Spunt's helpful guide to Britain for fat Americans - Learn about Anglos so you can hate them better

What should I cover next?

  • The BBC

    Votes: 40 51.3%
  • Sportsball

    Votes: 10 12.8%
  • Education

    Votes: 23 29.5%
  • Culture

    Votes: 19 24.4%
  • Something else?

    Votes: 3 3.8%
  • Kys Anglo faggot retard nigger

    Votes: 13 16.7%

  • Total voters
    78
  • Poll closed .

Return of the Freaker

FLOOFY HOERSIES
True & Honest Fan
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Jan 19, 2020
I think I ought to give you a rundown of American TV so you have something to compare that with.

As us Jesuslanders know, we have have five major television networks - NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, and The CW - plus PBS.

NBC (full name: National Broadcasting Company) is the oldest of all of these networks; it was founded as a radio network in 1926, and eventually launched their television network in 1939. It has a fairly extensive library of programs (helped by the network being a sister of Universal, giving it a pretty decent catalog of movies to broadcast during certain periods of time), including Saturday Night Live, their annual Macy's Thanksgiving Parade broadcasts, as well as their catalogs of crime and medical dramas, and their infamous late night talk shows (both of which are only slightly better than the other examples listed below). It's also a very news-heavy network, even having two cable spinoffs for that very purpose: The market-focused CNBC channel, and the absolutely notorious left-wing MSNBC channel (think of it as the left's Fox News, with only a slightly better reputation. You may recognize NBC and their properties for their famed Peacock logo, which had gone under many revisions until 1986.

CBS (full name: Columbia Broadcasting System, though they've not legally been that for decades) was founded in 1927, just a year after NBC launched. To this day, it has arguably one of the best lineups of shows of any of these networks; formerly home to beloved comedies and western shows like Gunsmoke and I Love Lucy (not to mention the countless other shows it was well known for in its heyday, see: MASH, Dallas, As the World Turns...), it still maintains a superb variety of television programs, including their reality shows (like 'em or not), comedies like Big Bang Theory (recently ended), and their exemplary lineup of crime shows (you may recognize NCIS or CSI) and annual reruns of Christmas specials (speaking of which, it also airs their unofficial broadcast of the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade every year, and manages to do so via some workarounds). It's not as news-heavy as NBC, but its still known for their recognizable news shows like 60 Minutes and Face the Nation. Sadly, the network is also known for hosting two of the worst late-night talk shows that have disgraced the nation: Late Show with Stephen Colbert and the Late Late Show with James Corden, and I'll just leave it at that. The network is known for their iconic "Eye" logo, which has remained unchanged for over half a century (it debuted in 1951).

ABC (full name: American Broadcasting Company) was founded in 1943, though it has roots to NBC dating back to 1927, having become an independent network by the former year. Being owned by Disney, ABC's programming tends to skewer towards a younger audience; it has a few Disney-related holiday specials (on top of the other holiday specials it airs), as well as an extensive lineup of reality and game shows (you may have heard of The Bachelor/Bachelorette, Shark Tank, Dancing of the Stars, etc.) They have a fairly substantial lineup of news programming, including Good Morning America and 20/20. Being a sister to ESPN, the network also has a large catalog of sports programming, including E-Sports and X-Games. Their one late-night talk show offering, Jimmy Kimmel Live, is rather notorious for its overreliance on celebrities to compensate for the show's host being an unfunny lefty dullard.

Fox (full name: Fox Broadcasting Company) was founded in 1986, though it wouldn't begin airing with a lineup of shows until a year later; being a much younger network compared to the above, it doesn't have any connection to radio broadcasting (although several radio networks have been launched under the Fox brand since). Easily recognizable for its lineup of animated shows (don't pretend you don't know what The Simpsons or Family Guy is), Fox also has licenses to broadcast every sports under the sun, including racing, football, soccer, golf, etc. It doesn't have much in the way of news programming on its own (other than Fox News Sunday), but it has one particular notorious cable news spinoff: Fox News. It's the most watched cable news network, and is infamous for its heavy conservative leanings, much to the ire of every SJW and libtard. The channel's political views are obviously divorced from that of its more liberal sister network (especially since most of the shows airing on Fox aren't even owned by them anymore, instead they're owned by Disney, but that's another story).

