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Sunday, 28 January 2024


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I expect things have changed since I was a teen in Canada in the sixties, but at that time a typical pool hall in northern Alberta had two pool tables and six snooker tables. The owner was also the town barber.
I went to work overseas and have not seen a snooker table since. Former British colonies do produce a few good players. See Robertson from Australia, and a few players from India are showing promise.

"However, sports is the thing I miss the most about TV, and..."

Different strokes, I guess. Sports is one thing that frustrates me about T.V. Of all the categories of programming, somehow sports allows networks to override schedules and preempt anything on a whim. I have a DVR, and have my shows programmed in so I don't miss my "must watch" things like news and Jeopardy. Nothing more frustrating than hitting play on the DVR and seeing 20 minutes of a football game that should have been over an hour ago and only the first 10 minutes of Jeopardy with no resolution for that episode.

My Bluray player gets a good workout during playoff season. I have zero interest in sports and resent their priority over the rest of life.

Only reason I keep Dish Network is for sports. Now Dish being the consumer friendly TV provider won't negotiate unfair, they feel, deals with local sports networks. So no White Sox, Cubs, Blackhawks or Bulls. With the NFL and college sports negotiating with streaming networks, it's only a bit of time where Dish Network goes away. My streaming $ goes to music streaming such as Tidal and Qobuz. With that and books plus hobbies, I'm good.

Snooker isn't a sport, it's a game. I know this because I play golf, and lots of people have told me that golf isn't a sport, it's a game. How do you distinguish the two? Anything you can play while smoking a cigarette (see Arnold Palmer) or drinking a beer, is a game. Golf, snooker, checkers, tiddily-winks.

I also doubt that tennis is a game that you should play while you're old, because it kills knees. There's a tennis fanatic at my golf club (which also has tennis courts) who has had one knee replaced twice, and the other only once. He's probably around 70. His scars are outstanding. But, whatever people want to do.

I think there's an argument for not watching football (which I played in high school and which I like to watch) because we know for certain that it causes serious brain damage in many, and possibly most, of the players. Not being the restrictive type, I think we should allow pro football, but require the owners of college and pro teams to put a million dollars per year, per player, in a trust that would pay for medical care for players who later show signs of brain damage. That's a pittance compared to what they collect from ads.

We didn't make a conscious decision to get rid of television in our house, we all just gradually stopped watching TV. Outside of streaming services like Netflix, we don't watch anything. We ditched our cable plan long ago.

The only thing I missed about television was live coverage of major news and events and the occasional sporting event (my family is from Wisconsin and when they visit they expect to watch the Packers).

To fill the gap, I got a subscription to YouTubeTV. Now, I can watch live news coverage from all of the major networks and I can watch major sporting events like the NFL playoffs. My favorite feature of a YouTubeTV subscription is the ability to stream live TV on multiple types of devices. When I'm traveling for work, I can watch breaking news on my phone.

Go Lions!

Yes, snooker tables are exceedingly rare but not unheard of. I saw snooker tables in the south when I was living in New Orleans in the 1980s -- not many but a few. And I saw at least two in a pool hall called the Hippodrome on Main Street in Buffalo during the same era. The Hippodrome still lives at another location in Buffalo.

I'm pretty sure there are sports-only subscription services, analogous to a sports-only cable package, which can probably be watched on your computer. There are also any number of free websites that show live sports, which is how I just watched the Chiefs vs Ravens game.

We have a TV, but can't get TV reception at our home and refuse to pay for cable or satellite. The local public library provides plenty of free CDs and DVDs for entertainment, and is only a 15-minute bike ride or 25 minute run away. I can't say I miss having live TV.

Get a streaming service like SlingTV or YouTubeTV and watch on your iPad or your computer monitor.

You can cancel after a month.


Of course these days you can completely avoid TV commercials by recording interesting shows and skipping the ads as you watch them later. Not much point anymore in missing shows you might like just because you don't like ads.

Karl Marx was wrong. Sports shows on TV are the opiate of the masses.

John Camp got everything right. Pool, Snooker, Golf, Bowling, croquet, Scrabble, Monopoly etc. are all games. Not sports.

Wanna see a real example of a sport? Check out Katie Ladecky's world record 1500 meter swimming race at last year's World Championships. Not a football player in the entire world could come close to her speed, power, skill and endurance. Not one.

We've never watched a football, baseball or basketball game on TV at our house (or anyone else's house). Why watch others play a sport or play a game when you could be out doing it yourself? Makes no sense.

