Once again there is much discussion as to what the demonstration sports should be at the 2012 Olympics. This is actually a total irrelevance since, back in 1992, the International Olympic Committee ruled that the Olympics were too big and complicated to have an alternative, "demonstration" calendar running alongside the main event. This is also a bit of a bummer. Part of the fun of the Olympics is the host country being able to foist local sporting eccentricities on the world population. China managed to get a special dispensation for Wushu, a traditional martial art, during the Beijing Games so we must fight hard for our oddities to be included in 2012.
Cricket is making a bid to have a special Twenty20 exhibition but I think that this is going about it the wrong way. Cricket should not be diluted to make it more accessible to the rest of the world. It should be made even more complicated and incomprehensible. Let's pull up the drawbridge and show the game to the rest of the world while proudly declaring that, "you'll never understand this." We should have a specially extended Test match – a seven innings affair. This could last the entire length of the Games and allow disappointed spectators of other sports to always have somewhere to pop into. We could sort it out so that a draw would be officially declared live in the middle of the closing ceremony. What could be more British? Actually there are a couple of things now that you ask...
Morris dancing is not exactly a sport, more a weird pastime but, if we give them a little help, I think this could be a winner. How about if we combined morris dancing with the javelin? The javelin is already in trouble, as they have to make the thing heavier and heavier so that it doesn't land in the crowd at the other end of the stadium. So let's forget about distance and turn it into an accuracy contest. Surely that was the original idea of the thing – to spear the enemy. In a winning combination of ancient Greek and daft British, we get men of morris to dance in the middle of the stadium while competitors attempt to spear them with the javelin. I'm sorry, but you know that's a top-selling spectator sport right there.
Another worthy entry might be shin-kicking. This was once very popular in the UK and has Olympic possibilities. Nowadays it's not as hardcore – people stuff straw down their tracksuit bottoms before holding each other by the shoulders and kicking each others' shins as hard as they can. In the olden days, however, miners (in a possible nod to ancient Greece) used to shin kick each other (sometimes to the death) totally naked save for their clogs. The use of clogs and nudity is a lovely European touch and this could give Wayne Rooney something to do when he retires...
Another favourite is British Bulldogs. Who can forget being alone, facing the rest of the school as they prepare to maul, smash and wedgie you once you pluck up the courage to make your suicidal move? We could rename it Olympic Bulldogs. Just imagine – in the middle of the stadium, as slightly dull events like the steeplechase are under way round the track – teams from around the world up-ending each other in a no-holds barred contest. The genius of Bulldogs is that it takes the essentials of weird sports like Greco-Roman wrestling and weightlifting and then places them in a running field sport. The fact that the game ends with 600 people facing one plucky survivor... how much more British could we get than that? Maybe we could play some of Churchill's speeches over the PA while the action is under way?
My last thought tackles the obvious problem of drug cheats as well as the impending unemployment of a large number of MPs. Why don't we have a "Total Olympics" where anything goes? We could pump MPs full of every steroid and chemical enhancer known to man, wind them up and let them go. It would be fascinating to see what the human body is capable of when assisted by world-class scientists. We could see if Menzies Campbell could beat his time from the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. How high could the diminutive Hazel Blears jump when given the right stimulant? Don't stop there – get the crowd involved with a binge drinking competition – we are, after all, world leaders in this. Seb Coe – call me, let's do lunch.
Blocked out by Murray net moves
Andy Murray has blocked me from Twitter once again and I feel lost and alone without tales of his high jinks. Has anyone got any interesting sports stars to monitor? Let me know on twitter.com/domjolyReuse content