The CW (full name: The CW Television Network) was founded in 2006, formed as part of a merger between two other television networks: The WB (full name: The WB Television Network) and UPN (full name: United Paramount Network), both formerly owned by present-day WarnerMedia and ViacomCBS. As a result, ownership of The CW is split evenly between the two, although given the programming, the network clearly has more influence from the former. It's easily the least traditional of the five major networks, not having any connection to radio, lacking any national news programming (stations rely on their local news instead), and also lacking any late night talk shows. The network clearly targets the youngest of audiences, being home to a variety of fantasy-related shows ('member Supernatural?), and having a limited amount of shows that attract the attention of older audiences (including being the present home of Whose Line Is It Anyway)

And as a bonus: PBS (full name: Public Broadcasting Service). It was formed in 1969 (it would be officially launch a year) as a continuation of NET (full name: National Educational Television), which was privately owned by the Ford Foundation. PBS, on the other hand, is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (they also fund National Public Radio, or NPR, technically making that network a sister to PBS). Given that CPB itself is funded by the government, they're largely get money from taxpayers; think of it like the BBC and their television license, but because PBS itself isn't directly funded by the government, they do air limited advertisements (a certain program will proclaim that it is funded in part by a business or organization), as well as having "pledge drives" in attempt to get viewers to buy whatever they have in stock (DVDs, posters, etc.). Aside from all the technical aspects of PBS (and the assorted controversies over public media funding), the network has a reputation for its heavy emphasis on local programming, meaning that one major show on the network could be produced by one affiliate (referred to as a member station) , while another could be produced by another affiliate (not to mention, PBS doesn't have a nationally-set schedule like the main networks, the member stations are allowed to customize their own schedules). The programs range from the documentaries (Nova, Nature, Finding Your Roots, etc.), general entertainment shows (Austin City Limits, Independent Lens, Masterpiece, etc.), the usual news shows (PBS NewsHour, Washington Week, etc.), lifestyle shows (This Old House, Ciao Italia), as well a set of more miscellaneous programming (MotorWeek, Antiques Roadshow, etc.), and a set of British imports (BBC news programming to name one). That's not to mention the shows that they have either acquired (Democracy Now! to name one example), are distributed by American Public Television (America's Test Kitchen, again to name one), or air as part of the PBS Kids brand (you know, the programming block overaged autists are madly obsessed with?) Overall, PBS has a reputation for its high-brow content, and controversies over its political leanings.

Wow, I made that longer than it had to be. I just wanted to give you an idea of what our country's television scene is like. I went into such detail because I've always thought the British television scene is either largely homogenous or otherwise largely consists of imports from other countries, on top of seemingly not having any television stations in your country per se (compared to the innumerable amount of affiliate stations combined here in the U.S.)
To go along with this and my remarks about radio/tv megacorps, TV stations in a given market would be affiliated with one of the major networks, but a local or regional company would own/operate the station. Along with network affiliates, there would also be independent stations doing their own thing, typically airing reruns in syndication or movies on the UHF band. There are still some around I believe.

Anyway, this was all fine and good until the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Among many things, this allowed for a wave of mergers and acquisitions over the next 10-15 years. Ever see that stat about how 6 corporations control 90% of US media? This is a big reason why. Any sort of true local focus or editorial control/standards was basically wiped out. The same happened with the character of local radio stations maybe outside local morning/noon/afternoon shows except magnified by the advent of automated playlists.
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2018
@Spunt why are bin fires such a common occurrence in Britain?
coal/wood burning fires are not that uncommon here and retards still insist on throwing their waste ash into their plastic bins despite practically every bin having this on the top
1627322600837.png
 
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Return of the Freaker

FLOOFY HOERSIES
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Joined
Jan 19, 2020
coal/wood burning fires are not that uncommon here and retards still insist on throwing their waste ash into their plastic bins despite practically every bin having this on the top
View attachment 2381545
My dad is a landscape architect and last summer he went to meet with a client in a fairly new development. He gets there and the neighbors' brand new house is fucking destroyed. A few days earlier, they had the fireplace going, and after they thought they waited long enough they threw the ashes in the trash in the garage and went to bed. Fortunately they survived but the house was totalled.
 

Гиджет

True & Honest Fan
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Joined
Feb 12, 2019
My dad is a landscape architect and last summer he went to meet with a client in a fairly new development. He gets there and the neighbors' brand new house is fucking destroyed. A few days earlier, they had the fireplace going, and after they thought they waited long enough they threw the ashes in the trash in the garage and went to bed. Fortunately they survived but the house was totalled.
At least Buckingham Palace is safe.
89CE74D2-3CC1-45DD-9D69-D9C9FE40EC8C.jpeg
 

Thomas Talus

Εκ λόγου άλλος εκβαίνει λόγος
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Pickle Dick

smug gamer birb
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Feb 10, 2017
spunt plz, i need to know about british tv so i can hate you all moar

In seriousness, I've seen the BBC channels through iPlayer (used a browser extension to bypass the regional lock). Going back to what I said in my last post, I believe the regional variants of BBC One and BBC Two are the closest things you have to America's television stations here (they don't really have any call signs like we in America do). Your other channels (ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5) seem to completely forgo on having any local variants of their networks. Correct me if I'm wrong though.
 

