Wednesday, 27 January 2010

England 2, USA 0

Yes, very nice, but what's with the gloves?
Aeons ago, when we moved to the Yoo-Nahted States, we were urged mightily to go to The Game. So we did. What a great night out. Fill your face with hot dogs! Get slightly sozzled! Seventh innings stretch! Do the politically incorrect Tomahawk Chop! Watch the lovely ladies during amazingly frequent commercial breaks! Laugh at the hilarious man dressed as a furry animal! Puzzle over the stats on vast screens! Marvel at the blimp! Drive home with all the doors locked!1

On my third or fourth visit I realised some men in stripy pyjamas tucked into their socks were playing a game too. And although the game was rounders, with big cheaty gloves and large salaries, from that point on I was hooked. I learnt the rules, and the subtleties of the game. I even went as far as learning what RBI stood for, although I forget now. (Raking Billions In? Run! Balls Itchy? Reuben's Bagel Imporium? Nope, it's gone)

So we were fans. But when we returned to England we naturally turned to cricket instead. And it's much better! Why?

a) It lasts longer. Test matches last five days. Five days.

b) It's a closer contest. Most five-day test matches end in a draw. Or a tie, which is different.2

c) It's sartorially superior, with jolly nice white trousers, sensible jerseys, plastic codpieces and schoolboy-type caps. All very super, in a Village People sort of way.

d) There are no commercial breaks, but it's so slow you can have a beer/pee/nap/twiglet break whenever you feel like it.

e) Like all the best sports, cricket is more or less incomprehensible. Players take up positions with names like Silly Mid Off, Long Fine Leg and Third Slip. Batsmen can be out in any of a dozen ways, including hitting your own wicket. Which is less painful than it sounds.

On the downside, there are no scantily-clad cheerleaders. But the dinner ladies at the Hampshire Rosebowl are simply gorgeous.3

So cricket wins (unlike England 90% of the time).

Which brings me to football.

I have to tell you I went to about twenty American so-called Football games in Washington and Atlanta, and no-one kicked the ball. Not even once. They just threw it around like a bunch of gurlies. And the huge geezers running around the field looking tough? Once they get all that Kevlar padding off, I bet they turn out to be 120-pound metrosexual weenies with personal trainers, Rolexes and stockbrokers. Probably.

Game over.

1 - It's a tradition in America to build stadia in the roughest part of town, so the players can buy their cocaine on the way in
2 - Unless it rains, in which case it just stops
3 - After six pints of lager


  1. Cricket is freakin' hard. My inlaws have it all set up at their house and we played it this Christmas. Damn cricket.

  2. No, UberG, no. You have it backasswards. Cricket is silly. It's all cucumber sandwiches and taking five freaking days to play a game. And it's so slow. And the scoring makes ZERO sense. Baseball is awesome. It makes sense, it's gripping, men in tight pants (!), no old man pullovers, and I'd like to see a pansy bowler throw a ball as hard as a pitcher. Pah, pansy sports.

  3. See, to me, a sport without scantily clad cheerleaders just isn't a sport.

    Even though I don't understand the rules of American Football (kind of like a stoppy-starty rugby with 80's shoulderpads?) I quite like going to games (a) because of the aforementioned scantily clad cheerleaders and (b) because of the snacks.

    I mean, honestly, what more could you ask for?

  4. Baseball, Hot Dogs, and Apple Pie. It doesn't get better than that.

    Cricket? A game named after an insect? Oh, please.

    I bet even Peter Davison was tired of his costume after 3 seasons on Doctor Who.


  5. I was going to start singing "I Don't Like Cricket" there, but thought better of it. Now I know that damn song will be in my head all night now! Anyway, since we are going to have a disagreement with America about this, I'm on your side, Urber. I can just about understand cricket, and especially the guy who wears all the jumpers and waves his hand around, imitating waves, but how can one-day cricket last all week? Our football isn't the same as American or Australian football, What the Americans call football is what we call rugby, and I can never tell when the football season is over, because to me it's played all year around!
    Oh, I'll just stick with rounders and net-ball because we had them first, and they just make up the rules as they go along. Now, don't get me started on golf, because that's a silly game. Just a guy beating the hell out of a little ball, and another guy pulling along a trolley full of other different sizes of sticks to beat the little ball with. And the aim is to get the little ball into a hole!
    The things men do to amuse themselves! Go and make a brass P.C. instead!

  6. Your first footnote made me, um, snort. There's probably some truth to it. Baseball is a beautiful sport, but I prefer it at the minor-league level where the players aren't making a million dollars a game.

  7. omg i was dying laughing over this. I'm a HUGE baseball fan, but cricket fascinates me, and drinking mid game!?! yes puh-lease!!!!
    i agree about stadiums in rough parts of blows my mind....