When I was a young boy, my best friend had a half-size snooker table. We spent many happy hours battling as if we were our heroes, Alex (Hurricane) Higgins and Jimmy White. Many years later, I had a couple of drinks with Higgins in a bar in town. By that time, his alcoholism had taken its toll on one of the most gifted players to have picked up a cue. ‘The Peoples Champion’ died penniless at 61


When I lived in Asia I played snooker. I was a very good pool player at one time, but snooker is a whole 'nother game. Anyone who's ever tried it should be astonished at Sullivan's incredible talent!

"Basketball...requires the most physical and mental genius"....
Just my opinion as opposed to yours, but one only needs look at injuries to realize that American football is by far the most physical game, even more so than rugby.
As to the mental side of sports, although I'm not a fan, I've got to think golf is far more cerebral than any other game. Four days. Players must not only decipher how to play each hole, what clubs to use, but the holes on the greens are moved each day, greatly changing strategies. Seems to me it's a chess match with mother nature.

We share your disdain for televised commercials. Our work-around is streaming services that offer ad-free plans. That doesn't help much with sports but our sport/game of choice is NCAA basketball and those commercials are usually synched with stoppages of play and brief to align with the time-outs. As another commentor suggested, we rarely watch in real time and can skip through commercials.
More concerning was the lumping together of advertising and marketing in your criticism. A common misconception, but marketing ain't advertising. I'm not an expert in either but we should all know enough to distinguish between the two. I find marketing interesting and advertising an annoyance. That said, I don't see much overt lying in the commercials. Trying to convince me that I need something I don't is not sinful, but simply a waste of my time.

We have Dish and we record programs we want to watch so I can zap out the commercials. I hate commercials and take murderous pleasure in skipping through them. Or better yet just avoiding them completely.

When Amazon announced they would start showing advertising during their Prime programming but subscribers could pay to opt out, I promptly notified them I was "in" for the "out". I'll happily pay to not have to subject myself to the insult of American advertising.

I just noticed that my activist group has a meeting during the Super Bowl. Oh well. Maybe I'll catch the second half. For streaming, I bought a cheap Roku TV that has a surprisingly good picture, and works like a charm. Also has Apple Airplay built in, so you can watch anything on your laptop on the big screen. I avoid the services that are "free" with commercials, and do the subscription hopping that is common these days. Subscribe, then immediately cancel, then watch what is good for a month, and then try something else. Sports is harder. They know they have you and they make you pay, and it seems like you never get everything due to licensing. If you like soccer, Apple TV is pretty good for that. Not sure about American Football. My brother-in-law pays for the full package on Hulu, with tons of sports, Disney, and much more, and it's around $80 a month.

With your new ticker you could probably get back into tennis. It is the very best exercise for older folks. Your body will remember the strokes, what it would need to do is ramp up the physical demands that tennis makes. There are group programs that most tennis facilities make that help get an older player back into the game. I returned to tennis in my late 40s after 20 years off, and have been playing 3-4 times a week for years. Never had the patience to exercise for the sake of exercising, but 2 hours of organized tennis, even drills, is easy to do because you're actually doing something. I know you're out in the sticks, relatively speaking, but surely there are clubs within reach.

We have a TV, but I never watch it. Not now, in Europe, and not when we were still in the US. I do watch a ton of shows on my iPad, but avoid network TV like the plague. It’s the combo of inane advertising with inane shows that turns me off. Two points of irony: I actually liked making TV when I did it many years ago (mostly turning out crap too, though) and those very people producing a lot of garbage are still highly regarded despite people running away from them in droves. Strange world.

I used to watch some football, but since learning about CTE can longer do so. I have spent most of my life trying to improve my brain, although I am now at an age when just maintaining its capabilities is probably a more appropriate goal.

Sorry, Mike, but I am afraid that the best sport is not tennis but the sport of Kirk Tuck: Swimming.
The older you get, the more.

John Camp is wrong about tennis killing your knees. A lifetime of pounding on them, like my friends who persist in running on treadmills, kills your knees. Stopping and starting are the motions you make playing tennis makes you flexible, the knees and hips are fine. The only guys I play tennis with who have knee problems are runners and backyard basketball players.

Swimming is good, but it is boring.

Hell, if you can't do tennis, try pickleball. Less exercise but still some. It's surprisingly fun, I bet they even play it out in your woods.

Swimming is only boring if you are doing it wrong. Join a competitive masters team and it will be some of the most exciting exercise of your life. Pure sport. No games.

I now have a good selection of DVDs; & can watch my choice of content at a time of my choosing. Plus, no watermarks sitting over the picture.

It has been some decades since I un-tuned all the stations carrying commercials on my TV.

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