CWCissey

Charming Man
True & Honest Fan
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Feb 25, 2013
spunt plz, i need to know about british tv so i can hate you all moar

In seriousness, I've seen the BBC channels through iPlayer (used a browser extension to bypass the regional lock). Going back to what I said in my last post, I believe the regional variants of BBC One and BBC Two are the closest things you have to America's television stations here (they don't really have any call signs like we in America do). Your other channels (ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5) seem to completely forgo on having any local variants of their networks. Correct me if I'm wrong though.
The BBC local variants only really apply for the local news programmes, it's mostly the same.

ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 don't bother, although Channel 4 was originally envisaged as a Welsh language channel funnily enough, this idea lives on in S4C.
 
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The Grognard

kjeh kjeh räh
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Joined
Feb 24, 2019
My dad is a landscape architect and last summer he went to meet with a client in a fairly new development. He gets there and the neighbors' brand new house is fucking destroyed. A few days earlier, they had the fireplace going, and after they thought they waited long enough they threw the ashes in the trash in the garage and went to bed. Fortunately they survived but the house was totalled.
Why do people even put ash in the bins when it's a great fertilizer for a garden?
 

Kantdrank Datanigbininit

kiwifarms.net
Joined
Jul 23, 2021
A friend of mine used to have a pond in his backyard with koi fish. The koi seemed to know when they had procreated too much for the space they had and would then stop breeding for a year or two.

What he and I didn’t know is koi eventually devolve back into their feral carp form in an uncontrolled environment. The carp didn’t know when to stop breeding and fucked up the pond, and we had to fish them out.

Not a perfect metaphor but I feel like the UK was like the koi pond until the postwar era, slimy green and rank but still in its natural sorry state. What happened after was the introduction of brown carp genomes.
 

Spunt

A Leading Source of Experimental Internet Gas
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Joined
Jan 16, 2017
Yeah I'm alive - going back to work on Monday so I've been busy sorting my shit out.

I'll probably be able to do one more big post before I don't have time any more - I might not do TV because I basically haven't watched any British TV in about 10 years so it would be a bit dumb to go out on a subject I don't know so much about. I'll probably do sportsball instead, because it's inherently funnier than some of the things I've covered recently.
 

Fucky Chucky

kiwifarms.net
Joined
Jul 21, 2021
Didn't even try to follow along. The one thing that stands out to me is that you keep razing us about murder rates and guns. Fact is that if you adjust for the number of blacks we've got the same rate.
 
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The Grognard

kjeh kjeh räh
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Joined
Feb 24, 2019
Yeah I'm alive - going back to work on Monday so I've been busy sorting my shit out.

I'll probably be able to do one more big post before I don't have time any more - I might not do TV because I basically haven't watched any British TV in about 10 years so it would be a bit dumb to go out on a subject I don't know so much about. I'll probably do sportsball instead, because it's inherently funnier than some of the things I've covered recently.
I'm gonna guess it's gonna be one post about Footy and one post about everything else simply because how much footy dominates everything.
 

Spunt

A Leading Source of Experimental Internet Gas
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Joined
Jan 16, 2017
OK Nigs and Nigesses, this will probably be the last one for a while. The surgery was a success and I now go by Spunt/Spuntself pronouns. Back to work tomorrow.

---

British Sportsball

NOTE TO AMERICANS: I am going to refer to the 5-hour committee meeting that you call "Football" as "Gridiron" and the sport that actually involves touching a round thing with your foot as "Football" and not "Soccer" because nobody else calls it that. If that triggers you, then go down the pavement to the railway and pop your clogs with a shooter.

The British, and the English in particular, love to invent sports. Paricularly in the 19th century, when our Victorian forebears weren't busy doing such things as inventing the Industrial Revolution and ending slavery without having a civil war about it, we were inventing sports. Also, in that period, homosexuality was illegal* and so if you wanted an excuse to grope another man, there had to be some sort of sporting pretext. All British sports are, as a result, quite spectacularly gay. This seems unique to British sports, as most non-British sports are much less gay (except anything the French invent, obviously).
boules-rules-france.jpg
(Later on they will use garlic butter as lube)

*Male homosexuality was illegal. Queen Victoria refused to sign the legislation making Lesbianism illegal because she didn't believe it to be physically possible.

For example, the Thais took our Badminton secrets and decided Badminton was too fucking gay even for the home of the Ladyboy, so they decided "You know what, fuck these pussy ass rackets, this sport would be much more heterosexual if we just kicked the ball like real men" and created Sepak Takraw, a sport so masculine that just watching 30 seconds of it will cause you to grow a penis, even if you already have one:


American sports are clearly much more heterosexual than British sports, because their participants engage in manly activities such as gang rape, wife-stabbing, steroid abuse and dog fighting. So manly are American sports that literally no other nation even dares play them for fear of widespread testosterone poisoning (except the Japanese, whose attempts to "play" baseball are like listening to the French try to "rap" - funny at first, but then annoying and finally a bit depressing).

