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So, Cricket, Maybe?
June 17, 2011 4:45 PM   Subscribe

With the NFL and NBA potentially going dark in the fall, Michael Schur and Nate DiMeo of Grantland.com decide to watch the India-Pakistan cricket match to see if it can be a suitable replacement.
posted by reenum (73 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
I think full US coverage of Canadian curling would be a perfect substitute for either of these sports.

Why should I only get to watch one of the most fascinating sports I've ever seen only once every 4 years during the olympics? That's bullshit. I'm only about 100 miles from Canada, and I have no clear options for watching this sport? C'mon. Not even ESPN 97 carries it regularly.

I'm going to pout until I get more curling on my television. Or until my lower lip cramps. And then I'll rest my lip and then go back to pouting when it's recovered.
posted by hippybear at 4:50 PM on June 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oh, and cricket is a great sport, but at $70 and up a PPV match, it'll never catch on. It'll have to be on a channel people already get and pay for before anyone in the US who isn't from someplace else will watch it.

Hell, I can watch Australian futbol easily, but can't watch cricket? That's just stupid.
posted by hippybear at 4:51 PM on June 17, 2011


If it was more popular, they might show it on a minor cable channel like the NHL.

I miss the early days of Fox Sports, when they'd show Aussie Rules and other fun foreign games. I still like to do the Aussie refs' move for a touchdown or whatever when I score in a pickup game.
posted by reenum at 4:54 PM on June 17, 2011


The Rugby World Cup starts in 80 days time. Just saying. Go Bokke!
posted by PenDevil at 4:57 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think full US coverage of Canadian curling would be a perfect substitute for either of these sports.

This doesn't sound like a bad idea. Every time the winter olympics come around, by the end I'm convinced that I actually understand how curling works and that it's pretty interesting.
posted by madcaptenor at 4:57 PM on June 17, 2011


Also someone should tell these two of the existence of T20 Cricket. Which frankly is an abomination, give me 5 days of strategy, concentration and perseverance any time.

But a 4 hour version of the game exists for the seemingly stereotypical ADD American mind.
posted by PenDevil at 5:00 PM on June 17, 2011


Man, I would get behind Curling on broadcast TV. Is it broadcast in Canada, so even various web streaming options could be available? I know enough bars in town that would resort to that if they could.
posted by mrzarquon at 5:01 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, baseball is sort of confusing and slow as well until you understand it properly. Personally I find American football to be almost mind-numbingly tedious.
posted by anigbrowl at 5:02 PM on June 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


They should watch the England vs Sri Lanka series, which seems to be averaging about 3 hours play per test due to the beautiful English and Welsh summer.
posted by dng at 5:05 PM on June 17, 2011


More rugby, please. Especially if the All Blacks are involved.
posted by dnash at 5:06 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm only about 100 miles from Canada, and I have no clear options for watching this sport?

From October or November until April, it seems like curling is on CBC every weekend (or at least the Vancouver CBC affiliate).

Fantasy curling and TV/radio shows about fantasy curling would go a long way to cementing an audience.
posted by milkrate at 5:10 PM on June 17, 2011


AFL won't work because Grand Final week is October 1st and then the season is over. I suppose you could watch the finals instead of NFL if the season is late to start but we usually switch to cricket after September.
posted by Talez at 5:14 PM on June 17, 2011


Best thing about having ESPN3 available on the Xbox360: cricket and lacrosse.

It's true! I watched the India/Pakistan highlights on my gaming console, and thought, whoa, the future is pretty cool.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:14 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


> They also claim that this is "the match the whole world is watching," to which we respond: No. No it is not.

Oh you insular Americans:
Super Bowl 2010 Ratings: 106 Million Watch.
• 2011 Cricket World Cup semi-final: estimated audience more than a billion.

