In typical Accio! fashion, let’s take one tiny little detail from a chapter and zoom in farther than anyone actually wants to. Let’s look at Chapter 2 from Goblet of Fire, and go over a complete history of the Chudley…ah wizard swear, another trademarked term that doesn’t really need to be trademarked…you know, it’s the Quidd…DANG IT! It’s the Wizard Broom Ball Sports team from Chudley that Ron really loves. Those guys! Time for a complete history!
Now, this isn’t going to be a very long blog post. There isn’t much history that we know about the team, and I guess that’s kind of a blessing in disguise in a way. Because, I’m a big sports fan, and even I don’t want to sit and read a 15,000-word article of the history of the San Diego Padres.
Okay, two things, one, “Haha, Kevin, like you could ever be clever enough to write 15,000 words of actual good content”, and two, “Yes, you totally would read that”.
It kind of started out as a joke idea I wrote down to talk about the history of the Chudley Very Large Boom Sticks, but then I kept reading the chapter and realized nothing was happening. Legitimately, the next note that I wrote down after that was a note about [author’s name redacted] writing the word, “Had” too many freaking times. (Not even kidding, go back and check, it’s in there like a billion times)
Okay, enough dunking on this chapter, let’s get to it. The Chudley Can-Cans, for those of you who may not know, are a professional Wizard Broom Ball Sport team that plays in the British and Irish Q-word league. They wear bright orange robes, and their logo includes two black C’s and a speeding cannonball. It’s important to note that Chudley is not a real place, at least not in the way it’s spelled in the books.
Chudley is not real. Chudleigh is real. A fact all you American readers probably don’t know, but I now know because I looked it up and now feel superior to you, JKR attended Exeter University, which is in Devon.
Oh, wait, you probably don’t know why that’s significant. Well, the real-life E-I-G-H Chudleigh is in Devon. And so, maybe The Author Who Must Not Be Named didn’t want to talk shit about a place that she felt fond of by giving them a shitty team, and that’s why she also suddenly changed the name of the place?
It does get a bit more interesting though. Just beyond the blatant misspelling of the name, it actually does make sense for Ron to be a fan of the team. Another town in Devon, Ottery St Mary, is the real-life place that she based Ottery St Catchpole off of, the town near which the Weasleys live. So, Ron’s essentially rooting for his local team.
Funnily enough, another wizarding broom sport was played mostly in Devon, so maybe that’s also why their Q-word team is bad, because they like this other sport better. That sport, is called Shuntbumps. Not kidding. I was today years old when I found out about Shuntbumps. Look it up, it’s like bumper cars but on brooms, and where the goal is violence. So, you know, way more fun.
But, we’re not here to figure out why the Chudley Boom Booms have been bad for so long, we’re here to learn about their history. Which we all know is endlessly more fascinating. Nope.
1753, the Chudley Canyons Q-word team is founded, and then? Well, we don’t really know what happened during the ensuing 140 years after that, because there’s not much written down about it. But, we do know they were apparently pretty good during various stretches in that time. They won the League Cup 21 times between 1753 and 1892. And, in 1892, they won that 21st Wizard Broom Ball Sport League Championship, which would end up being the last time that they would win it. The way I said that made it sound like they’re not a team anymore. They still are, they just suck now.
During that glorious stretch, the club’s motto was, “We shall conquer”. That’s pretty cool, pretty badass, hyper-macho like sports try to be. And, although their glory days ended in 1892, in 1931 the team actually won the Josef Wronski Award for Excellent Pitch Skills. Those of you with sharp memories for mundane details will remember that name for one of the worst spelling jokes that You Know Whom ever made. She’s all about misspellings in this book, isn’t she? Anyway, there’s a Q-word move called the Wronski Feint, F-E-I-N-T, and later, Hermione calls it the Wonky Faint, F-A-I-N-T. Top quality grammar humor, just great work.
1972 rolls around, and the team compete in the International Q-word Tournament. And, in classic Rowling fashion, Chudley change their motto from something believable and that makes sense, to something that literally only makes sense when you remember that, “Oh yeah, this is still a children’s book technically.” Their new slogan becomes: “Let’s just all keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best”. It’s actually pretty funny as a motto. But, come on.
This next line from the HP Wiki history of the team is my absolute favorite, so I’m going to quote it directly. “In around 1987, the Cannons lost a game”. Wow. Mind blowing. Incredible journalism. Wow. But hey, the very next line, “In August 1992, Chudley were ninth in the league”. Okay, we got a little more detail now. Sure, we don’t know if that’s the end of the season, or if it’s the middle of the season, or whether they finished in ninth. But hey, we’re not here for quality content, we’re here for content.
Here is where we get into the real meat of this history, the real juice of this orange. In 1998, the Cannons lost a game, surprise surprise. They lost to the Appleby Arrows, because apparently Jo’s imagination, teams are only allowed to have alliterative names. They lost that game because their seeker sucked ass. Wonderful bit of information to have in my head now. I even know that name, Galvin Gudgeon, it’s just information in my brain, pushing out other important stuff.
Okay, all right, I need to be gentler with myself, maybe someday I’ll be in an HP pub trivia, and they’ll pull out that question, and I’ll be the asshole who actually knows it. Or, it can be the feather in my cap to prove that I am the actual king of HP Knowledge. I’m coming for you, Super Carlin Brothers.
But anyway, they lost that game, and were in last place because of it. But then, in 1999, well, everything would change in a big way. Because, in 1999, Chudley snapped a 16-game losing streak by tying with the Caerphilly Catapults. But hold on, a tie; in a sport that can literally go on for days, they still accept a tie? But it gets even better. The Cannons would go on to narrowly defeat the Wigtown Wanderers, a shock in its own right, least of which because it’s another alliterative team name. But, it gets even better. Because, for the first time in ages, the Cannons won their second game in a row by defeating the Falmouth Falcons. Yes, another alliteration. This was such a shock to all that the Cannons manager, Ragmar Dorkins, collapsed.
And, that’s literally all we know. What a riveting ride. Really. Alliteration.