Sports from the past week.
Past sports article for the week of 3/21/05
Pirates board the sports scene.
By, Grey Sports
The recent development of high seas piracy as a sporting event has triggered
a rash of sponsorship deals that outstrip anything other sports have achieved
in so small amount of time.
Introduced barely a month ago sport piracy pits numerous Pacific based
pirate crews against each other.
On the one hand this was promoted as the most realistic blood sport available,
on the other it was still considered a crime unless the right bribes were
paid regularly, something the pirates were expecting networks to pick
However disappointing viewing numbers have left the networks without any
reason to fully fund sport piracy to itís full, necessary extent. Studies
show that the prospect of real violence and blood was not as good as the
promise of real violence and blood found in the more traditional sports
of football, soccer and gold.
With warrants for arrest and detainment imminent it looked like many pirate
crews would be forced to turn back to their old ways until corporations
offered to do for them what they did for everything else: subsidise the
hell out of them in exchange for advertising and control.
While several pirate groups initially balked, the success of the Pepsi
Fleet, as it is now known, has turned many around.
Contrary to expectations the Pepsi Fleet has not clashed with Coke sponsored
vessels beyond a few bar room brawls, which are the new royal rumble anyway.
If anything Coke and the Pepsi Fleet have been particular in targeting
Nike and Budweiser ships, with Coke vessels harassing Microsoft ships
in Pepsi territory.
The commercial politics behind this makes for far more interesting viewing
than the actual piracy itself. Everyone who boards a competitors ship
makes a point of trying to recreate the Boston Tea Party in the middle
of the ocean. Itís boring, itís done at least twice a screening and isnít
even remotely in the same spirit.
Reassurances that this is an honest sport arenít helping. Especially when
these reassurances take the form of pirate profiles, showing that these
are not people chosen for their good looks.
I donít care if First Mate ďGumsĒ was chosen for his skill and ruthlessness,
proving it by showing his lack of teeth, infected eye and a scar that
looks like a map of the Himalayas is not going to win fans.
Even with low viewer numbers the piracy continues, most likely it would
continue no matter what, though in this case what I mean is that it continues
to be televised at the behest of the sponsors.
Why? Who knows, perhaps to take the cola wars to their next logical conclusion?
To make it look that much less unusual when a KFC and a McDonalds on opposite
sides of the same street open fire on each other?
Let us hope so because itís got to be better than watching someone from
Indonesia dyes his or her beard in rainbow colors just for a new nickname.