Features and Interviews

It’s There! Where’s the Screen Going?

Over the course of the World Championship I’ve challenged one snooker aficionado to highlight the best quirky, outlandish, unusual, laughable and questionable observations of each day.

As if to further enhance his (or her!) alter ego as snooker’s sleeper, this spy has elected to go through the tournament in disguise.

The graphic was met with a barrage of anger on social media website Twitter - photo courtesy of SnookerRoom YouTube.

The graphic was met with a barrage of anger on social media website Twitter – screenshot courtesy of SnookerRoom YouTube.

Read below for day one’s offering, but who is behind the Free Ball?

Day One – Where’s the Screen Going?
By Free Ball

An anomaly occurred during the first morning’s BBC coverage. A multi-coloured bar with lines and numbers would erratically appear on the side of the screen. What was this distraction from our snooker delight? Even John Virgo commented on it . There it was, loitering from side to side, then gone! Gone for the afternoon and evening sessions as well.

GOOD!!! This new visual gimmick from the BBC, and all channels love a new sporting toy (Phil Neville, Craig Doyle etc.), is pointless. I’ll be bold and say most people who watch snooker will either understand the scoring system, and/or listen to the commentators. Okay, okay, some could say the comm box is a never-ending amplification of noise – Stephen Hendry excluded. Sometimes, I’d go as far as to say he wasn’t there for frames on end. Maybe Hendry’s being distracted by tweets from Mark J about, eh, gas of old?

But I digress. What next? Each corner of the screen with a cam box? One for the player sat down, one for the families, one for player’s heart rate and blood pressure, and one for Judd’s shoes?

David Attenborough put snooker on TV for simple, new age TV aesthetics. He didn’t even like the sport, but a table with colours and men going grey as we watch works. I understand the wanton for programme producers to jazz things up, but snooker really is simple. Replays, slow mos, even the dreaded lines that are kept up on the screen for far too long on a shot all work. But I don’t want to feel I’m involved in a computer game.

I am curious why the anomaly disappeared though. Did the powers that be realise what a nonsense it was? Or did the computer programme not take into account fouls, misses or the fact that a maximum is 155?

I apologise. I’ll try being more jovial tomorrow, but can’t promise anything. By the way, Stephen Hendry’s co-comm on Selby’s narrow win was the best I’ve heard from him. Maybe it wasn’t him. Maybe it was a new BBC toy…

Keep an eye out for the daily dose of ‘It’s There!’ by Free Ball throughout the 2015 World Championship.

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