We also invented sports that we have pretty much given up playing altogether, like Table Tennis* and Badminton, because tiny Chinese men stole our secrets and got much better than us as them. Joke's on them though, because Table Tennis and Badminton are the only sports the Chinese are any good at and it is impossible to look digified while playing them.

*Whose creator tried to name it "Wiff-Waff". I know this because Boris Johnson of all people told me:

We also invented field hockey, which combines the most boring elements of Ice Hockey and Football and which nobody cares about except at the Olympics where our best and brightest usually lose to a handful of Dutch stoners.

As for sports popular in America - we don't play Gridiron. Back in the 1990s, the NFL tried (not for the first time) to start a franchise in London, this time called the "London Monarchs". The only notable thing about that short-lived experiment was the signing of William "The Refridgerator" Perry who ended up fronting all the publicity, presumably because they thought we'd never seen a fat black man embarrass himself on the pitch before (they had clearly never heard of John Barnes). We don't play Basketball (except in schools because you can play it indoors while it is raining, which it always is), though we do play Netball, a similar game usually regarded as a woman's sport. We don't play baseball, but again, Rounders (the game Baseball was developed from) appears in schools and for some reason at company picnics.

willperry.jpg
"Did someone say picnic?"

Sports British People Like:


Football

aston-villa-leeds.jpg
Did we invent it? Yes
Are we any good at it? We're OK at it sometimes
How gay is it? Pretty fucking gay.


"Football" is one of the oldest sports in the world, if you define it as "groups of men trying to kick a ball into a certain area to win". Most old (British "old" as in 11th century or even earlier, not American "old" meaning "during the Clinton administration") versions of football would be between neighbouring villages, with "goals" at either end. The rules were:

1 - Get the ball to the other side of your opponent's village to "win".
2 - Try not to die (optional).

Some places still play this game, such as Alnwick in Northumberland, where, by tradition, the game is started by the Duke of Northumberland, who drops the ball off the ramparts of his castle onto the baying mob below. The winner is whichever team scores two goals, at which point the ball is thrown in the river and the first person to get it out again gets to keep it. People often drown.

Bottle_Kicking.jpg

But at some point someone had the idea to separate the drunken rioting peasant mob from the actual ball kicking, and Association Football was born.

Yes, Football is a religion in the UK, but it's a religion in almost every country on Earth except the US and Canada. Even the Australians can field a decent team these days. So the British love of football, and the associated violence, is not unusually British. And we are much less violent and crazy than even most of Europe, let alone the insanity that goes on in South America. Remember my last post, whereby someone drawing a dick on a mural of a player who missed an important penalty kick caused the BBC to have an absolute seizure (they ran no less than FIVE front-page articles about it, four of them after they admitted the graffiti was not racist in the slightest) and how it was a sign that the English were the most racist people in history or something? I don't know how these journos would react to Italian, Russian or Greek Ultras, Nazi salutes, death threats, gunfire and all - they might have to drink three whole bottles of Soylent to calm down. And that's before you even get to the utter lunacy of Central and South American football, where entire wars have literally started over football matches.

Frankly I think we should deal with racism the way the Turks do. Fenerbahçe's Emre Belözoğlu called Trabzonspor's Didier Zokora a "Fucking Nigger" and got away with a lighter punishment than the rules required. So during the next match, Trabzonspor spent the entire game kicking Emre all over the pitch while the crowd hurled abuse and missiles at him, culminating in Zokora himself launching a flying kick straight into his groin.

Because we invented it, each part of the UK has its own football team that enters international competitions (the same with Cricket, Rugby and most other team sports - the only exception is the Olympics where we have to play as the UK and can't usually field a combined team because of all the bureaucratic squabbling and the fact that any UK football team would just be the England team with a couple of token Welsh and Scottish players warming the bench). England are the only nation with a remotely competitive team most of the time, though the Welsh have been carried in recent years by having one world-class player in Gareth Bale and a couple of acceptable ones to pass the ball to him in the hope that he'll do something. Scotland haven't qualified for any major tournament in nearly 20 years and Northern Ireland tend to lose at home to obscure central Asian countries whose presidents build giant golden statues of themselves while their people travel by ox-cart.

The Republic of Ireland have under-performed in recent years as well, because any half-decent Irish player not only plays in England (there is an Irish league but nobody cares) but will find any possible excuse to play for England and thus have the chance of, if not winning something, then at least getting to important games that they will then lose on penalties. Two of England's best current young players, Jack Grealish and Declan Rice (who couldn't be any more Irish if they were called Semtex O'Leprachaun and Paddy McWhiskeyfighting) played youth football for Ireland (in training camps paid for by the Irish Football Association) before promptly switching to England as soon as they had to make a choice. Irish football fans hate them almost as much as they hate former France striker Thierry Henry. If you want to know *why* Irish football fans hate Thierry Henry, just ask one in your best American accent. They'll fill you in.

