A delightful English phrase that has slightly dropped out of common parlance is that so-and-so has been "sent to Coventry." With apologies to the fine residents of the gorgeous cathedral city, what it means is that poor old so-and-so has been deemed an undesirable and ostracised by their peers. No-one really knows where the phrase originates, though a popular story is that it originated in the English Civil War after Cromwell sent a group of Royalist prisoners there, who were shunned by the parliament-fancying locals. The first direct citation is even better, from the Club Book of the Tarporley Hunt in 1765:
"Mr. John Barry having sent the Fox Hounds to a different place to what was ordered ... was sent to Coventry, but return'd upon giving six bottles of Claret to the Hunt."
A true happy ending, they don't make 'em like that anymore.
Or perhaps, if you live in West Midlands and like Call of Duty, they do! The eSports organisation Splyce (formerly known as Follow eSports) has decided to stage a 'viewing party' for the Call of Duty World Championships in Coventry's Ricoh Arena. Let's get the caveat out of the way first: the Splyce team, which has qualified for the finals, will NOT be sent to Coventry. Rather understandably, they'll be playing on LAN at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. So you'll be watching them live on the big screen, not live in the flesh.
That said, Splyce do boast among their roster Dylan Daly and Joshua-Lee Sheppard, who both hail from Birmingham, the second-best city in West Midlands, so there is a bit of a local boys done good vibe to the whole shebang.
The finals take place between Friday 17th August and Sunday 19th August, and if you want to go along to the Ricoh Arena and watch them it's 5pm till 3am on each day, with day tickets costing a tenner. I know you could just watch it on Twitch in a darkened bedroom for free, but if you fancy getting tanked-up with a few fellow soldiers of fortune then that entry price seems pretty reasonable for an evening's entertainment. The most memorable eSports events for me have always been the ones I've seen live or watched with others, so I can certainly see the appeal.
A few factoids from the press release:
The viewing party is being hosted inside the Ricoh Arena’s Premier Lounge.
Proceedings will get under way each day at 5pm, running until approximately 3am when each broadcast finishes.
Visitors must be over 18 years old to attend this event.
You can buy tickets for the event here. I must admit, I quite fancy being sent to Coventry and returning with six bottles of claret myself.