  8. Wow ... I think I should be offended and give you a well deserved tongue lashing for attacking America's favorite pastimes. Good thing for you, I hate sports. :-)

  9. American footballers are metrosexual weenies you say? Fact? Wow. I've got a couple of mates that play, mind if I give them your address?

  10. One-day cricket....that's the game at its best! Not so keen on the 20-20 stuff... they do have the dancing ladies though if you like that ;-)

  11. Why do the Americans always take sports from other countries, change the rules a bit and then declare themselves world champions?

    Netball becomes basketball
    Rounders becomes baseball
    Rugby becomes American Football
    Football becomes "Saah-ker" (oh, wait, they're still rubbish at that - bang goes my theory).

  12. Hah! I've done my fair share of Tomahawk chops down South! We chopped our way to the world series that year. The beer and chilidawgs...the organ music... Baseball rules, football is vastly overrated. I've never understood cricket, and the name makes me think of little insects...or crickety old men..
    Soccer (football) is the best, but Italian players lurve to fake the fouls! It's comical, really.
    Great post!

  13. That's my boy,not too long, nice girls, no guitars.
    Cricket lovely cricket,at Lord's where we saw it The bowling was superfine Ramadin and Valentine;

  14. Cricket. Bane of my summer existence. I should be at the beach but NO - I find myself watching thirteen year old kids fail to bat or bloody well bowl.

    And it lasts forbloodyever.


    I ask you.

  15. Cricket is better than golf if you prefer standing still and not doing anything all in the name of sport. For this, I commend it.

  16. MiMi ~ Try playing in sunglasses. I did. Goodbye sunglasses.

    BTW nice new picture!

    Vege ~ Do they throw pitchers in baseball then? I only ever saw them throw balls

    Richard ~ With you on the snacks. And the beer

    RefGeek ~ You have a good point. And what about golf, eh? Fancy naming a sport after a car

    Alice ~ There is a cheap joke about balls and holes here but I am staying away from it.

    Do you mean that 10cc song? I've got that on the brain now too

  17. Five days? Who can sit that long?

    I can't even imagine how much I'd spend on nachos.

  18. Wait a second... Cricket is real? I thought that was just a story used to scare children.

  19. Thank goodness for crickets, otherwise it might have been called cockroach?

    Like your take on sports in the U.S.
    I think we call rugby rugby?

  20. Cricket is the perfect game for American sports fans because of the vast array of statistics. The only problem is attention span which is why we have invented Twenty20 which is the wham-bham thank you ma'am version of the game. I think cricket lost something when they introduced leg pads...

  21. All this time I thought it was "crickets" and Matthew was lovely enough to correct me--after of course fantastic and overabundant laughter from him.
    At me.

  22. Blissed-out G ~ I never got into that. I bet it's much more 'real'

    Julie ~ Hi! Glad to oblige

    Marla ~ Well, that's the nicest tongue-lashing I've ever-received. (Ooh-er missus).

    mo ~ Eh? DOn't you live in Yorkshire?

    Nat ~ Dancing ladies! Where?

    IHB ~ Good theory. Needs work though

    Tammy ~ They still do that Tomahawk thing then?

    Anon ~ Phew! Got it at last

    Matthew ~ Ah-ha! Cricket in Australia. I can well imagine your plight.

    RT ~ Good point! Are you playing now?

  23. Moooooog ~ I'm not sure they do nachos. You can get nice sandwiches though, with the crusts cut off and everything

    Hunter ~ Hang on! You've got me worried now. Perhaps it was all a dream...

    IT ~ Cockroach! Like your thinking.

    BP ~ Yeah, and helmets. There haven't been any proper injuries in yonks

    JenJen ~ Whatever can you mean? It iscrickets

  24. fun post ug, but i don't beleive you mean what you say

    i am with vagtable assassin on this and moog.

  25. What I know about cricket is that the family across the alley growing up played it all the time, and they were constantly, constantly splitting each other's head's open with the bat.

    I'm not sure they were playing it right.

  26. I hate all sports. When forced to attend sporting events I have been known to bring along a book for entertainment.

    Your first footnote is hilarious because it's true.

  27. magda ~ Well of course I don't mean it!

    tattytiara ~ Were they Indian? Indians play cricket with exuberance the rest of us can only dream of

    Tracie ~ You ought to come to the cricket. Most people bring a book, or the TV, or something

  28. I definiately don't get American football - it just looks like wimpy rugby to me. However cricket kind of bores me so nil nil from me.

    Kate xx

  29. I played softball, so I like watching baseball because I understand the rules. I can't imagine getting engrossed in it if I had no idea what was going on.

    So, for the same reason, cricket leaves me cold.

  30. Isn't everything better with a Village People twist?

  31. im am the greaest liv ever19 February 2010 at 12:11

    hiya stop it your taking the croud look at me people im the greatest ok maybe not