I know that the article was meant to be amusing, but y'know ...
posted by scruss at 5:18 PM on June 17, 2011 [12 favorites]


I would love to read the Pakistani version of this blog. Two worried and curious sports fans, facing a tragic loss of their beloved Cricket for a season, watches the Super Bowl and blogs the experience.
posted by spinifex23 at 5:23 PM on June 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


While cricket might satisfy the baseball fan, pro wrestling or roller derby are the only possible substitutes for the NFL. As for the NBA, I might suggest either beach volleyball or hacky sack...
posted by jim in austin at 5:25 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


The guy writing this article does write stories. Specifically, he's the creator of Parks and Recreation. People can like sports and not be hazy two dimensional memories of high school gym class.
posted by Simon! at 5:44 PM on June 17, 2011


With labor trouble ... Americans look overseas to fill the potential gap.

A quick search of the post shows they don't use the word offshoring. Sure, it's not the same thing, but it strikes me as interesting to consider the parallels.
posted by -jf- at 5:49 PM on June 17, 2011


What the Fuck Cricket Is via The Morning News.
posted by swift at 5:56 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Needs moar whackbat.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:11 PM on June 17, 2011


That was a pretty fun write-up. The what-the-hell-is-this-sport tone of the piece was tongue-in-cheek rather than condescending and it sounded as if they really tried to engage with the action that they were seeing. A closer match might even have won them round.

As a point of interest, this is the BBC coverage of the same match.
posted by MUD at 6:14 PM on June 17, 2011


I don't know much about cricket, but I have spoken about cricket (at separate times) with two people who claimed to be cricket fans. Since I don't know much about cricket, a lot of this consisted of me asking them what I had assumed to be very basic questions about the sport. It soon became clear, in both cases, that they didn't know the answers.

Things along the lines of "when does the team at bat stop batting".

They didn't know. Questions like that got them visibly disturbed, trying to come up with answers.
posted by Flunkie at 6:14 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, Cricket, Maybe?

Quick answer: uh, no. On the other hand, Aussie Rules is a pretty entertaining form of football, and can do in a pinch.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:27 PM on June 17, 2011


Things along the lines of "when does the team at bat stop batting".

They didn't know.


Seriously? Hell, I know that and my knowledge of cricket consists of having watched my cousin play limited over county cricket once and harassing an Australian friend of mine for watching cricket on his smart phone (I quipped that you didn't need video for that, you could just get still photos via email and keep up well enough).

The team at bat can stop batting for a few reasons. 1) If the tenth player gets out (there are 11 players, but you need two active batters) or 2) In limited over cricket, when you have played enough overs (overs are sort of like innings, except that the teams don't alternate. An over is 6 bowls (pitches)).

I think there are other obscure reasons (checking wikipedia I see I forgot about the one were the team already has enough to win), but that's the basic idea.

Not knowing that is like not knowing when a batter is out in baseball.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 6:27 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Personally I find American football to be almost mind-numbingly tedious."

Ur doin it rong. Add more beer.

(Although, really, my favorite way to watch football, which I do love to watch, is while reading a cookbook or something in similarly short chunks so I can read in the in-between parts and watch the interesting parts. This does not work with baseball, however, as part of the baseball experience is the hypnotic summer slowness of the game.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:33 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


• 2011 Cricket World Cup semi-final: estimated audience more than a billion.
I know that the article was meant to be amusing, but y'know


Well, considering that a full one third of India can not tune in and you get over a billion, I still think they have a point.

Also, I miss Fire Joe Morgan.
posted by Diablevert at 6:57 PM on June 17, 2011


This was a really fun read, and did a great job of conveying both the "this is a really weird game to us non-cricket-folks" as well as "ah, I can certainly appreciate that" moments in a good-humored way.

I believe this is the same video they were watching. (part 1 of a playlist) Gonna check out some clips and see if my impressions would match theirs.
posted by ShutterBun at 7:27 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


That was hilarious and very good-spirited. This bit about the stats of cricket had me laughing so hard I was annoying my wife:


2:38
Another wicket for Pakistan (from Ajmal, not Gul), another confounding "Billie Jean" interlude. Riaz is back in, and they show his stat line, which has like 50 categories, only three of which are recognizable. This stat line graphic is crazy. Without rewinding and actually checking, here's what it looked like, in our minds' eyes:

RIAZ
Wickets: 4
Dot balls: 29
Glimmers: 14
Fleemers: 2.21
PaPkk: 100
Posterior? Y/N/V777
Powdermilk: Zap
Snerkles: Portishead
Cricket? Yes.


