Harry Potter and the Golden Snatch

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Did you know that Quidditch has been turned into a real-life sport? Until very recently, I didn’t. Having looked into it a bit, I’ve very quickly started to wonder what real-life Quidditch would look like to someone who has never seen or read Harry Potter and doesn’t know about Quidditch at all. I’m going to go out on a limb and say they would probably find it a bit weird. Perhaps it’s made even more incomprehensible by the fact that real-life Quidditch players do not wear robes as they do in the novels/films, nor do they use actual broomsticks with bristles. At first sight, to an unknowing spectator, real-life Quidditch may look little better than a mix of polo and handball for loons.

     Despite not being a massive Harry Potter fan, I actually used to own a Quidditch video game for the GameCube (Harry Potter Quidditch World Cup) that I genuinely loved playing. However, my passion for Quidditch was at no point quite strong enough for me to consider turning it into an official sport. Even at 10 years old, when I’d caught myself running up and down our street with a broom between my thighs, I thought: “What in the world am I doing? This is just riddikulus!”

     Wanting to learn more about the ins-and-outs of real-life Quidditch, I decided to do some research and almost immediately ended up on YouTube, watching a video by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The video allowed me to gain some great insights into the sport itself as well as the lives of Quidditch players. First of all I’d like to congratulate UCLA on their fantastically worded video description that includes this cracker: “Quidditch is the newest sport to sweep the UCLA campus and the rest of the world.”

     Moving on to the video itself, the most comic revelation was undoubtedly the fact that the Golden Snitch, instead of being a minuscule, autonomous, golden ball with wings that tries to escape from the seekers, is actually just a person, dressed up in a golden costume, running about aimlessly on campus, hiding behind buildings, bushes and trees, until the seeker of one team catches him or her (which can involve hustling him or her to the ground).

     More concerning was a male student in the video telling the viewers the following: “I mean you go to a party and you tell people you play Quidditch and you get all the girls right off the bat.” Firstly, “right off the broom”, I think is what you meant you silly sausage. Secondly, “get all the girls?” Oh. My. God. Like, really? Did you literally just say that? That’s like literally so offensive! Shame on you, UCLA! You should know that using such dehumanising language can cause irreparable emotional trauma. You need to better educate your students on issues concerning equality and update your language policies to the current standards of political correctness. You mentioned cultural diversity in your video, fair enough. But come on! How can we possibly smash the patriarchy if men are allowed to keep using such expressions? Here I was thinking that UCLA is, like, a progressive university.

     Bearing all that in mind, what a lucky guy. He must be drowning in pussy. Also, imagine all the innuendos you get to use as a Quidditch player when you’re flirting with a hot chick on a Friday night out in the club.

“Hey, wanna go back to my place so you can take my broom for a ride?”

“Sure, I would love to. I can’t believe I’ve finally met a Quidditch player! For so long I have wanted to know what it feels like to have a nice, sturdy broom between my legs.”

“Alright! Let’s go!”

(His place, the bedroom. He puts the broom on the bed. They sit down on either side of it, facing each other)

“Go on, touch it. Run your fingers over it. Feel how smooth it is. Go ahead and grab it if you want to.”

“Wow… It’s so long and so stiff!.”

“Keep touching it like that and you’re gonna make magic happen. Can you feel it begin to rise?”

“I can! This is some fine wood. Do you mind if I shove it between my legs?”

“Well, I’m a bit nervous about that, but yeah. I’ve actually never really let anyone do that before, but yeah go ahead. I want you to.”

“Oh don’t be nervous. We both know where this is going, don’t we? Or do I have to ‘spell’ it out for you?” (For the time being she ignores the broom. Instead she takes his hands and moves them to her chamber of secrets… They have sex.)

THE END

Jokes aside, I think that the existence of real-life Quidditch as an officially recognised sport proves once again just how influential J. K. Rowling’s astounding imagination has been. It is simply amazing that in spite of not having flying broomsticks or an actual Golden Snitch—both things that seem crucial if not indispensable to Quidditch— people’s desire to play Quidditch is nonetheless strong enough for them to accept these major constraints and play the game anyway.

     All in all, there are a lot of great things to be said about the sport. What I particularly like about it is that it unites a community of people who are interested in the same thing and gives them an opportunity to engage in a competitive sport together. Even though Quidditch still is and probably always will be comparatively niche, it is a great alternative to regular, muggle-dominated ball sports.


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