Get snooker off the television

Ronnie O'Sullivan is the only snooker player worth watching.

Ronnie O'Sullivan is the only snooker player worth watching.

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With all due respect to Joe Perry, one of the nicest men in sport, snooker remains incredibly boring.

Barry Hearn has tried to jazz it up with shorter matches, but unless Ronnie O’Sullivan is playing (or Perry for work purposes) it’s an instant turn off for me.

O’Sullivan (right) sells snooker with his antics, but it’s rather telling that his decision not to wear shoes for two frames became one of the big talking points at the World Championships.

His rude hand signal to himself was far more interesting in a sport where frowning and coughing are about as emotive as it gets.

The fact that a genius like O’Sullivan can be beaten, as he once was, by a dull player like Peter Ebdon employing tactics only Jose Mourinho would appreciate shames snooker further.

Edbon was snooker’s equivalent of Chelsea that day, although he stopped short of questioning every decision made by the referee and he didn’t once dive to the floor under minimal contact like Branoslav Ivanovic.

Ebdon did achieve the impossible though by making a game where someone can sit down and sip water for hours on end in the heat of battle, even slower.

I’ve played snooker and it is incredibly difficult so the technical skill is to be admired.

But that also applies to synchronised swimming and that doesn’t cut it as a spectator sport either.

Snooker is a parlour game. Darts used to be, but the clever people at Sky Sports have done such a fantastic job in hyping that particular sport, attending a live tournament (the proper one, not the one Martin Adams dominates) remains on my bucket list.

Maybe snooker players should walk out to appropriate music and wear their nicknames on the back of their waistcoats.

They probably shouldn’t enter the Crucible arena flanked by pretty girls and burly bouncers though as the likes of John Virgo would have a funny turn.

The commentary booth needs jazzing up as well.

Snooker commentary is basically a guess the next shot competition (they’re rubbish at it even though they have 3D graphics and a fancy pen for telestrating) mixed in with nonsense about pressure and the use of the word ‘kick’ to excuse every fluffed shot.

Hearn should go out of his way to find an eccentric commentator like Sid Waddell to call it as it is while using puns and catch phrases so awful they are actually amusing.

Laughably snooker has been suggested as a future Olympic sport, something that straight-talking O’Sullivan has already rubbished.

The last thing the Olympics need is another professional sport in its schedule. Especially a boring one. They have golf to fulfil those criteria.

Unless the Olympics return to China, where snooker remains popular, the sport itself should stay in Sheffield.