Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Summer of Malcontents, or Cricket in a Warm Climate

Though I speak for myself, I thought this cricket season was quite entertaining.

Perhaps I should explain that cricket is my favourite sport, not just for the drama but also because it is the only sport you can actually watch and enjoy whilst asleep, so long as you have the radio on. In between near-asphyxiated guffaws from Kerry O'Keefe and the insane senile ramblings of Justin Langer about his fishing trips and what they told him about the meaning of mateship, the narrative is clear to follow courtesy of the golden-tonsilled past leviathans of the game.

Unless you have Gerard Whately commentating. I listened to him for around 15 minutes and marvelled that unless he has facts to present to the audience he has nothing at all to say. No conjecture whatsoever. Glenn Mitchell might say, for instance "Michael Clarke's looking like a deer in the headlights", or "Mitchell Johnson's got steam coming out of his ears!" or "That one turned like a bent ballerina on the sauce!". Whereas Mr Whately will hit you with pears such as "He's moving back in his crease.... waiting for the next delivery... Rana starts his run up... over the wicket... defended back to the bowler. No run. He looks to the site screen." It's the perfect coverage if you wanted to roleplay watching sport with fucking Rainman.

If there was one thing worth complaining about this Summer it was the debut of that big-nosed AFL-obsessed prat of the bright purple shirts who makes Offsiders one of the worst shows on television, no matter what the marvellously named Gideon Haigh might try to do in response. Luckily, for Mr G he got off because there was a lot of what was considered bullshit this Summer.

This culminated to the point where I discovered Zoo Magazine, in their one article sandwiched between the saddest not-even-soft porn I have ever entertained of ex Big Brother contestants and models they get to pretend to be 'real girls' stripping on the street, offered all the solutions to the 'problems' of cricket. Oddly, they listed "BRING BACK ROY!!!" twice, and the rest were all about more chicks with bikinis, both on field and off. Fair enough, they've already established that that is where their key interest on a purely social level lies but, fair go, if the dental floss bikini meat market is open-air at the SCG aren't they undermining their own market? Why pick up a zoo when I can get it for free?

They also insisted that the cricketers need to get themselves hotter Wives And Girlfriends, something I thought wouldn't really be possible, specifically stating that they were sick of looking at Lara Bingle (because, in this country at least, it IS compulsory after all...) Funnily enough Michael Clarke seems to have acted directly upon this complaint..

Anyway... sorry that was a tangent. Back to what was seen as bullshit...

1) The competition

The West Indies and Pakistan are well down on the figures of cricketing sides in the world and retrospectively, now that Australia has played just it's second loss-less home season since real seasons began, people are saying that there really WAS no competition and the test matches were dead boring, a further argument for the superiority of the limited overs game.

The irony being that, oddly enough, the Test Matches were the only games we looked like losing, and it was the very limited overs matches they have been championing that were bloody boring. I actually didn't watch one! (GASP) One of the Windies ones. God they were shit. The thing that made this even more amazing was that those countries had BETTER ODI/T20 rankings.

In fact, I'm going to flat out say it - we should have lost two test matches. By freak circumstances, both Windies and Pakistan let us win at crucial times? Why? I don't know, but they didn't get much out of it. It would be like if at the end of Zulu when the armies give Michael Caine and Stanley Baker the massive victory salute and show them mercy, the redcoats ran out and massacred them all. That kind of shit don't fly in sport, fools!

Because of this, I'll go so far as to say my now-laughable prediction that "Australia will get rolled by Pakistan" would have come true if Mohammad Yousuf had not fucked around and actually bowled Hussey and Siddle out.

2) Nothing happening in the matches

Again, this is retrospective bullshit. Chris Gayle hit one of the fastest centuries ever. Brendan Nash nearly became the first Aussie to hit a ton on his home ground for another country. Nash also had some hot groupies in "TEAM NASH" singlets providing some eye-candy - we need more sporting harems. Ryan Harris and Nathan Hauritz got two 5-fers a piece. Watson made his debut ton. North proved he's a useless prick. Eventful? What more do you need to be eventful? The Hanging Gardens of Babylon getting an amphibious landing craft flavoured blowjob from HENRY KISSINGER???!?

I was so emotional I had a stalk on. Sorry, now I'm just quoting funnier people.

3) Nathan Hauritz

Oy! Leave Nathan Hauritz alone, okay? He has established he's god like. When I die, I want to be re-incarnated as him and then punch out Wayne Gretzky and tell that uppity Canute that he has met his match, and if he has a problem with that he go meet me at Reichenbach Falls for a showdown. Or, Niagara Falls for a hoedown. I'm not fussy.

How about, what was actually bullshit...

1) Channel Nine

This one's quite a constant, but I think special mention needs to be made of their Winter Olympics coverage. What do the Winter Olympics have to do with cricket, Jared, you ask me curiously? Like a writing desk and a raven, absolutely nothing at all. But.. try telling that to Channel Nine.

It came as no surprise to read many, many complains about the contemptuous treatment of the Winter Olympics throughout Nine's telecast, as they had made this clear through their very first promotion. Richie Benaud and Bill Lawry in snow gear commentating. Tony Grieg with an ice hammer 'checking the pitch' in disgustingly pisspoor green screen. Mark Taylor bowling a snowball to Michael Slater, who smashes it into nothing with his bat. The revelation that this was some of the commentary team for Vancouver was entirely absurd, but not entirely surprising.

2) Channel Seven

Right, so you're the CEO of a network and you're going to boast to an interviewer that "Yeah, fuck you I can make Matty Jones' show work, rapist or not! Check out Cougar Town, rape me with a bar stool isn't that the shittest show you ever seen? But you bastards watch it by the bucketload. Why? Because I throw money at some pricks in suits and say 'market that bullshit'. Now, Matty's show is shit. But you'll watch it anyway!" Slightly paraphrased, in fact I'll wager quite a bit less paraphrased than you think.

What does THIS have to do with the cricket? Absolutely nothing. At all. I just felt I had to point out seven are also pricks after bagging out Nine. Stick with Ten and ABC, and maybe Channel Zero if you want porn or cartoons with swearing.

3) John Howard

In four years John Howard will be President of the International Cricket Council. His only qualification is that he is a 'lifelong supporter of the game', a qualification also held by around eight million people in the country who AREN'T jackasses. He was chosen over a New Zealander who had two decades of administrative experience for Cricket New Zealand.

I don't think anymore needs to be said, except that the tiniest silver lining ever is the glorious repeats of Howard's attempts to take on some Indian soldiers at the game.


Youth of Australia said...

Yes, my dad and I boggled at the ridiculous choice of Howard. One of the most popular clips of him (between the "we will decide who comes to this country" one and the "there will never be a GST" one) is him being completely shithouse at cricket.

Even I am better at the game than that.

Shame, shame.

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