With the cinematic release of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
coming later this week, I thought I'd revisit something that's bothered me for a long time. Here at Cracked, we've discussed the Harry Potter universe many times before,
discussing individual movies, deconstructing the novels
, speculating about whether the characters are doing it
and arguing about whether us contemplating children doing it constituted an arrestable offense. But one thing we've never discussed is the sport of Quidditch, or more specifically, what a festering sore of a sport it is.
A brief explanation for our readers who aren't children or haven't read the novels or seen the films or eaten the promotional Harry Potter Chicken Sandwich at Burger King. Quidditch is a fictional sport invented by author J.K. Rowling for the
novels. In it, two teams mounted on flying broomsticks attempt to score goals on one another in a sort of aerial combination of rugby and baseball. Amongst their number are players whose sole job is to hit baseball sized objects at competing players, in an attempt to maim them. If you think that doesn't sound too bad, you're right. As described, that sport is awesome, like a dinosaur doing a huge jump on a BMX bike.
The problem lies with the Golden Snitch. The Golden Snitch is an enchanted flying ball which darts around the field of play while the game progresses. Two players from either team attempt to capture the Golden Snitch. Capturing the Snitch rewards the team with 15 goals and ends the game immediately. So basically, unless one team has accumulated a 15 goal differential over the other (i.e. a comprehensive ass whupping), whoever captures the Snitch wins. The rest of the players simply don't matter. Even if your team is saddled with rookies, injured players or white guys, so long as your guy catches the Golden Snitch, you've won.
Imagine a football game, where you've got two teams running plays, throwing touchdowns and slapping each other on the ass. You know, football. But at the same time in the middle of the field you've got two guys playing tetherball. And the first guy to wind the ball completely up scores 93 points and ends the game. Your team could have Peyton "Laser Rocket Arm" Manning throwing passes to a platoon of Jerry Rices, and it wouldn't make a difference if the other team had a real tall kid.
How could Rowling have written this down and not realized what a piece of