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Any followers of ours on Facebook may have noted the spat between Trivial Pursuits founder Harry Harland, a couple of his ‘jump-on-the-band wagon-Facebook-friends’ and me, earlier on this week.  In his blog on Tuesday, Harry detailed how the Ryder Cup had more drama in it than any one episode of the much-loved ITV period drama, Downton Abbey.

As a girl, it’s hardly surprising I would disagree.  But it’s not just because my narrow-minded colleague/blog boss (he’ll LOVE that title) decided to pitch sport against tele drama. It’s because the sport he decided to pitch it against, was called Golf.  Possibly one of the most tiresome, tedious, boring and lead sports in the history of the world.  Even cricket provides some sort of compensation for its long-suffering, patient audience: tea.  Whereas Golf?  No.  There’s just nothing.

Feeling wildly outnumbered as our ‘debate’ progressed, I thought I’d draw TP readers into it too, in the hope I might find at least one supporter in and amongst our wonderful readership (note the word ‘wonderful’, it’s true, you are…)

So here it is – a list of reasons why Downton Abbey is better than Golf.

1.)    It’s a story

There’s a reason we all grew up with story books, learned to read them, continue to go to the cinema, the theatre, enjoy telling stories, listening to them, making them up…it’s because stories, are grrrreat.   Well, most stories – ‘I almost got a hole in one but then I didn’t because, well, I didn’t’…not a good story

2.)    It only lasts an hour

Even if you hate it, Downton Abbey lasts an hour.  In fact, less than that – 15 minutes of ads less to be precise.  Golf, however, can take days – days.  And whilst many people have hours to kill, wiping out entire days, well, that just means you’re not really living anyway.

3.)    The clothes are better, the people more attractive

Who would you rather spend time looking at..

These people:


Come on boys, I know you like at least ONE of them…

Or people dressed like this:

Graeme, the mind boggles

4.)    It’s educational

Yes old Fellowes (author) uses artistic license, but I reckon most people in this country know more about the first half of the 20th century now, than they ever did in the pre Downton years.  Harry Harland and his sidekicks argue we should all read history books and historians to learn about our eventful past – which of course we all should.  Most of us, however, won’t.  And since history is basically subjective anyway – how accurate can any one account actually be?  At least Fellowes doesn’t argue his version of events is gospel – which is more than can be said for a number of historians.

5.)    Maggie Smith as The Dowager Countess…

National Treasure

Mrs Crawley: “I’ll take that as a compliment.”
DC: “I must have said it wrong”

DC: “I have plenty of friends I don’t like.”

Cora: “Things are different in America.”
DC: “I know. They live in wigwams.”

[Struggling with the newly installed telephone] “Is this an instrument of communication, or torture?”

I may know nothing about golf, but I’ll wager there is no Violet Crawley equivalent.

6.)    The Ryder Cup itself, is pitiful

I mean, look at it.

I think my nail touched it

Each winner gets… a thumb print’s worth?  Ridiculous.  At least Downton comes in boxsets.

All yours

7.)  It just is.

I can’t really explain why and in truth I shouldnt have to.  It beggars belief how anyone could prefer to watch a troupe of cardigans trying to whack a small ball into a small hole with a phallic shaped rod.  How is that for intelligent people?

One of Harland’s cronies quoted this at me in the argument:

George Bernard Shaw once said ‘Given the Stupidity of the masses, the majority are nearly always wrong’. Beenie, I never had you pegged as someone who drew on the wisdom of crowds.

I’m guessing Harland’s crony would rather we lived in a dictatorship in that case, and not a democracy.

If you wouldn’t rather live in a dictatorship however, and in this instance, rather like being ‘one of the masses’, please be a dear, like this blog – and if you’re feeling super helpful, ask the other 9.7 million Downton Abbey viewers to like it too.

Many thanks.

By Beenie Langley