University Challenge is a great British institution, only improved by picking a side to support each week. Some people get a bit tribal about football, but I’m a bit more up my own arse and cheer on academics instead.
So anyway, this is my flowchart for who I support on University Challenge each week.
Now, going from the top, we have St Andrew’s which is an absolutely unremittingly awful shite of an institution. Not satisfied with being located in the home of golf, they have also got a huge animal psychology lab, have recreated the Stanford Prison Experiment for entertainment and are responsible for the current economic shitstorm.
I’ll support anybody against those fuckers.
Next there’s Oxbridge colleges (not Ruskin). I may be more sanguine and less class warrior inclined nowadays, but the preponderance of smug public school educated Herberts is just too much to bear.
Then we come to universities that I have a proper connection with. I dropped out of Bangor when I was younger and have been saved by the marvellous Open University since I’ve grown up a bit. They both deserve a cheer for putting up with me.
Oh, and I’m from Birmingham, so I’ll happily cheer any Brummie unis on.
Next, because of University Challenge’s rule that universities can only have one team *unless* they are Oxbridge colleges then it becomes necessary sometimes to decide which one of them to support. This is a nasty, but necessary, business. So, out go the religious and the royalist and if they’ve got a women’s college then I’ll support them.
Nearly done now.
Because there are still a lot of all male teams, I’ll often support the one team that has a woman in it.
Obviously, if only one team has a mathematician on then I’ll support them.
Lastly, if one team has a better Arts/Science balance then I’ll get behind them. Medics and Vets Colleges, who up until now have been vying for my favours, often lose out here.
And that’s it, scientific rigour over, by now I’ll plump for a team based on some random criteria, like a pretty face, funny surname or an agreeable amount of face jewellery.
I’ll bet loads of other people have their own flowcharts in their head too.