If a fight is like a brief encounter, a fling, between two suitably-matched fighters, then a tournament is like a marriage.
It will start with the all the right intentions; all parties on their best behaviour, eager to make it work. There will be fun and frolics. There will be great Kodak moments. There will be forward-planning and giddy optimism. But, inevitably, no matter how promising the honeymoon period, there remains the everpresent danger of it fizzling out, going wrong, and falling apart.
Typically, in a tournament, this occurs around the semi-final stage, as cracks start to appear in the form of injuries, pull-outs and postponements, at which point the foundations become unsteady, resentment sets in and TBAs and TBCs replace names and dates. It’s then a tournament becomes not only a failed experiment and an inconvenience but something that regrettably stalls and confuses what it once set out to simplify. (Oh, and it’s never the tournament’s fault.)