English club football is even bigger than the international game, and the English Premier League (just known as the Premier League in the UK) is the richest league in the world. Unlike most American sports, the development of young players is carried out and paid for by the clubs themselves rather than colleges and universities. Such is the gigantic (and growing) financial mismatch between the Premier League clubs and the lower divisions (there are no "conferences", clubs play in divisions with promotions and relegations to higher and lower divisions each season) that most lower-league clubs have to sell their best young players to Premier League clubs just to avoid bankruptcy. However this hasn't been enough, and there has been an increasing trend of lower-league clubs going bankrupt or even going out of business altogether, and with the coof this is likely to get a lot worse. Because these small clubs can't grow (because they sell their best players and can't afford to invest in themselves), they are stuck in their lower divisions, and whenever a smaller club does get into the Premier League, they tend to get torn apart and quickly relegated, usually even further in debt than they were before.

Still, this idea that the smallest club can, in theory, become a big one (or at least win something) is one of the things that makes football exciting and draws crowds to lower-league teams. There is always hope. So last year, five Premier League teams (along with other big teams in Italy and Spain) tried to form a breakaway "European Super League" that would be invite-only, basically destroying that hope and ensuring that they wouldn't risk failure ever again and not have to worry about other, smaller teams usurping them. In 2015, in one of world sport's greatest ever achievements, Leicester City, a club so small they only spent about half of the Premier League's existence actually competing in it, managed to win the league. I'm not a strong follower of American sport, so this may not be the most accurate analogy, but imagine if the Cleveland Browns won the Superbowl or the Memphis Grizzlies won the NBA Championship next season. Well that was not acceptable to the billion-dollar clubs they beat, so the ESL was proposed (by the clubs, not by any of the sport's ruling bodies) to keep upstarts like Leicester in their place and turn football into a Europe-wide NFL with admission by invitation and an ocean of money.

The result was chaos. Not only did the sport's notoriously corrupt governing bodies in FIFA and UEFA not like the idea of any dodgy deal that they didn't get kickbacks for, the other clubs, and, to their credit, the fans of the big clubs proposing the league, went bezerk. Manchester United fans (already really mad at the way the Glazier family, owners of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, had run what was once the world's greatest football club into such financial ruin they couldn't afford to fix the stadium's leaky roof) broke into the stadium and trashed it. Even senior players at the five clubs concerned came out against it. Most of the coaches hadn't even been told. Amidst much embarrassment, all the PL clubs decided maybe it wasn't such a good idea after all and pulled out, and have been ineffectively engaged in damage control ever since. With this and the coof's effects on the finances of smaller clubs, English football is currently dangling over a precipice.


Cricket
Boris-Johnson-playing-Cricket.jpg
Did we invent it? Yes
Are we any good at it? Not particularly
How gay is it? Surprisingly un-gay.


You know, you really have to credit the Americans for their ingenuity. Only they could take Cricket, a game of which can take up to five full days, and, in turning it into Baseball, somehow make it EVEN MORE BORING.

If you understand the rules of Baseball you'll grasp Cricket fairly quickly. Cricket has more ways to score and more ways to get out than Baseball, and takes much longer because there's no "strike out" rule, encouraging more defensive batting. Generally only international matches take the full five days, most regular league matches having different rules that cut the match time down to between one day and just a couple of hours.

Also you can only play cricket in dry weather, so the average Englishman can look forward to seeing anything up to two games actually get finished each summer. Elsewhere in the UK, nobody outside England bothers to play cricket because it hasn't stopped raining in Scotland, for example, for over 30 years.

Cricket does take a long fucking time to play though, so the crowd cope by getting hopelessly drunk. Unlike football fans, though, drunk cricket fans are more likely to hurt your feelings than your face. In fact, English cricket fans are better at creatively insulting the opposition than their actual cricket players are at playing cricket against them. This is particularly the case in the sport's showpiece - "The Ashes" - an annual series of games played between England and Australia in which the English fans remind the Aussies that they are the descendants of convicts and that we can get almost three of the milk-bottle-tops they call Dollars for the good old British Pound. It's quite hard for sports reporters to keep their composure when the people behind them are chanting "We all shagged Matilda".

220px-DeathofEnglishCricket.jpg

The origin of the "Ashes" is a Victorian shitpost.

This creative insulting of the opposition extends to the pitch, where it is an accepted part of the game to abuse and insult the opposition in an attempt to break their concentration. Note the following exchanges:

-"Why are you so fat?"
-"Because every time I fuck your wife she gives me a biscuit."

