About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

21 June 2006

Sport on TV

As a concept, sport is pretty simple: a competition to determine who (or which group of people) are best at a certain task, usually associated with keeping fit (well my definition anyway). When it becomes complicated, is when people are willing to pay to watch other play sport, because then sport is no longer just a competition, but it is also entertainment. Big name sports draw money to the game, because there are a lot of people who want to watch those games, because the games are a social event, entertainment event etc.

In the past few months, there has been a quite storm developing in Cricket - players are starting to complain that they are playing too much - that they will not be able to perform on their best of their abilities all the time, because it will be mentally and physically challenging. Off course administrators see it differently, as they see whinging millionaires who want to work less for more and them missing out on the goldmine that is presented by the cricket watching billion plus viewers.

What neither side is looking at however is the spectators themselves - the very people that pay to watch the game. Right now there are two international series - West Indies vs India and England vs Sri Lanka, and because of the time differences, it is possible to watch televised cricket for about 18 hours a day! During the official cricket season, it is possible to watch televised cricket for the full 24 hours. The question becomes - who is watching?

It's not cricket only after all. There is football from the World Cup, there is motor racing, there is rugby, and a few other major televised sports. But people have to work, go to school, go socialise outside watching sports. Viewer number will drop, not because people are not interested, but because there is too much for too little time. Very soon, it will be the highlights shows that will draw the crowds and not the events themselves.

So, is there too much cricket right now? Personally yes - because it is coming to the point that, at most times, I don't bother other than just looking at the overall results and reading the match (or day) reports. I do not need to be entertained for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year ... then it will no longer be entertainment.

19 June 2006


As a kid, I really really liked trains and railroads. While I did not ever own proper model train kits, I had numerous smaller ones, which I regularly connected up to cover large parts of the house. In fact, the large family homes for both my parents in India, has access to large roofs and they all had train lines on them ... and so did the gardens, and ... you get the idea.

I have maintained my fascination with trains, although less with engines and carriages but more with the actual dynamics of making things work. It was the same when I was a kid - designing the route was more cooler than the actual train. Trains was also what hooked me into Transport Tycoon - and they were mostly all what I built (well I had planes to take passengers and mail, trains to take everything else). And the best part of transport tycoon was the complex scheduling mechanisms possible with signaling - although, getting it right was always a mission.

I got hold of Railroad Tycoon II (Platinum Edition) a while back from Dave Nunez's massive collection, but I only started playing it a few weeks back ... and I have been hooked. Initially, I found the game quite slow (until I worked out that you can change the speed ... duh) and quite uninteresting. But the latest scenarios have been eye catching - building railroads through the Alps, or the Orient Express, or across India.

Still there are parts of the game that are very unappealing. Firstly, routing is automatic, so I can't get to play with the signaling. Then there is some of the economic aspects - as an investor you cannot buy stocks of other railroads, nor invest more into your own railroad! And there are no tunnels!

I hear that Sid Meier is developing a new Railroad Tycoon - one with tunnels! Until then I will carry on with what I have ... currently building train lines across Australia ... but it's the last scenario that I am really looking forward to - building Cape to Cairo - a feat, as far as I know was never achieved. There is also a Railroad Tycoon 3 ... but since 4 is aparently so close round the corner .. might as well get that.