1. Hockey: Get featured on the next episode of Satyamev Jayate for being an endangered national sport which nobody seems to want to help. Hopefully this increased visibility (and possible attendant controversy) will make people sit up and take notice, and actually watch a hockey match instead of endless matches from their adopted national sport.

2. Cricket: Remove the Deccan Chargers, West Indies and Zimbabwe from the universe of teams allowed to play cricket. Make the Indian team capable of playing consistently by feeding them drugs, if necessary. Pay the Pakistan cricketers so much that they are no longer tempted to make a little money on the side, and start playing for themselves instead of the other team. Remove the ODI format.

3. Football: Outlaw draws in the Euro. If they happen, threaten to shoot all members of both teams.

4. F1: Have a different person win each of the first 7 races of the season to increase tension…hang on. They already took care of that.

5. Baseball (for Indians only, Americans seem to like it just fine): Add the rules of baseball to the school curriculum so that we understand and appreciate it, otherwise we’ll only ever think of it as cricket with funny gloves and a lot of running.

6. Volleyball: Add an element of minesweeper and Musical Chairs to it to keep the interest constant. Make the ball blow up randomly now and then. This will make the teams anxious to send it to the other court as soon as possible, and rid us of the irritating intervals when teams stall so as to position the ball for a perfect smash.

7. Chess: In the background, have a Game of Thrones style picturization whenever a piece is captured, with lots of blood and nudity. And make all games rapid.

8. Golf: Eliminate the game entirely and convert it to a reality show about the lives of the players. Tiger Woods couldn’t have been an isolated case, surely; there must be other people with exciting, eventful lives in the sport.

9. Carrom: Create a media blitz around every carrom match to create a face of the sport. Send the best carrom player to the Rajya Sabha and allow him to import a Ferrari without duty. Hold a grand countdown to the hundredth occasion of him hitting 3 coins in the first shot. 

Only then can we truly appreciate this most exciting of games.

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