I'm sure baseball stats are just as insane to a non-fan, especially the serious sabermetric stuff.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:23 PM on June 17, 2011


PenDevil: But a 4 hour version of the game exists for the seemingly stereotypical ADD American mind.

True. But as I understand it, T20 was developed specifically for the Indian market and then caught fire around the world.

I spent a summer in Bangladesh and learned the game through watching matches every evening with my uncle in the only air conditioned room in the house. I wish these guys had seen Shahid Khan Afridi bat earlier in the 00's. The dude was like the Sammy Sosa of cricket, hitting sixes like it was nothing.
posted by reenum at 8:23 PM on June 17, 2011


Mohammad Hafeez, has zinc oxide all over his entire face, like he's in whiteface. We are offended.

LOL!
posted by Confess, Fletch at 8:34 PM on June 17, 2011


The answer to what to watch is clearly hurling. Or Gaelic football. Where a player will casually punch another player in the face and then both will keep on playing as if nothing has happened.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 8:37 PM on June 17, 2011


I vote for Rugby and Polo.
posted by gradvmedusa at 8:52 PM on June 17, 2011


reenum: But as I understand it, T20 was developed specifically for the Indian market and then caught fire around the world.

Like the original limited overs format, Twenty20 originated in England.
posted by Gyan at 9:38 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I firmly believe that one day shirling will be performed at the Olympics.
posted by chrchr at 11:06 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Michael Schur and Nate DiMeo of Grantland.com decide to watch the India-Pakistan cricket match to see if it can be a suitable replacement.

First off, if you REALLY want to get a feel for this, you have to hit up your city's version of Chicago's Devon (pronounced div-ON, not DEV-en...because its time we mispronounce the Brit's names as turnabout). Then you find a Indo-Pak restaurant with absolutely no circus...but the kind of bread that brings the desi taxi drivers from every corner of the city. You show up there at 4am or some other ungodly hour to watch the match.

And then you wait till someone talk about "the split". There will be no violence. There will be lots of shouting. There will be voices lost. There will be food on the floor. There will be four taxi drivers holding back that one taxi driver who is the least likely to do any kind of damage. In fact, he probably will look like he's 15. In fact, the other taxi drivers may "know" that he is 15, but was able to say he's 26 for immigration purposes.

Then there's a break for more food which has been marinating, soaking, roasting, or drying for the last 12 hours. There's calm in the room. Everyone starts to pay attention...HARD. People mention the olympics in the 80s, THAT match vs England, the probability that a former cricketer will run for PM, and how much better it is to be over there than over here because they are so much closer to the cricket-loving action.

Then the match starts, and well...I can't talk about that, because you just can't put religious experiences into words.

So this article on grantland just tells me what I already suspected:

These guys are not real sports fans. They are just douchebags who have no idea what it is to LOVE sports. Not basketball, not cricket, not anything.

Not anything.
posted by hal_c_on at 12:05 AM on June 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think full US coverage of Canadian curling would be a perfect substitute for either of these sports.

Universal Sports had the world championships in curling in its entirety. Universal Sports is FREE over the air in Portland on 32.3. And for you hippybear, it's free on 6.3.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 12:21 AM on June 18, 2011


Why do they keep calling it ODI? Just call it one day. Everyone will know what you mean.

It's like when yanks call a wine bottle "750 millilitres" instead of "750 mils" like a sane person who's lived with metric all their life.
posted by Talez at 12:37 AM on June 18, 2011


Maybe we'll all just find some sort of other shared experience.
posted by converge at 1:39 AM on June 18, 2011


hal_c_on These guys are not real sports fans. They are just douchebags who have no idea what it is to LOVE sports. Not basketball, not cricket, not anything.

Yeah, okay. Tell that to the two guys who were 11(ish) when Bill Buckner dashed all of their hopes and dreams.
posted by -->NMN.80.418 at 2:10 AM on June 18, 2011


hal_c_on, you're talking about everything but the game in question. There is nothing about your shared experience of cricket that couldn't be said (with a few food items and proper noun changes) about any other sport.

