I had been intending summarising Old Curmudgeon’s thoughts, but over at Bella Caledonia I see that Mike Smith’s done it for me. And as always the contributions below the line add much. Go read Mike’s splendid review:
One of the comments mentioned the role of the BBC, and that remains my one gripe of the event. Just where were BBC Scotland in all of this? As someone mentioned elsewhere no other country would invite a foreign competing country to accept the role as host broadcaster. For an event funded fully in and by Scotland to have an anglo-centric broadcast media coverage has not been helpful. I’ve no doubt it’s been a tactical decision made with both eyes firmly on the current political debate. And I’ve no doubt that it’s raised more hackles, despite the obvious professionalism and expertise of presenters and summarisers.
As just one instance let’s take Usain Bolt. No, not all the stooshie about what he did or didn’t say, for that was just The Times trying to mix it. He received a Hampden welcome of some note, but his partying, before the relay final, was something else. 500 Miles sang the crowd, and Bolt responded, with all the athletes around him wondering whether to remain ‘in the zone’ in these vital minutes before the race began, or to join in.
Then there was the lap of honour; a showman playing to and playing with his audience. But the television coverage, well – it started out fine, but as soon as UB draped that saltire round his neck, off the screen he went. You could almost hear the director’s cut, and away we went to see how the English team were doing. We now know that Bolt and his colleagues stayed with it for some time, but as a television viewer we thought it was all over. Just one, of far too many.
I heard on the radio this morning, the defence getting in first – but there was Hazel Irvine and Andrew Cottar, they said – anticipating the inevitable question – and brilliant those two were, in fact cottar as to be the best in the commentary box since Bill McLaren, bringing any event to life, but the point was missed completely, siege mentality it seemed.
So we’ll remember the Games, the athletes, the performances. And we’ll congratulate Glasgow and her people. Wasn’t it great to see the city, in the sun and in the rain, from the sky and on the ground. The Urchins will remember a terrific afternoon in the midst of all, at Glasgow Green. I couldn’t go, for Glasgow City Council had decreed that the Yes badge on my lapel meant I would fail the security screening. I remember too issues over flags, and smoke trails, and cyclists helmets, but we’ll let them go. The BBC though, now that’s another thing altogether. And I’m not even going to mention the ceremonies, for again I suspect the viewing experience was as nothing in comparison to the audience in the stadium.