Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Activity Network

Poker is not a sport. No matter what you say, it isn't and it does not deserve to steal airtime from real sports on the sports networks. Think about it. How is poker different from chess? They're both activities that require skill, concentration, bluffing, strategy and the most likely injury that you're going to have is eye strain. The big difference between chess and poker is money. Most people don't play high stakes chess, but if they did, it would basically be poker with lower lighting.

There's only way to settle this debate. The sports networks have to kick poker out in favour of sports where the actual potential for injury includes concussions. And poker needs it own network.

Of course, poker is very popular these days, particularly because it feeds into our fantasies of winning big and never having to work again. But it's not popular enough to fill in hours of air time. But chess, being so similar to poker, could be included in this network, along with other less injury prone low impact games like pinball, shuffleboard and pictionary. They could make up the lineup for the Activity Network.

That's right: the Activity Network. It's the lazy man's sports network. Featuring intense poker tournaments, chess marathons, pinball wizard contests, extreme full contact shuffleboard and pictionary smackdowns. During those lull hours, such as the 6pm news and dinner hour, they could air bingo.

It's not such a bad idea, all things considered. There are specialized networks for just about everything out there, so why not have one for miscellaneous activities that are difficult to classify? There may be a whole community of people out there who are interested in watching hours of this. It's like the sports network, with less shouting, colours, and excitement. But the activities could still be sexied up with instant replays, commentary, game analysis and opinionated panels of heavily testosterone charged men.

It might look something like this:

"And he's looking at the rook, he's concentrating intensely, he's thinking about moving it, he's moving his hand as if to move it, he's pulling his hand back, his opponent is watching and not missing a trick, his hand goes back towards the rook, hesitates, his hand is starting to look more committal, he's pressing the top of the rook, he's going to do it, yes, folks, he's about to move it and he's moved it!"

Imagine the intensity. Imagine the rivalries. Imagine the drama.

And for real sports fans- imagine turning on to the sports network and never seeing poker on again.


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