Britain’s New National Sport


Ricochet Splashback is probably the UK’s greatest living exponent of the backhand chin stroke, which has put the Luton Imponderables way ahead in this year’s Mass Debating League.

There has, of late, been a sharp decline of football in the national consciousness, mainly because watching a single game now costs more than the average mortgage. As well as England withdrawing the national side from all competitions because they couldn’t scrape together enough English players from the top divisions with the ability to kick a ball (as seen in the current World Cup). Having to scout the Sunday morning park pitches for anyone who they could press-gang into the team was the last straw according to a FA spokesman.

Consequently, with falling revenues. Sky and the other sports broadcasters, as well as the BBC – who found some spare change down the back of the BBC Breakfast sofa to pay for it – needed a new sport.

Casting around for something suitable, and by accident, he says, alighting on a political debate show, one sports programme producer realised there is nothing the British people enjoy more than watching other people talking bollocks.

So the idea of a mass debating league was formed.

Of course, politics is only one form of bollocks, not as prevalent these days as it used to be, but still a major force in pointless – and endless – argument. Of course one of the greatest ironies in the rise of mass debating as a spectator sport is that one of the leading causes of any outbreak of pointless bollocks talking and tedious point scoring was often football itself.

However, with less football about in general, including the Premier league, now getting smaller audiences than a Church of England sermon, there weren’t many football arguments about. Therefore people were looking around for other subjects to have pointless and purposeless arguments about.

Consequently, there is a great deal of variety in any mass debating match. Arguments breaking out all over the mass debating pitch on all subjects from the sex life of politicians (always good for a laugh) to the best way of growing marjoram.

Of course, the Internet had been a great boon in the burgeoning popularity of mass debating. Now, local and national team coaches hang out in tabloid newspaper comments sections, online forums and social media. All of them on the look-out for the next mass debating star. Someone who can argue endlessly about the most pointless and trivial subjects with a devotion to the game long since missing from football, cricket, three-in-a-bed romps and all the other former staples of the national sporting scene.

With England putting teams into the next Mass Debating World Cup, European Nations Cup and the Olympics, there seems no better time for everyone to drop everything and – like Ricochet Splashback – start mass debating themselves.


Published by David Hadley

A Bloke. Occasionally points at ducks.

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