Ever since that whole “Occupy” thing started way back when, I was always curious as to why there weren’t more protesters at sporting events, railing against those millionaire athletes and billionaire owners for having all that success and money and not giving it away for free. But aside from a few threats of protesting the Super Bowl (too cold in Indy) and World Series (St. Louis fans will kill someone for ruining their baseball), the Occupy folks have been relatively quiet about sports. I figure it’s because they spent so much time ignoring sports as kids, so why should they pay attention now?
Australian world-saver and Occupy “member” Trenton Oldfield is ready to buck that trend, and he began his crusade against elitism in sports this weekend by disrupting the 183rd run of the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race.
An intruder protesting against elitism and privilege brought both boats to a standstill just over halfway through the 4 1/4-mile race when he swam into the middle of the River Thames and narrowly avoided being struck by the oars of both crews. (Via NBC Sports)
Take that, old wealth!
When the contest restarted after a 31-minute delay, Oxford’s German rower, Dr. Hanno Wienhausen, lost half of his oar after the crews clashed, leaving Cambridge an almost unchallenged path to a 4 1/2-length victory over effectively seven oarsmen.
To add to the drama, Oxford bow man Dr. Alexander Woods was taken to Charing Cross Hospital after collapsing post-race. Paramedics said Woods was in a stable condition but would be kept overnight for monitoring. The reason for his collapse remains unknown.
It’s important to note that Oldfield, whose ramblings of fart-sniffery can be read here, attended one of Australia’s top private schools as a child, and he graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He also has one hell of a Linked In profile, full of remarkable accomplishments. And I’d love to pile on the irony of a guy who seems to have led quite the privileged lifestyle railing against the privileged and “elite” but I can’t get past one tiny little aspect of this “protest”.
Don’t brag about how much you’ve done to help people, don’t boast of your education and scholarly accomplishments, and don’t shake your fist in rage at the establishments and institutions of finance if the best you can come up with to protest at a boat race is: “Hurrrrrr, I’mma jump in the water.” Because the outcome was about 5 inches of a paddle blade away from being top story at this year’s Darwin Awards.
(H/T to the pop cultural elitists at Buzzfeed)