There's undoubtedly something special about watching a match with "the right kind of fans," but the game in question ought to be at least appealing on its own merits. I thought the guys writing the article made a pretty good case for why the dynamics of cricket (most saliently the notion of "one team scores for half a day, then the other team tries to beat that score") tend to make it difficult for the sport to cross cultural boundaries.

American sports seem to hinge much more on "back and forth" action. Switching from cheering "defense" to "offense" during a game keeps everyone engaged. Even individual sports like auto racing are most exciting when the lead changes hands.

But from what I've seen of cricket today (my first and only exposure to the sport) it seems that defense is non-existent, beyond maybe some clever bowling. Granted, I only watched about 2 hours worth, but I don't think I saw a single ball being fielded, except maybe one guy who managed to dive in front of a rolling ball to prevent a boundary, and maybe 1 or 2 chance catches. It basically looked like a batting cage, with one team going through their entire roster to see who could hit the ball the most times. The only thing approaching "strategy" I saw was when Pakistan resisted going for singles, in order to keep their best batsman going. (undoubtedly there was more going on that my novice eyes couldn't see, but shit, even watching pro-league StarCraft for a half an hour reveals about 10x as much strategy to a newbie)

Obviously cricket has something going for it, but if it requires watching it at a certain type of restaurant with a certain type of crowd, westerners will most likely continue to be immune to its charms, for whatever reason.
posted by ShutterBun at 2:38 AM on June 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


...westerners Americans will most likely continue to be immune to its charms, for whatever reason.

FTFY, unless you don't consider the English, Australians, Kiwis or (white population of) South Africans to be 'westerners'.
posted by PenDevil at 2:58 AM on June 18, 2011


Correction accepted.
posted by ShutterBun at 3:04 AM on June 18, 2011


But from what I've seen of cricket today (my first and only exposure to the sport) it seems that defense is non-existent, beyond maybe some clever bowling. Granted, I only watched about 2 hours worth, but I don't think I saw a single ball being fielded, except maybe one guy who managed to dive in front of a rolling ball to prevent a boundary, and maybe 1 or 2 chance catches.

Really? I'm surprised. Field placement is a huge part of cricket: you'll see very different field settings for different bowlers, different batsmen. Designed both to save runs and take wickets.

Were you just watching highlights, or a whole game?

Defence works both ways, because the batsman is trying not to get out, so will play some balls defensively; whereas the bowler is also trying to balance taking wickets with not giving away runs, so is being both defensive and attacking.

Almost impossible to work this out for yourself, or via people explaining it to you over the web, though.
posted by Infinite Jest at 3:19 AM on June 18, 2011


Sigh. Sigh. Sigh.

Re: ShutterBun
'But from what I've seen of cricket today (my first and only exposure to the sport) it seems that defense is non-existent, beyond maybe some clever bowling.'

I am delighted to inform you that this is the most wrong you will ever be about anything ever.

As someone whose first introduction to baseball was through teenage insomnia, I once thought pretty much the same thing about baseball - they just swing the bat and if they connect right it goes for a home run and all the fielders might as well have not bothered. I know now how naive I was; as naive as you are now.

There are cricketers who have made entire careers out of their defensive abilities (Geoff Boycott, Michael Atherton from England for example). I'm trying to find some footage of great defensive work but all of the highlights on YouTube of great defensive innings still focus on the scoring shots. Typical.

A good defensive stroke can be as simple as a leave. (Witness this for starters.

Right I'm off to search for some great defensive shots to show you.
posted by mnfn at 3:29 AM on June 18, 2011


Gahh brackets. And beaten to it by Infinite Jest too.
posted by mnfn at 3:32 AM on June 18, 2011


I watched about 2/3rds of a whole match, near as I can gather. While I'm sure some consideration is given to field placement (depending on the bowler, batsman,etc.) I just didn't see much of anything in the way of consequences. It was hit after hit, with fielders futilely chasing after the ball as it rolled toward the boundary. (general impression) I never once noticed a fielder being in "just the right place, at the right time" except for a few (what we would call "foul tips") which just happened to land in someone's hand.

