Ever since Lance Armstrong watched a dodgeball tournament on ESPN the Ocho, niche sports enthusiasts claim everything this side of cup-stacking deserves a programming slot. And we've seen all kinds of variants invited onto the stage including roque, flugtag, kickball, wife carrying, over-the-line, and punkin chunkin, just to name a few.
Flip through the ESPN family of channels in the wee hours of the night and you're bound to catch poker, billiards, bowling, auto-racing, and tractor-trailer truck pulling. So before you tell me a medieval pastime has no chance of seeing the light of cable TV, imagine the guy on the couch
Feet kicked up, remote in one hand, longneck in the other. He watches as two dudes in armor race toward each other on horseback with 11-foot-long lances aimed at opposing vena cavas in perfect HD quality on his 42-inch plasma.
Would he flip the channel before they made contact?
Inconceivable? Consider that last weekend in Poway, Calif., competitors from around the globe were flown in to face off in the fifth annual World Joust competition.
Known as the "Tournament of the Phoenix," the event featured a jousting session, a club tourney and pollaxe foot combat.
"What we're doing isn't groundbreaking," said Jeffery Hedgecock, competitor and tournament co-producer. "We're just reviving something that hasn't been around for like, 500 years. The allure is proven. Everybody loves a knight in shining armor."