the last week here in the UK has, look you see, seen little of consequence happen. no major news or events have come along which in any way managed to distract everyone from watching the most splendid snooker on at the Crucible in Sheffield.
i am not too different from the rest in this respect. i've not been able to watch all of the snooker, for i have many a thing to do, but i have endeavoured to watch a decent amount. and so far this is most pleasing, for outside of one or two games it's been rather enjoyable.
one of the most interesting aspects of it all has been, as i am sure you can guess from the title of this, the shoes which select snooker players have elected to wear. if you are wondering whether or not i am going to look at choice ones in this post, indeed yes i am. mostly.
the above is indeed an image of Rory "Connor" McLeod, presumably of the Clan McLeod. for some reason beyond me the BBC have often mentioned that he is the oldest person to be competing in this tournament. to that i say no, really, in a most sarcastic way. that's McLeod, so as he is obviously immortal but of course he will be the oldest. that boss documentary on him and his Spanish mate showed you all his adventures through history, after all.
and so the Highlander had quite a smart week. well, it was smart at the time of writing this. he got through the first round, taking out an opponent called Trump who was, i believe, one of the favourites to go on and win it. all this whilst, i am sure you will agree in spirit, looking like an absolute badass Marvin Gaye double.
one possible downside to his week is, alas, his dress sense. and this relies on me relying on something i was taught or told many a year ago. here, have a look at this shot of Connor McLeod in action.
better quality images of the issue are below. sorry if they are not up to the usual standard; i was all excited about what i saw when i snapped away to get these images off the tele. anyway, that debate distracts from the point of all of this.
yes, as you can see, yes. Rory "Connor" McLeod of the clan McLeod, slayer of the Kurgan, is indeed wearing brown shoes with black trousers. black socks, too, but that part might be allowed. but i was always told that you should never, ever wear brown shoes with black trousers. it is, from what i recall, considered a massive fashion faux pas.
many of you will recall that my outrageous and often controversial cowboy look came about because of this rule. when the only shoes that could fit me were brown ones i had to get some blue jeans as i only had black jeans and black trousers. so i must be right in thinking this.
this shoe phenomenon at the current snooker tournament in Sheffield is not the exclusive preserve of Connor McLeod.
yes, you are right. the above is indeed Luca Brecel. no, not that Luca Brecel, this is the Belgian one, off of Belgium.
he was involved in what was, to me, the best and most exciting match of the tournament so far. he took on Marco Fu and somehow snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Fu is a fabulous player, but Brecel was so far ahead at one stage he should have wrapped it up. he's only 22, however. whilst obviously not a McLeod and thus presumably not immortal, he still has time to come back and dazzle again.
speaking of dazzling, his shoes were at the upper levels of the higher ranking of dazzle rating. observe.
that is indeed one of the feet of Brecel from Belgium. no, it's not bad lighting or a reflection. well, actually it is a reflection, but the reflection is all off of his shoes. for some reason he was wearing the most amazing, shiny, glitter loaded shoes what i have ever seen anyone wear.
so far as i am aware most of what a snooker player can wear in a tournament is regulated. smart suit trousers, a long sleeved shirt, a dapper waistcoat and perhaps a bowtie or traditional tie. all snooker players abide by this, although the more rebellious ones (Ronnie O'Sullivan) wear a black shirt instead of a formal white one. the regulations, it would seem, do not stretch to which shoes they may wear.
a quick break from looking at the shoes of snooker players, then, to look at the audience. an audience which is entirely bereft of dress code, with the only condition of them spectating is that they remain silent as and when instructed.
see if you can see why i have included this picture of the audience before you read below the picture.
do you see him, or rather what he is wearing? no? look at the chap sat behind the bald gent with a beard. the one in red. yes, that's right. one of the spectators has a classic Middlesbrough FC shirt on. the sponsor is Dickens, which makes it from the 94-95 season, the time when Bryan Robson was our player-manager.
if you are thinking that was the best shirt i saw a spectator wear, alas no. i didn't get a picture of it but in one of the matches someone had a t-shirt on which had the cover of Van Halen's 1984, or if you like MCMLXXXIV, on it. an amazing album, that. arguably peak David Lee Roth, although the Van Halen debut could also claim that, as could Diamond Dave's Eat 'Em And Smile solo recording.
but we are not here to discuss David Lee Roth, as admirable as his prowess as a sexualist is. no, we are here for the shoes of snooker players, or at least two of them in particular.
here, have a closer took at the brown shoe of Connor McLeod.
please note that i am not being critical of the shoes themselves. in isolation both are really smart pairs, and i would be proud to own such a fancy pair. it's just that i would not wear brown shoes with black trousers, and i might hesitate about wearing shiny glitter sparkling shoes before appearing in front of a television audience of several million.
another look at Luca Brecel, or rather at his feet in shiny shoes? but of course.
i would confess to limited knowledge in general, but when it comes to Belgian snooker players i must confess that i know of no further ones. maybe Jean Claude Van Damme has a game every now and then, but so far as it is possible to be aware i don't believe he has gone pro.
perhaps the Belgian minister of arts and culture has instructed him to wear them because of the above, should Belgium indeed have such a minister. he has been sent out to play in this tournament as a kind of ambassador for the nation, and so it would make sense that they wanted to ensure he was noticed. if shoes is the only place that a snooker player can show off some personal flair and national heritage commemoration, then there it is.
it could also be long term planning. when, many many many years from now, Luca Brecel is beatified and commemorated as the patron saint of Belgian snooker players, these sparkling, shiny shoes will make all statues in his honour distinct and distinguished. they also allow for some interesting merchandising opportunities, i suppose.
yeah, the above image is another look at Connor McLeod, proudly strutting his brown shoes whilst wearing black trousers.
would i take Connor McLeod aside and point out his error? no way. i am a massive fan of the documentary about him. whilst at heart he is a good man, let us not forget that he has, through the centuries, decapitated - with a f*****g massive sword - people who have displeased him by being immortal. just imagine what he would feel pressed to do to those who dared question his dress sense.
also, it is not like i am some grand fashionista. i can't really, going on the way i dress, go around pointing out the folly of what others are wearing.
another look at the Belgian shiners to finish? sure, why not.
well, there we have it. shoes for snooker, or if you like a look at what some snooker players wear as shoes when they are doing their thing.
at the time of writing there was still a fair way to go in this tournament. that means plenty of opportunities to watch quality snooker, and the chance to see more shoe action. unless they are really spectacular, though, i do not believe i will have anything further to say on the subject.
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!