-"I've been waiting two years for another chance to humiliate you."
-"Looks like you spent it eating."

-"I can see why you're batting so badly, you've got some shit on the end of your bat."
[batsman examines the end of his bat]
-"Other end, mate."

Rugby
1a793897df03eb44a72164a78d13f284.jpg
Did we invent it? Yes
Are we any good at it? Yes but only like 5 countries take it seriously
How gay is it? Freddie Mercury singing YMCA while balls-deep in James Charles levels of gay


Rugby is like Gridiron but with the things that make it shit (long committee meetings and dressing like sofas) replaced with gay. Then extra gay is added for good measure. It is hard to describe in words just how gay Rugby is, so here are some pictures:

rug2.jpegrug3.jpgrug4.jpgrug5.jpg

I'm not sure if Rugby could be any gayer if the players wore speedos and baby oil rather than shorts and jerseys or if we replaced "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" with "What What (in the Butt)".

Rugby is also incredibly complicated. I grasped the basics of Gridiron after watching a couple of Youtube videos, but to this day I *still* do not understand Rugby's offside rule, depsite having many Rugby types attempt to explain it to me and the fact I understand Football's notoriously confusing offside rule. I think I may like girls too much to understand it. The scoring system is nearly identical to gridiron - you have to get the ball to the end (albeit it has to actually touch the ground, whereas Gridiron's "touchdown" somehow does not involve "touching" the ball "down" in any way) or kick it between the posts to score. It's what happens when posession turns over that makes Rugby complex, not helped by the fact that Rugby has two different rulesets - the more popular 15-a-side Rugby Union and the 13-a-side Rugby League which has limits on how many times the ball can touch the ground before a turnover that resemble Gridiron's "Downs".

Surprisingly, despite not wearing suits of armour like their pussy-ass American counterparts and actually playing 80 minutes of actual sport rather than standing around talking about it, professional Rugby players have far fewer injuries and longer careers than Gridiron players. In large part, this is because head-on tackles are relatively rare, but more importantly because Rugby bans challenges above the waist, whereas Gridiron bans them below the waist, sending tackled players flying, snapping their knees like twigs and rattling their brains around their heads so hard they start thinking that anyone outside the US gives a shit about their stupid boring sport.

But when Rugby goes wrong it's really fucking dangerous, and the dreaded "Collapsed Scrum" has killed and paralysed many an amateur player or schoolboy due to the less capable umpiring and inexperienced players at those levels. The headmaster in one of my old schools was a big Rugby fan and made sure all the kids spent every PE period playing "Rugger" all year round. Kids would shatter bones on a weekly basis and some classrooms looked like an orthopedics ward after a particularly vigorous game. Still, he certainly walked the walk, and in the four years I was at that school he broke an arm, a leg, his nose (twice) and detached both his retinas in separate incidents.

Rugby is one of the few sports in which the Home Nations other than England (Scotland, Wales, Ireland) are actually competitive. The Welsh in particular are Rugby-obsessed, maybe because the lunging tackle you learn for Rugby is ideal for bringing down those minxy little cocktease sheep prior to sexy times.


Tennis
tennis.jpg
Did we invent it? Yes*
Are we any good at it? No
How gay is it? We'll get a man on Mars before we get a man on a female Tennis player.


*The guy who invented it tried to call it "Sphairistike", which somehow makes "Wiff-Waff" look positively heterosexual.

Tennis is boring and shit, but because it's one of the very few sports outside Track and Field where black lesbians are competitive, the BBC won't shut the fuck up about it. You have not felt your time wasted until you have heard tennis commentary on the fucking radio, for hours on end, when you just wanted to catch the news. When I watch tennis, I understand what it is like to watch cricket if you're not into it. It just goes on forever, and, unlike cricket, everyone involved is a narcissistic, humourless cunt. It's the only sport I know of where expressing any passion, or indeed making any noise, is expressly against the rules.

The British Open takes place in the extremely posh London suburb of Wimbledon, and for the two weeks of the tournament's duration you can't turn on any BBC outlet without being told all about every fart and bowel movement the players experienced in wince-inducing detail. I don't know what American tennis fans are like, but British tennis fans are the kind of people that "woman laughing alone with salad" adverts are aimed at. Tennis fans like Coldplay and Ed Sheeran. Tennis fans eat okra and quinoa. Tennis fans call their children Jeremy and Tabitha. And they sit in the stands and screech "encouragement" at the British players, despite the fact said players clearly hate having their concentration interrupted by Melanie from Islington and her wine-fuelled attention-seeking.

