I always enjoy reading Simon Barnes in The Times.

Here's his take today on the UK Championship:

It is rare that a sponsor can itself be an attraction to a sporting event. But the Pukka Pies UK Championship is a glorious thing, quite impossible to say without a smirk. It’s not exactly Asprey’s, is it? It’s snooker, of course, and it reminds me of my days at Fisher’s snooker hall in Wimbledon, eating bacon sandwiches and drinking stewed tea as I and my colleague on the Wimbledon News played for the Pot White championship.

Snooker’s great beauty is that its greatest tensions and its toughest battles are gloriously soporific: hypnotising the viewer into a Zen-like state of empty-mindedness. The patterns, the collisions, the colours; all the rivalry, all the anxiety, all the desperation is refined into a calming click-clack of dancing spheres.

Snooker is an enthralling game, and perhaps the only one in which one might find enlightenment. It’s all about calculation, about mathematics in action. It comes down to the impossible: who could ever calculate the square root of Pukka Pie?


Monique said...

actually it's squaring the Pukke Pie that's been puzzling mathematicians for centuries... Although it would be extremely handy for delivering the pies in big batches of about 300, Lindemann in 1880 has finally proven this is an impossible task.
Snooker players I'm afraid are more prosaic and just make the problem irrelevant by eating them pies. ;)

Anonymous said...

I think his Pukka Pie might have had something illegal in it!

Anonymous said...

"Gloriously soporific" - that's why they show the highlights in the wee small hours - how apt!

Anonymous said...

i love a meaty pie

Anonymous said...

Dave, i was only having a giggle with that last comment. didnt think youd publish

joking aside, pukka pies have been a well talked about sponsor and ive enjoyed having them as a sponsor

they may not be diamond encrusted watch makers, but theyve added some talking points and despite all the dtractors, the name hasnt spoiled the snooker

pies r us

Anonymous said...

I am not so impressed with the new fangled Balti Pukka Pie although the Steak & Kidney edition is classic pie.
This is what made Britain great, I suspect this sponsorship deal may not last sadly.
Next year it'll an internet poker/gaming site called pokerpartydoyournads.net UK Championships under a shot clock mechanism, not so heartrendering IMO.

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared.
Hello Dave
How are you! That was a nice wee article about your friend and of course our tasteful and generous sponsor Pukka Pies.
There should be a “Pie Prize” or a “Prize Pie” given to the blog member that shows the mathematical humour to guess the Pukka Pie square root without knowing its ingredients for starters.

Mr Simon Barnes I presume is an aged person Dave. As only an ole timer would recall the great fun in the billiards game of “Pot White”. It (The pot) was performed tediously slowly Dave with a smirk and a “Who’s Next” expression, but more often with a viciousness swing of the cue as the cue tip entered the light shade.

For the record Dave, Has our friend “Phil Yates of The Times” been relegated to “Tea Boy”?
Mr hey you.

Greg said...

Maybe we can get the Yanks into snooker by having a tournament over there sponsored by Dunkin' Donuts?

Anonymous said...

greg = fattist :D

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

A need a bit of help here from you, Chris et al.

This is the third Higgins/O'Sullivan clash this season.

Have they met more times than this in any one season before?

Thanks, Joe

Dave H said...

They played at least six times in the 1997/98 season

Anonymous said...

A great piece of writing, shame he's sold his soul to Murdoch.

Anonymous said...

Cheers, Dave!

That is what I needed. What a thriller in Telford.

That probably goes above the clash in Sheffield in 1996 for sheer tension and drama.

Cheers, Joe

jamie brannon said...

Barnes is the best journalist in the country by far. He may work for Murdoch, but his outlook on the sport is far from mercenary. He often berates adminstrators for their policy of making money first at the expense of the sport. This is why I think snooker should not go for overkill with there calendar. We need more events the gaps are laughable, but just having snooker every week for sake of making money would be a bad idea. Barnes feels cricket is as guilty as any sport with stupidly long one day series, World Cups that seem to go on for an eternity, round robins that try to milk as much money as possible and lucrative 20/20 competitions that lack much meaning other than a financial one.