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Oxbridge Pooh Sticks
#1
I don't know why I watched it. It is definitely the worst sporting event in the calendar.

The start of the Women's Race proved interesting. An oar escaped, one of the Oxford women pitched sideways like Jocky Wilson throwing a dart and just avoided the water and a kerfuffle ensued as the rest of her crew helpfully tried to row away as she attempted to regain the errant oar. In the confusion I may have got this wrong but I think I saw a small dog rescue the oar. Anyway, like the Pope, she finally got the rhythm (method) and the boat began to move.

By this time the commentators were in paroxysms. Cambridge were rowing happily down the river in a huge lead. They'd put up an umbrella, two of their crew had opened a hamper and were serving sandwiches, the cox was opening the bubbly and someone had found a fishing rod. The commentators were reviewing the start, or its complete absence, and instead of assigning blame were busy explaining how common such an event was even at the highest level. The admirable Oxford gals were pluckily braving the Spring sunshine and setting out after their bitter extra-ordinarily privileged rivals. Naturally the commentators were committed to some attempt to generate excitement, but Cambridge were now so far in front they were already changing into fancy dress for later. The primary schoolboy traditionally dragooned into coxing was busy phoning his mum to come and collect him before the big girls had chance to throw him in the water. Cambridge won in a time so quick that even if Usain Bolt had a boat and knew how to row and managed to overcome all the ethnic barriers to getting on the water he still might not have been able to beat it ......

(Whenever you see a travel programme on TV there are always black people rowing boats up absolute monster rivers. Don't strain your eyes looking for the black Steve Redgrave .......)

Anyway the post-race analysis turned out to be the highlight. One of the transatlantic voices opined that "if you don't keep raising the bar you'll never get over it!" Apart from the fact it was rowing and bars are significant by their absence, the statement adds a surrealism to the high jump that Grayson Perry couldn't better. I get a headache just thinking about it.

The men's race went much better except for the Cambridge team's extraordinary enthusiasm for parading in tights. I grow Lobelia, Cambridge Blue Lobelia, the tights Cambridge flashed at us were neither Cambridge nor blue. Hasn't anyone noticed? They were the same colour as the car your Auntie Mavis drives into town when it's her day for the Oxfam shop. Anyway when it came to the race both crews started at the same time which did have more potential for excitement. Unfortunately this time Oxford were much quicker at starting than Cambridge which gave the commentators the opportunity to discuss the effect of rowing round the slight curve in the river which they exaggerated into a bend. Plucky Cambridge seemed quickly to accept that they were behind and that was where they were going to be. The entire crew is traditionally American and had achieved extra ucas points for being very tall, extremely strong and quite rich. They all study Land Economy as they are the only two words they have been taught to write.

The race went off remarkably efficiently, the crews remaining almost exactly the same distance apart for the entire seventeen minutes or so of slow television. Their positions were maintained by Matthew Pinsent who bawled at the coxes through a loudhailer and cracked a Harrison-Ford sized whip at the miniature primary-schoolers, who were both in tears throughout the race. It later turned out Matthew Pinsent is actually Claire Balding which came as a complete surprise to me, though I must admit my knowledge of celebrities verges on the laughable. Anyway Oxford won and Cambridge, being Americans, were so disappointed they turned up at the prize-giving in Auntie-Mavis coloured wellies which made them look like complete dicks as well as losers.

After the event the two winning miniature primary-school coxes were ceremonially thrown far out into the grimy Thames where they inevitably contracted Weil's disease from the rats you can see lining the banks to piss in it. The losing coxes fare even worse being sent back to school to be trained as ball boys for Wimbledon and as we all know after that tournament all ball girls and ball boys are traditionally culled for much the same reason as animals are destroyed in the lab once the experiment in which they are saving human lives comes to an end! Yeah, no one knows why we allow this cull of London's primary schools on an annual basis, but it is a hallowed tradition.

I, for one, can only admire how easily Matthew Pinsent was able to return to his Claire Balding alter-ego to conduct the post-race analysis. It made it very easy to forget how moments earlier he'd been mercilessly cracking his whip over those tearful mites whose childhoods had been stolen to take part in this great British event.
ritchiebaby, Amelia Chaffinch, Lord Snooty like this post
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#2
Laugh Cool Laugh Big Grin Big Grin Wink Smile Laugh

Very good, Devon. Must say I couldn't hide my disappointment when I switched over after the Arsenal v Man City match to see I'd missed the whole thing.
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#3
Personally I feel the installation of rapids might help and I wonder if the coxes should carry a paintball gun (in their relevant colour) to make the outcome less predictable.

On the other hand the girl at the start trying to throw herself into the river like Jocky Wilson on a bender certainly took me by surprise.

I also find Matthew Pinsent's cheeks disturbing.
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#4
When we were down in Bristol the other week, we wandered off down by the river and there were Bristol University having a race with Cardiff University. Why is it always Oxford and Cambridge in the final? I reckon it would add a bit more interest if there were more teams in it.
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#5
You have to be the right sort of chap (or chapess). Or American.

You're officer material.

You can't be satisfied with a degree from an oick uni' with nightclubs like Cardiff, or a middle-class one like Bristol. If you can row and ucas didn't go well you need a postgraduate degree that will later admit you to banking or shiiting grice on a very private stretch of moorland.

You like wearing wellies and your girlfriend is called Imogen, (she's an intern!)

Your dad is known as pops. Ma despairs of him, but he's rich.
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#6
I always support Cambridge. I think of them as the least hoity toity of the two.
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#7
(04-04-2017, 19:06)Amelia Chaffinch Wrote: I always support Cambridge. I think of them as the least hoity toity of the two.

I always support Oxford. My uncle used to drive a Morris Oxford and I always watched Inspector Morse.
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Cabbage is still good for you
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#8
I sometimes think people on here are as mental as me - supporting Oxford because your uncle drove a Morris Oxford .....

My brother went to Selwyn College Cambridge which made my brilliantly-clever dad who left school at 13 very proud. Don't think my brother enjoyed Cambridge though.

Got to admit, despite my egalitarianism, that I visited a couple of Cambridge colleges whilst working for ucas. If I'd have gone there I think I'd either have loved it or died of an overdose.
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#9
(05-04-2017, 00:51)ritchiebaby Wrote:
(04-04-2017, 19:06)Amelia Chaffinch Wrote: I always support Cambridge. I think of them as the least hoity toity of the two.

I always support Oxford. My uncle used to drive a Morris Oxford and I always watched Inspector Morse.

As good a reason as any.
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#10
Amelia it is a lovely reason and a great insight into childish reasoning and the connections we make.

If I was off sick from school I used to listen to the radio. Liberace was popular then and often featured around Women's Hour time. I used to wonder why he was called LIVER ARCHIE. But then when my gran broke her arm I was disappointed when it wasn't in two pieces. AND my dad when taken for a country walk as a little boy was told to look out for wood anemones, he was later spotted peering anxiously into every hedge bottom. He was checking for wooden enemies.

Morris Oxford - relatively sensible.
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