I like years which end in even numbers.
That’s a peculiar opening sentence to an article, isn’t it? There’s method behind this madness however, not just a mild mental illness.
You see, if the year ends with an even number, then said year becomes “a sporting summer” of major tournaments ahoy. This mild form of what I call “sporting autism” becomes even more refined when it is a leap year; not only is there a major football tournament like the Europeans or the World Cup, but the Olympics are also on as well. All of which, much to Murdoch’s displeasure, is shown on glorious public service broadcasting so commoners can watch.
The summer of 2012 has been a good one. The European Championships alone had the Poland/Russia rivalry, Zlatan’s goal vs France, Balotelli’s performance in the semis, Ronaldo showing why he is incredible, the chaos of Group A and Russia’s exit, Pirlo’s penalty, the last hurrah for Shevshenko and arguably the best performance I’ve ever seen in a big match by Spain, I reckon the tournament was a cracker.
Roger Federer, like Centre Court before 2009, was ruthless.
We’ve just witnessed Wimbledon, and the yearly heartache (Wimbledon tournaments occur on odd, as well as even, numbered years also known as “annually”) of watching Andy Murray get progressively better but agonisingly not quite good enough to win a Grand Slam. Roger Federer, like Centre Court before 2009, was ruthless.
The events have made for extraordinary viewing, but what I will remember from this summer is the excellent amalgamation of sport and music, primarily by the BBC. We Are Free Agents love our music (as seen by Craig Angus’ series of interviews for the site a few months ago), especially when it is the soundtrack to some magnificent sport.
This summer of montages begins not with the BBC, but with Murdoch’s football bastion, Sky Sports. The Champions League Final does not require music to add drama to the events, but the use of The Cinematic Orchestra’s To Build a Home syncs perfectly with the moment Didier Drogba’s header ruffles the net in Munich.
My favourite was for the end of the group stages of the European Championships (see below). The song, a cover of Michael Jackson’s Thriller by Imogen Heap. I don’t know if it is because the music is particularly haunting.
BBC’s fine form with montages continued with England’s exit. Inevitable as it was on hindsight, penalties et al, at the time people believed that this could’ve been England’s year. Seriously, I was one of them. So when they did lose, a cover of Linkin Park’s In The End was rather befitting of the night in Kiev.
Finally, the closing sequences of BBC’s Wimbledon coverage from Sunday. Researching this article, I discovered that the end of tournament montage is a tradition of sorts within the Big British Castle. It’s a bloody good tradition, too.
Why do montages like these work so well? Music and sport have their differences, but they also strike at a similar emotional level. Both are forms of expression, a way of releasing energy or creativity. A 14 year old practising Nirvana on bass guitar is no different from the “skills school” section of Soccer AM. It’s kind of like art, I suppose.
It is also just an excuse to post a Rocky montage.