September 22, 2008

Ryders on the storm

I like to play golf more than I like to watch it, but I still like to watch it, so I watched some of the Ryder Cup on Sunday. A lot of people get excited about it because a team of golfers from the United States takes on a team from Europe, so it’s one of the few times when the individualistic conceit of golf becomes a rah-rah, back-slapping, high-fiving, knuckle-bumping sport.

Unga-bunga, my son.The Americans are really good at celebrating their success and thumping their chests before the crowd. The Europeans are trying to ape those antics, but the site of the motley Englishman Ian Poulter doing his best impression of Tiger made me cringe. It ain’t natural, squire.

Anyway, it got me to thinking about a Ryder Cup equivalent for the piping and drumming world. If the Spirit of Scotland can be the 11th best band in the world after playing together for only five days, could the concept be broadened in a Ryder Cup-like format? What if Scotland were pitted against all of the Commonwealth countries in a series of events where a single band from each side would be formed, comprising players that qualify somehow and a number of “captain’s picks”?

There could be the familiar MSR and 5-7-minute medley events, but also match-play quartets, trios, mini-bands and even points-based solo contests.

Since the United States would be left out due to not being a Commonwealth country, they might supply the judges and the lessons in over-the-top victory celebrations.

What side do you think would win? Who would be the non-playing captains for each side? What events might there be? What players would make up the teams?


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