Until the 21st century, the British were completely useless at Tennis and only hardcore weirdos, fitness fanatics and German expats give a shit about it. Then a man called Tim Henman appeared and everything went straight to hell. Henman wasn't actually a particularly good player, but he wasn't embarrassingly bad and in front of a home crowd he would wobble through the Wimbledon tournament each year until he met Pete Sampras, who would mercilessly destroy him in straight sets every time. Henman never won anything of note, but he had a ruddy-cheeked stable-boy look about him that seemed able to instantly moisten the panties of 40-year-old bottle-blonde women who drive Range Rovers to their pilates classes, and as such the Powers That Be decided that Tennis was cool again and needed the kind of saturation coverage that even football fans would think was a bit excessive. What was funnier, however, was that when we did finally produce a world-class tennis player it was in the form of a stone-faced, humourless, hard-drinking Scotsman called Andy Murray, who looked like he would be more at home doing doughnuts in a Morrisons car park in a stolen XR3i than mucking out the stables, and the BBC found themselves forced to promote this poster boy for toxic masculinity, especially as he won both Wimbledon and an Olympic gold medal.

Snooker
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Did we invent it? Yes
Are we any good at it? Yes, because nobody else plays it
How gay is it? You have to keep one foot on the floor at all times, limiting the gayness potential


Take pool, give it loads of extra rules, crank up the difficulty so that you need near-superhuman levels of skill to play it, and make it unreasonably posh. You now have snooker. Snooker is a game for autists, and maybe that's why I find it fascinating despite how boring it is, or at least should be. Whilst it's more complex than pool, it's not that hard to learn the rules - learning to play is quite another thing. In a game of pool, you usually have multiple balls that you can pot in any given circumstance. In snooker, you often only have one, and if it's on the other side of the table with half a dozen other balls in the way, none of which you can even touch? Well, git good scrub. Watching high-level play in snooker is like watching an alien species with telekinetic powers play, and I speak as someone who can play pool to a basic level.

I can perfectly understand if you find snooker boring. It IS boring. It's also one of the few sports the British play that hasn't changed much in half a century. Everyone still wears waistcoats, the referees still have those white cotton gloves, and the audience watches in awed silence. The only difference in recent years is that a large number of east Asian players have entered the scene - the combination of the incredibly high skill ceiling, the massive autism required to be good and the sense of respect and reverence from the audience makes it appeal to the Japanese and Chinese - or at least their expats in the UK, it's not really caught on outside the country.

Also, we made a really lowbrow game show out of it so that snooker players could appear on it and actually make enough money to feed themselves. This show was really popular in the 90's:


The top comment from that video sums up why the British like snooker so much - or rather that we have no idea why we like it, but we do:

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Darts
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Did we invent it? Yes
Are we any good at it? Only the British are drunk enough to reach the required skill level
How gay is it? It's two drunk men taking turns to out-penetrate each other, what do you think?


Darts is snooker, but drunk and played by the peasantry. The pro darts circuit is slowly dying, but in the 1980s it was one of the biggest sports in the country. Massive, beer-gutted Northern men would stagger up to the "oche" (pronounced "okk-ee", the line you stand behind to throw) and somehow achieve incredible precision with tiny darts despite almost being too drunk to stand. So bad was darts' booze problem that the satirists at the time couldn't resist the topic:


Most of the great darts players of the era are now dead from liver failure.

The pro circuit was, and is, a mess, with several rival authorities running their own tournaments on top of each other and refusing to recognise the others' titles, much like boxing. Their attempts to clean up the sport's image by cutting back on booze, smoke and fat Northern men only resulted in alienating its old fans and failing to attract any new ones. Maybe you had to be alive during the 80's to realise how far darts has fallen. Amateur darts is in much better shape though, and most pubs will have a team that competes with other boozers in some sort of local league.

Oh, and it also had its own trashy game show, one even more low-rent than the snooker one and fronted by Jim Bowen, a man who looked like he's been wheeled into the studio from an Assisted Living facility and gave off the distinct impression of not being sure where he was most of the time:


I don't think you could find anything more Northern than this video even if you set it on the fucking ice cap.

Boxing
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Did we invent it? Yes
Are we any good at it? Yes
How gay is it? You'd find fewer big, sweaty black men on Grindr, so pretty fucking gay


People of course have been punching each other competitively since we evolved fists to do it with, but the British Aristocrat the Marquess of Queensberry commissioned a man called John Chambers in the 1860s to write some more "civilised" rules to the ancient sport of prizefighting and this became boxing as we know it today.

Ironically, the attempt to make boxing "safer" actually made it considerably more dangerous, as padding the fighters' fists made devastating headshots possible without breaking every bone in your hand (that's why UFC has a much better safety record than boxing), but the die was cast and the Marquess of Queensberry rules dominated punchsports until the 21st century. Whilst UFC is fairly popular here and growing (as boxing fades to the extent that they're pitting Youtubers against each other to try to revive interest in it), we have not produced many fighters of much note as yet.

