Tag Archives: Cricket

Very Good Gentlemen

7 Dec

I was going to post a rather long and thought-provoking assessment of the imminent collapse of the euro. But fuck that, did you see what happened in Adelaide?

Don't you just melt when men embrace each other publicly?

A wise man once said, “Cricket civilizes people and creates good gentlemen.” Okay, it was Robert Mugabe, but on this account, he was right. Harold Pinter once said, “I tend to think that cricket is the greatest thing that God ever created on earth—certainly greater than sex, although sex isn’t too bad either,” and he too was spot on.

A Proud Man Celebrating

A Big Baby Crying

England have won the second test of the 2010 Ashes. They won. By an innings. At one point, three wickets were taken in four deliveries.

Never have eleven men made me so happy over such a short period of time (okay, once before, but we won’t go into that). I am very proud of the lads. I only wish I could have been there to show them just how proud (and by proud, I do mean aroused) I am. I shall fall to sleep now dreaming of each and every one of them, wood in hand, showing me their talents at the crease.

An Unashamed Premature Ejaculation

3 Dec

Hurrah!

I try to keep my ejaculations appropriately timed—those who vociferate too early look over-eager and those who wait until others start cheering end up looking like sycophants.

But I’ve come over all excited by the opening of the Adelaide test!

When the first wicket fell, Christopher uttered a sudden loud cry and to be honest, I felt embarrassed for him. I’ve had experience with Australians going down quickly and they rarely bring satisfaction in the long run (which is why I no longer accept drinks from men at Walkabout). But when Ponting was out for a golden duck, I admit my face flushed and I could feel the dew on my forehead. Christopher poured me my second highball (I need the caffeine to help keep me awake), and, fuck me, if Clarke wasn’t out, caught in the slips.

Could this really be happening?

Today of all days, England needed a sporting boost. This could be it. I know it may be early  but thank you, my men in flannels, for an incredible start.

 

Christopher has now slipped into his jim-jams and curled up by the fire. But I can assure you: all night long, I’ll be awake—with bated breathe, racing pulse and slightly moistened thighs.

And To Cricket, Those Ten Same Rules Should Apply

29 Aug

Cricket is supposed to be the sport of gentlemen. It’s about playing with honour, trying your best and getting smears on your trousers. It’s about dignity. For goodness sake, they stop play for tea—surely that’s indication that the game’s got distinction?

The no ball scandal at Lord’s has rocked the cricket world this weekend. In many ways, though, it should come as no surprise. Things have been heading the wrong way ever since they started wearing coloured shirts. Unlike footballers with their garish get ups and super injunctions, a man dressed in cricket whites says, I’ve no reason to hide: I am committed to being a gentlemen both on and off the pitch.

I’d love to be able to blame the fall in moral standards on foreign teams, but we must make sure our own hands are clean before we start pointing fingers. The England team is not innocent of drunken or dodgy behaviour and lack of focus. Even our new heroes, Stuart Broad and Jonathan Trott (who, I’ve just learned, goes by the nickname “Booger”) could show a bit more class at times.

It’s a crucial point in the history of cricket. Fans must deserve more respect for the game from our cricketers. I, for one, will do all I can to stop this cancer, and I hope my readers will follow suit. Christopher and I have just returned from our local cricket ground where we staged a two hour silent protest to make our grievances known.

I wore my new black dress. I looked fetching but also judgmental. I hope I’ve made my point.

Put Me In, Coach, I’m Ready to Play Today

1 Apr

I’ve never tried to deny the fact that I’m a keen athletic supporter. There’s really nothing I find more fulfilling than watching a group of young men (or young women now, in our more progressive times) running, bending and stretching while working together as a team to rise to the crescendo of victory. It nearly takes one’s breath away, or at the very least sets the pulse pounding and the cheeks blushing. I’m not too particular even when it comes to sporting activities, though clearly anyone who enjoys American football is an imbecile.

I suppose if I had a gun to my head and were being forced to choose only one sport to watch for the rest of my life (a position it’s unlikely I’m ever to be in, I’m aware), I’d have to negotiate with my captors for a pair of favourites, cricket and baseball. If, after a short deliberation which may or may not include a phone call to “Mister Big,” they insisted I choose only one, I’m afraid I must plump for baseball, if only because of the importance it played in my childhood and because, when it comes to wood, I prefer to see a man holding a long, thin one over a man with a short, wide one.

Since I’ve been in England, a day hasn’t passed when I haven’t been asked to explain the rules of baseball. I have and will continue to refuse to do so. Explaining the rules of baseball to English readers is like explaining the rules of cricket to Americans; each one is so complicated, it takes a real clever clogs (such as I) to understand them. I mean, look at the Australians—they’ve been playing cricket for a good number of years, and they still haven’t grasped the basic rules.

Instead of focusing on how to play, I’d rather share a few more important aspects of the sport of baseball, as we near the opening of the season over in the US.

A baseball field is in the shape of a diamond because baseball is considered the sport of kings and everyone knows kings like diamonds. Technically, I suppose it’s really a square at an angle (with a base at each corner), but we mustn’t quibble. A grassy area extends beyond the top of the diamond; this is where outfielders (generally considered weaker players or those who drink excessively) are banished as most of the action takes place primarily between the bases. The importance of the bases is, of course, key to baseball. I think it’s common knowledge all over the world that a man who can get past first base, second base, third and then goes all the way is an extremely satisfied man.

