Glasgow is currently hosting what the locals call the friendly games. Glasgow seems to be rising to the challenge of the games pretty well, even the neds in the East end seem to be on best behaviour…on which point, a word to the wise, dont go wandering down any side streets or off the beaten track away from venues in the East side of Glasgow. While most of the area is okay, there are some extremely dodgy spots, the sort of people/scum who thought Benefits Street was like TOWIE :)).
Ive been to see a few things at the games this last week. Although not the sports I hoped to see. I was looking forward to seeing those traditional Glasgow sports included, such as the 100m dash with a TV. The pursuit (where you are chased by neds down a Glasgow street, or neds are chased by a copper). Or Glaswegian fencing (with broken bucky bottles). I was also led to believe that all the shooting competitions would include a drive-by version and that the diving competition would include pool bombing :DD.
The womens Hockey was pretty lively. Good play by all teams with the play near constant, hardly any major breaks in play. I bring this up as it was a complete contrast to the World cup where every time the ball goes out of play they stop for a wee while. Or players taking swan lake dives and are being given the last rites over the slightest contact. The only time one of these hockey players went down was when one of the South African players took a ball straight in the face .and the major delay was when a cleaner had to come on with a sponge and bucket to clean away any blood from the nice new pitch!
In short if the players at the world cup had played like girls it might have been a good deal more exciting with less of the primadonna antics. Or perhaps such behaviour is inevitable when dealing with our overpaid and underworked professional footballers. And of course while the Hockey Federation has moved with the times (video umpire, measures taken to avoid breaks in play such as a 40 second countdown to any penalty and anyone arguing with the ref gets 5 minutes in the sin bin to think it over) FIFA is stuck with a fossil like Blatter and his cronies in charge.
Similarly the Rugby sevens was very entertaining, even though rugby isnt really my thing. The Wales against Australia match was thrilling, particularly the dying seconds where unfortunately Wales lost literally with the last kick of the game. That said, I would agree with those who say Rugby sevens isnt really the same game. The scrums for example dont really work when youve got only six players in one. But still definitely one to watch next Olympics. And again no rolling on the ground and crying antics as we see in football.
Table tennis isn’t really my thing. But while it might be the sort of thing we play in youth centres or hostels in the UK, its a big sport in other countries, many players household names…tho I’ve not heard of any Chinese table tennis players wrapping their Ferrari around a lamppost while drunk or biting rival players!
The Marathon and athletics programme (so far) has been a bit of an anti-climax, largely due to the low attendance of many athletes who are probably afraid of over exerting themselves before the European Championships. It was still good personally, to go along to Hampden Park and see an Atlethics session, but I get the feeling I should have gone to the Diamond League meet a month ago in Hampden.
Unfortunately, all the rumours Id heard about chaos at Hampden were true. The bus driver, after getting stuck in traffic dropped me off at the wrong end (not his fault, he assumed logic would dictate drop off at the Mt Florida gate end), but only one gate was open to the stadium (usual security paranoia, obviously someone committed to conduct a terrorist attack would never be so impolite as to just jump the fence!) at the opposite end of the stadium to public transport drop of. But there were no signs up saying which way to go to get around the stadium :??:. Lots of people blundering around lost, an huge queues trying to squeeze through the one entrance. While I got in before it started (but Id arrive an hour beforehand!) people were still drifting in up to an hour after the start. I would note that the Diamond league event a few weeks ago had the same problems, so the organisers cant say this was a bolt from the blue :no:.
Id also argue that the games have exposed the bottle necks in Glasgows transport system. e.g. the only direct link between Glasgows train and subway system is at Partick, which also happens to be the main hub for several Northside lines (one half go through Queens street, the other via Central). The word Ive been hearing is, avoid Partick until the games are over. A second hub on the South side would solve a lot of this. It would be easily accomplished as both sets of lines more or less cross nearby the existing West street subway station, as well as providing a major commuter hub on the south side taking pressure off Central.
Similarly some way of linking Central with Queen Street (other than via a long detour out to Partick) would solve a lot of problems. There is a shuttle bus, but it hardly ever gets used, largely due to arsy bus drivers who insist on querying everyone who tries to use the free ticket service for those with transfer tickets. Rather than argue with him many either walk, go to Partick or get a taxi .so sacking this driver (or just gag him) would solve a lot of problems.
I also took a day out from the games to climb a few hills up by Arrochar…when it rained (rather predictably!). Its been 25-30C most days up here and the minute I decide to go for a jaunt in the hills, the heavens open. As Ive finished all the munros Im now on the Corbetts and anyone who tells you they are easier than the munros doesnt know what they are talking about! Still all good fun!