Features

It’s There! Red + Blue = In the Pink

By Free Ball

Cameraman Snooker BBC (ML)

The cameramen miss nothing. Photo credit: Monique Limbos

I’m lucky. I’m self-employed; and although it comes with its problems, I try my best to push it hard at times, to make the time for, more often than not, the snooker time.

It’s true that occasionally during a right slog of a match, I wonder what the hell I’m doing when I could be out there earning. Is it really all worth it? Sitting around, watching a lot of people sitting around, while two souls shuffle around a table as another desperately sits alone. Listening to the same familiar voices, coming out with the same lines over and over again.

Sometimes, I take a calculated risk on what session to miss so I can get some work done. The equation behind the calculation is something to do with who’s playing, multiplied by what time of the day the session is on, divided by how slow they generally play. How slow they generally play is possibly the largest variable, as this could allow me to watch the end of afore mentioned session. Again, the equation is an ongoing work in progress. In these dreaded inner moments I consider all the variables, sigh, and quite possibly turn the TV off.

As shreds of work are done, a mass of doubt engulfs. What am I missing? A cheeky moment between players, a successful four-snookers-needed winning frame, a fine mid-session interval piece or, please no, a 147? I’m literally sat working (the irony), and have this moment of panic. Okay, it doesn’t make me fall over like Clive, or is it Everton, but you know what I mean, right?

Even when I’m in the middle of a match, completely engrossed, there are small calculations going on somewhere in my being. When’s the best time to eat, to clean, to buy the food to eat, or go to the toilet? As I write this late on Tuesday night listening to a great documentary about The Blues, I begin to consider the equation for later. If Mark wins the first three, and John wraps it up before 11.30am, I could possibly snick a couple of hours in. There is another variable though. I work outside, and the weather looks grim. “Woke up this mornin’, turned my TV on…”

Free Ball returns for a third year with his annual musings on the World Snooker Championship. Who is he? Who knows! Keep an eye out for the next offering soon.