Let's face it, if you're hitting safely 20+ times in a row, defense isn't happening at a level American sports fans are gonna appreciate, I think.
posted by ShutterBun at 3:33 AM on June 18, 2011


Re: ShutterBun

But baseball crowds love it when a batter fouls off a pitcher repetitively in a defensive way to wait for the right pitch. Think of cricketers batting in the same way.

Field placing is an art. What kind of match were you watching? If you watch a test match (I'm sure you were not this time if you say you watched 2/3rds of it) I think it helps to understand the field placings and the nuances, etc.
posted by mnfn at 3:37 AM on June 18, 2011


I'm sure baseball stats are just as insane to a non-fan, especially the serious sabermetric stuff.

I've never seen serious sabermetric stuff included on a television stat line graphic.
posted by hippybear at 3:38 AM on June 18, 2011


Was this a T20 game? Ignore those. They're slogfests with not much strategy. 5 day test matches are the Rolls Royce of cricket.
posted by PenDevil at 3:39 AM on June 18, 2011


Right I'm off to search for some great defensive shots to show you.

Looking forward to it, honestly. First impression of that clip looked like "throwing the ball at the guy's head will result in fewer hits," so obviously there's lots to learn.
posted by ShutterBun at 3:39 AM on June 18, 2011


What kind of match were you watching?

I watched the same match being talked about in the article.
posted by ShutterBun at 3:40 AM on June 18, 2011


Needs more Johnners.
posted by adamvasco at 4:23 AM on June 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Shutterbun, the video of the match that you linked to is indeed the highlights of the match, rather than the whole thing, hence why it's mainly batsmen scoring freely and then being out. So you miss out on nearly all of the balls where no runs are scored. These are the balls that are particularly important in terms of defense, as they will either be a good example of the batsman judiciously defending his wicket instead of scoring runs or they will be a good example of the bowler beating the batsman to prevent him from scoring. The latter is initially defensive but can quickly turn into offense if a sufficient number occur to stifle the scoring and thereby put pressure on the batsman to try something risky in order to make a breakthrough. To increase the attacking nature of the fielding side's play, it might be worth rearranging the field so that more fielders are close to the bat and therefore more likely to catch a mistimed shot whilst also being less likely to stop a well-timed shot from going for a boundary.

As you can probably imagine, I'm simplifying and skimming over a lot of stuff but the crux is that there is indeed a lot of tactical play during a cricket match. Unfortunately you can rarely pick this up from the highlights, unless the commentator explicitly says something like "That's a beautiful catch from a fielder put in an unorthodox position by his captain for exactly that sort of shot".
posted by MUD at 4:37 AM on June 18, 2011


Thanks, adamvasco. I was recalling the second quote (Holding...Willey, etc.) from an old story on alt.folklore.urban years ago, and couldn't remember if it turned out to be true. Relieved to see that I remembered it more or less correctly.
posted by ShutterBun at 4:39 AM on June 18, 2011


Thanks for the insights, tips, MUD. Actually, I realized pretty early on that the clip I linked to was indeed just "highlights" and so later found a better playlist, which included more of the "in between" stuff.

I think one of the key things I'm learning is that essentially BOTH teams are playing defence at the same time. (the batsman is "defending" the wickets, even as he is trying to score runs) In that case, I can definitely see how one's batting choices would factor into things. And I see what you mean by the fielders moving in closer in order to force risky(?) plays on the part of the bastman.

However, the one aspect that still escapes my appreciation is the fact that "if you can manage to hit the ball into the 95% of the field that isn't reachable by a fielder, you'll do quite well." Maybe the game I watched was unusual ("It's raining boundaries today") but the overall score seemed to indicate it was pretty average, point-wise.