Boxing, as in the US, is often seen as a way "out of the ghetto" for young urban blacks, and most of our best boxers over the years have rags-to-riches stories behind them. It's not just blacks either, multiple world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury may be the only Irish Traveller anyone in the country actually likes. British boxers are second only to Americans in their levels of success.

British ex-boxers often become celebrities. Two are of particular note:

Frank Bruno

You may remember Frank Bruno from the bizarre circumstances in which he beat Oliver McCall to claim the WBC world title, with McCall barely attempting to fight Bruno as he lost on points (and went on to have a mental breakdown in a WBC title fight when he "fought" Brit Lennox Lewis for four rounds before bursting into tears and refusing to continue). Bruno would not be world champ for long, as Mike Tyson obliterated him so badly that Bruno was forced into retirement by the damage Tyson did to him.

But Bruno, by now a beloved celebrity, charity fundraiser and serial chat-show guest due to his upbeat, friendly personality, would like McCall suffer terrible consequences for all those years getting punched in the head for a living and suffer a psychotic break for which he was sectioned. Ever the class act, the Sun's approach to the tragic fall of a national hero was to go with the front-page headline "Bonkers Bruno Locked Up", which went down like a bag of cold sick, and so the Sun frantically backpedalled, issuing another edition of the paper the same day while desperately recalling the others, changing the headline to "Sad Bruno in Mental Home".

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Chris Eubank

Sensibly, middleweight and serial world champion Chris Eubank decided to gain a reputation as completely nuts *before* he retired, and is as well known for his eccentricities as he is for his boxing achievements. His bizarre speech impediments (featuring one of the most pronounced lisps I have ever heard in my life), his insitence on dressing up as an aristocrat, his insistence of using the cab unit from an articulated lorry as his daily runabout, all make him easy to remember. So easy, in fact, that even the normally po-faced BBC decided to troll him.

One day, Eubank was invited out of the blue to guest present "Top of the Pops" (the BBC's weekly music chart program) despite him not really having much interest in music or any experience as a TV presenter. His excessive spending had bankrupted him and the gig paid well, so he accepted.

It was only when he had to tell the nation that a cover of Simon and Garfunkel's "Cecilia" by former Madness vocalist Suggs had reached number 6 that he realised why he had been invited, live on air, just because they wanted him to say "At thix, it'th Thethelia by Thuggth". Sadly the BBC has since purged the clip from Youtube because they don't want people to remember that they once had a sense of humour.

Motor Racing
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Did we invent it? No
Are we any good at it? Yes
How gay is it? Somewhere between a Pet Shop Boys album and a Leipzig nightclub.


Whilst the Germans tend to beat us at sports we invented, Motor Racing is a rare example of something going the other way. We generally don't participate in the weird American idea of Motor Racing, which involves turning left for 500 laps (though the one time a Brit did give it a go, Nigel Mansell won the Indycar championship on his first try), but pretty much everything else we're pretty competitive at. We produce world champions in Touring Cars, Motorbike Racing, Rallying, and, of course, Formula 1, which has been won by more Brits in its history than any other nation.

I know Americans don't like Formula 1 very much, and I kinda get why. It is, when you look at it, a very stupid sport. It's insanely expensive, the rules are utterly incomprehensible and applied seemingly at random, and the cars disintegrate if they run over a wasp. But they go very, very fast, and unlike Indycar, they sometimes turn *right*, which makes it twice as interesting.

The current world champion is Stevenage's own Lewis Hamilton, with 7 world titles under his belt, including the last 4 in a row and 6 of the last 7, and no sign of slowing down. Unlike previous generations of racing driver, who were dull, humourless, unlikeable white guys who complained about their cars all the time, Hamilton is mixed-race, a ladies' man and clearly does not give a fuck and is clearly having the time of his life. Hamilton is what happened when someone finally decided to put one of the yobbos who would normally be found driving a badly-modified Citroen Saxo up and down the promenade at a shitty run-down seaside resort into an F1 car to see what happened. I mean, he still does that, though the car is a $300,000 Mercedes SLS and the seaside resort is Monaco, but still.

We don't, however, have a NASCAR equivalent here. Stock car racing is a thing, but it's strictly amateur and there's no pro circuit at all. Instead people take shot-up old cars, kit them out for racing, then make a lot of noise and crash them into each other and many laughs are had. It's a surprisingly cheap hobby and a really fun time, even if you suck at racing.

Cheese Rolling
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Did we invent it? Yes
Are we any good at it? Nobody has ever caught the cheese, so I guess not
How gay is it? It's played by people who prefer livestock to other human beings



It's not a proper sport unless there are ambulances at the bottom of the hill.
 
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