Skip to main content

The Daily Beast: "From J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Novels to Real Life: The Sport of Quidditch Takes Flight"

In the Harry Potter universe as created by J.K. Rowling, the sport of Quidditch plays an important and exciting role. On college campuses around the country, a generation of young adults who grew up reading about the exploits of Harry and his friends, have transformed the fictional sport into reality.

At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, entitled, "From J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Novels to Real Life: The Sport of Quidditch Takes Flight." While it's off my usual beat, I decided to delve into the real-world sport of Quidditch and attend the Western Cup last weekend (along with a practice or two with the UCLA Quidditch team beforehand) and write about this cult phenomenon, a blend of rugby, basketball, and dodgeball. (And, yes, a little bit of tag as well.) There's also a gallery-based second feature that includes photography from the tournament, as well as more details about the rules, players, and world of "Muggle Quidditch."

The bone-crushing thud of a body hitting the ground. The splintering sound of a broom breaking. I’m at my first Quidditch match and am discovering it’s not for the faint-hearted.

The sport, brought to life from J.K. Rowling’s seven-volume Harry Potter novel series, has quickly become a permanent fixture on many college campuses, including UCLA, which last weekend hosted the third annual Western Cup. Nineteen teams—including the Power Grangers, Dirigible Plums, Narwhals, and The Prisoners of Kickasskaban—faced off in a grueling two-day tournament that pitted their strength, speed, endurance, and hand-eye coordination—not to mention the ability to keep a broomstick between their legs at all times.

Quidditch, as Harry Potter fans know, is played flying atop broomsticks. While I saw no one soar through the air, experiencing the nascent and theatrical sport firsthand gives you the opportunity to see just how brutal, competitive, and unique it is—a combination of rugby, basketball, and dodgeball, mixed in a witch’s cauldron.

Despite misconceptions about “Muggle” (i.e., nonmagical types) or “Ground” Quidditch, it is not a sport for nerds. “It’s really competitive and it’s not a sissy sport,” said UCLA freshman Sarah Coleman, a beater—they play defense—on the Wizards of Westwood team. “There’s blood … It is full-contact, with no pads, and it’s more intense than rugby.” Many Quidditch players are serious athletes who, to borrow parlance from the books, look more like Cedric Diggory than, say, Neville Longbottom.

Continue reading at The Daily Beast...


Popular posts from this blog

What's Done is Done: The Eternal Struggle Between Good and Evil on the Season Finale of "Lost"

Every story begins with thread. It's up to the storyteller to determine just how much they need to parcel out, what pattern they're making, and when to cut it short and tie it off. With last night's penultimate season finale of Lost ("The Incident, Parts One and Two"), written by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, we began to see the pattern that Lindelof and Cuse have been designing towards the last five seasons of this serpentine series. And it was only fitting that the two-hour finale, which pushes us on the road to the final season of Lost , should begin with thread, a loom, and a tapestry. Would Jack follow through on his plan to detonate the island and therefore reset their lives aboard Oceanic Flight 815 ? Why did Locke want to kill Jacob? What caused The Incident? What was in the box and just what lies in the shadow of the statue? We got the answers to these in a two-hour season finale that didn't quite pack the same emotional wallop of previous seas

Katie Lee Packs Her Knives: Breaking News from Bravo's "Top Chef"

The android has left the building. Or the test kitchen, anyway. Top Chef 's robotic host Katie Lee Joel, the veritable "Uptown Girl" herself (pictured at left), will NOT be sticking around for a second course of Bravo's hit culinary competition. According to a well-placed insider, Joel will "not be returning" to the show. No reason for her departure was cited. Unfortunately, the perfect replacement for Joel, Top Chef judge and professional chef Tom Colicchio, will not be taking over as the reality series' host (damn!). Instead, the show's producers are currently scouring to find a replacement for Joel. Top Chef 's second season was announced by Bravo last month, but no return date has been set for the series' ten-episode sophomore season. Stay tuned as this story develops. UPDATE (6/27): Bravo has now confirmed the above story .

Have a Burning Question for Team Darlton, Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, or Michael Emerson?

Lost fans: you don't have to make your way to the island via Ajira Airways in order to ask a question of the creative team or the series' stars. Televisionary is taking questions from fans to put to Lost 's executive producers/showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse and stars Matthew Fox ("Jack Shephard"), Evangeline Lilly ("Kate Austen"), and Michael Emerson ("Benjamin Linus") for a series of on-camera interviews taking place this weekend. If you have a specific question for any of the above producers or actors from Lost , please leave it in the comments section below . I'll be accepting questions until midnight PT tonight and, while I can't promise I'll be able to ask any specific inquiry due to the brevity of these on-camera interviews, I am looking for some insightful and thought-provoking questions to add to the mix. So who knows: your burning question might get asked after all.