Sport on TV: Patriot fervour lacking as little Britain lacks spirit of Nelson

When the giants of American sport come to town, you might think the British broadcasters would go to town too. But the BBC's highlights package of the American Football game between the Patriots and the Buccaneers (BBC2, Sunday) featured the perennially under- whelming Jake Humphreys and Mike Carlson, poached off Five, who once played college football at some place called Wesleyan University.

When the NBA came to the O2 Arena last month, the BBC's coverage with Mark Pougatch and Colin Murray was widely derided on the other side of the pond – it must have been bad for them to care – for its amateurish understanding of what is a global sport, not a peculiarly American one.

In the absence of any drama on the field at Wembley, there were the celebrities to fall back on. A real heavy-hitter, Joe Calzaghe, was "honorary captain" for the day and he was, well, "honoured". He was obviously at a loose end (as opposed to a tight end) after being voted off 'Strictly'. And there was veteran NFL coach Mike Holmgren, who had to shout over the noise of a band that made fusion jazz sound like the Shadows.

Fortunately the Radio One DJ Trevor Nelson was on hand to offer some meaningful comment. He liked the cheerleaders. Not only that, he said: "I'm a chess fan, so I love the strategy. There's a war out there." Incidentally it seems amazing, given the 1,000 digital channels out there, that no one thought to televise the chess-boxing in London last month. Nelson would have loved it: the venerable mind game interspersed with bouts of full-on pugilism.

Sky Sports have been showcasing another sport this week: Polocrosse (Sky Sports 1, Wednesday), which is lacrosse on horseback. It originated among ladies at the London Equitation Centre in 1935, using badminton rackets strapped to polo mallets with a netball hoop as the goal. It sounds fiendishly difficult, and these days they have nets on the end of their sticks and an eight-foot wide, infinitely high goal to aim at.

For some reason Australia, who developed the game after stealing it off the Brits, have banned overhead shooting, which leaves them at a huge disadvantage. The South Africans, for example, regard the overhead as their speciality. Perhaps it's a payback for Trevor Chappell's underarm bowling.

The close control is more like dressage than polo, with the horses selling dummies and spinning as well as any footballer to get a shot in – the resemblance to Ruud van Nistelrooy was striking. But it was as incomprehensible as American football can be. Even the expert summariser, Ian Heaton, didn't know what was going on. "It might be the end of the match, or it might be an infringement," he said. A case of foal play, perhaps.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin (based in London)

£20000 - £25000 per annum + commission: SThree: Real Staffing's Pharmaceutical...

Guru Careers: Business Analyst / Digital Business Analyst

£50 - 60k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Business Analyst / Digital Bus...

Guru Careers: Business Development Manager / Sales

£30 - 40k (£65k Y1 OTE Uncapped): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Business Deve...

Guru Careers: Graduate Media Assistant

Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an ambitious and adaptable...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'