Baseball players are an interesting breed. They are extremely superstitious as a group and many of their personal playing rituals involve the grabbing of their, shall I say, areas.  Many players need to clutch their (or a teammate’s) crotch at least once or twice before even getting to the plate. (I once dated a catcher who refused to even get out of bed without first giving his jewels a tug). One less pleasant feature of baseball players is their penchant for spitting. You can’t be in the presence of a shortstop without his spitting at least once every 2.4 seconds (this statistic is based on credible research as well as my own personal observation). The spitting fetish is undoubtedly tied to the early baseballers’ faith in the medicinal properties of tobacco, which they would chew in the misguided belief that it gave them superpowers (this myth remains despite the discovery of anabolic steroids). Interestingly, a baseball player is allowed, nay, encouraged to spit anywhere and everywhere within the ballpark, except on the ball itself (italics added). If he spits on the ball, it is considered an ironically named “spitball,” and that fucker is thrown out of the game.

Baseball has created a number of debonair heartthrobs and wacky characters over the years whose legacies have endured. Superstar Babe Ruth, of course, married Marilyn Monroe and later went on to invent a candy bar. “Shoeless” Joe Jackson changed his name to Ray Liotta and starred in a number of major motion pictures. Joe Dimaggio was immortalized in the Simon and Garfunkel song, “The Boxer.” Yogi Berra, a profoundly intellectual player and manager, later became known the world round for his hilarious pic-a-nic basket hijinks in Jellystone Park. I look forward to meeting the characters who will be swinging their bats and popping their flies this season.

Finally, the thing that I love most about baseball is not the complicated rules, the action on the field or the tight trousers of the players, but it’s the atmosphere of a baseball game that I find so delightful. The way the fans encourage their local team and offensively abuse both the opposition and the umpires is so heartwarming.  Of course, everyone joins in during the “Seventh Inning Stretch,” where those who have managed to stay seated for much longer than beer consumption should have allowed can stand up, stretch their legs, nip to the toilet, and sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” There’s a real sense of camaraderie in baseball stadiums when everyone comes together to support all that is good about America. Who wouldn’t love such a relaxing and friendly environment? It’s fun for the whole family.

To all those oiling up their gloves and dusting off their jerseys in preparation for Opening Days all over the country (most of which are bound to be called off due to bad weather), I take my cap off to you. Enjoy your day and root, root, root for the home team for if they don’t win, it’s a shame though they will have at least 161 more opportunities so quit your crying, pussies.

Betrayal in the Village

26 Aug

I am finally home and settled from the trip. Crossing the Atlantic is always an adventure and, whilst I did enjoy seeing friends and family and experiencing the sights and sounds, there’s nothing like drinking out of your own teacup.

My timing was perfect. While I don’t flatter myself that I was the sole motivation, I was particularly pleased to be back to witness the exciting Ashes victory. As always, I send my best to the boys in white with the green-stained knees and the red smear along the rise. There’s nothing that swells the pride more than watching Ricky Ponting pull his Bush-the-morning-of-9/11 face.

However, I am afraid I do have to report that not all was champagne and confetti when I got back. I am very displeased by some more local news concerning the Old Vicarage of my village. The building had been for sale for quite some time, and there were rumours circulating about possible purchasers for months. I was distressed to find upon my return that not only had the property been bought, but the new owners have already moved in. I confess to feeling slightly let down by the Parish Council—surely a village resident as important as I (and this is not pride speaking, it’s purely objective fact) should have been consulted before any final decisions were made. I was not, and the first I knew about it was on the morning of my return (Christopher confesses he chose to deliberately withhold the information from me during our twice-daily chats as he knew it would only upset my already delicate traveler’s tummy—bless).

I am very disappointed. It’s not the owners’ background, family situation, lifestyle choice, economic demographic or professional standing which causes me dismay, for I know none of these. Additionally, I have yet to see any dramatic changes to the Vicarage itself since their arrival (it remains St George’s Cross- and Staffie-free). What is sticking in my craw is simply their name.

Before you accuse me of being a nit-picker (which, may I just point out, is a graphically offensive description for someone whose only crime in finding details valuable), I would like to tell you the family’s name. It is Coxender.

Now, clearly there is a sexual connotation present (if you missed it, I suggest you go to your nearest closet, shut the door tightly and whisper the name aloud). It’s awkward, of course, and may lead to their children being bullied but quite frankly the abuse of children by other children has never been a grave concern of mine.

What does disquiet me is the fact that Coxender was the name of an old love rival of mine. Years ago, one of my gentleman friends abandoned me in favour of a woman of questionable morals whose name was Oleanna Coxender. In retrospect, of course, I have no doubt that I was the more desirable catch and that young William was purely blinded by the pressures of masculine pride and the charm of the absence of knickers. Still, I was heartbroken and have done my best to sweep the whole ugly experience under the Oriental carpet. Now, unfortunately, I am forced to confront this hurt every time I am driven through the village. The cruelty is almost beyond belief.

It’s so disheartening that people’s definition of community seems to no longer extend to anyone other than themselves. A truly sad day.