Not so long ago our British Secret Weapon, Jackie, was kind enough to tell us a bit about sports coverage in the UK.
So, because I live with three guys, all of whom have a penchant for watching sports on the weekend (even though one of them is only three), of course I had to ask her a follow-up question:
Q: Do you universities have sports? Does anyone watch them on TV? At least half of our TV coverage of sports seems to be college/university games: college football is huge and feeds into the NFL, and college basketball is big too. We just had three weekends of the big college basketball tournament, called “March Madness.” It absolutely takes over!
And here’s what Jackie had to say in reply:
University sport doesn’t have the same following in the UK. In fact it is almost non-existent. Universities may play each other, but it isn’t at a professional level and never shown on TV. The only exception I can think of is the University Boat Race. This takes place every March between teams from Oxford and Cambridge (arguably the two most respected Universities in the country).
The race involves the teams rowing 4.2 miles along the River Thames. I have always supported Oxford, but I’m not alone in preferring it when things go wrong. We British love it when the boats capsize or collide with something (as long as no one is injured) – it makes everything much more interesting!
All I can say is: Wow, a whole country without March Madness. No wonder I love the UK. (Nothing against March Madness. It just seems to be on forever, or maybe that’s just because March already feels a million years long when you live in Wisconsin, and you’re ready for spring to just arrive already.