I suppose it's one of those things that's been strategized out of the game over hundreds of years (like the fact that Leg Before Wicket, as far as I could tell, seemed to happen more often than a plain old-fashioned "bowled out," as far as I could tell.)
posted by ShutterBun at 4:59 AM on June 18, 2011


As I have posted in previous cricket threads; but bears repeating if you are new to game the following knowledge is essential: -
You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that's in the side that's in goes out, and when he's out he comes in and the next man goes in until he's out. When they are all out, the side that's out comes in and the side that's been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out.
When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in. There are two men called umpires who stay out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out. When both sides have been in and all the men have been out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game.
posted by adamvasco at 5:29 AM on June 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


Can someone PLEASE create a Goofy cartoon utilizing adamvasco's narration? PLEASE?
posted by ShutterBun at 5:59 AM on June 18, 2011


However, the one aspect that still escapes my appreciation is the fact that "if you can manage to hit the ball into the 95% of the field that isn't reachable by a fielder, you'll do quite well." Maybe the game I watched was unusual ("It's raining boundaries today") but the overall score seemed to indicate it was pretty average, point-wise.

Because it itsn't as easy as just hitting the ball where the batter wants to hit it. Certain shots can are played best when the ball is at a certain place. Hitting the ball to where the fielder isn't usually entails a riskier shot, either moving out of position on the pitch (so you could be bowled) or playing the ball into the air (where you could be caught)

The bowler will do his best to prevent the batter making those shots, or if the field placement by the captain is correct will bowl into a certain area to encourage the batter to make a certain shot and hit it right to a fielder who has been placed there specifically.

The bowler will also try and make his delivery unpredictable. Fast bowlers will deliver slower balls to cause the batter to play the shot early, or they will vary where the ball bounces .A short ball will encourage the batter to hit the ball high in the air (for a boundary he hopes) and risk being caught out while a ball bowled right at the feet of the bowler (The Yorker) will try and bowl him or trap him in front of the wicket.

There's also a swing bowler who tries to get the ball to move laterally in the air mid flight (like a curve ball in baseball). That's why you often see players polishing one side of the ball, the difference in air velocity as it moves past the rough and smooth sides causes the movement. He'll also try and get the ball to land on the seam of the ball and change direction slightly after it bounces in the hopes of just moving a little bit off to where the batter expects it to be and nick the edge of his bat and be caught by the wicketkeeper or one of the fielders next to him (the 'slips') put there for that reason alone.

Spin bowlers are slow bowlers but they put so much spin on the ball as it leaves their hands that the way the ball moves after it bounces is unpredictable. Take a look on youtube for Shane Warne's Ball of the Century against Mike Gatting. Gatting almost refused to leave the field because he couldn't believe the ball had changed direction so much to hit his wicket.

And this doesn't take into account the concentration required by the batter, who might be facing a non-stop barrage of fast balls, seamers, yorkers, googlies, leg breaks and short balls for 8 hours.

So depending on the game the bowling team is certainly not defending. And the batter is definitely not always the aggressive party, especially not with Shoaib Akhtar hurling 100mpg fast balls at your head.
posted by PenDevil at 6:08 AM on June 18, 2011


That Ball of the Century wikipedia article is spectacular. Its final sentence could be my favorite sentence on Wikipedia ever: In 2009 the Irish chamber pop group The Duckworth Lewis Method wrote a song called "Jiggery Pokery" about this incident.
posted by Kattullus at 9:33 AM on June 18, 2011


I know what americans usually think of real football (a.k.a. soccer), but the Copa América is starting in July, and with an argentinian team full of stars that might or might not click, a fairly young brazilian team, a uruguayan team with very nice players, a chilean team playing very attractive football, and probably the best ecuadorian and venezuelan teams in a very long time, it looks like it's going to be a cup for the ages, at least it sounds like it's not going to suck as much as in the recent past (or as much as the gold cup :P).

And then, like it was pointed out already, the rugby world cup is starting in september, that's always exciting even if you don't usually follow rugby.

I'll admit i got hooked on curling on the last olympics, if only for all the excitement the norwegian team's pants caused around here.
posted by palbo at 11:47 AM on June 18, 2011


Thank you, Eyebrows McGee, for articulating exactly what I love about watching a baseball game at the ballpark but can't seem to replicate at home. The "hypnotic summer slowness of the game" indeed. Sitting in the stands, you can lose yourself in the atmosphere, but at home there are way too many distractions (commercials, for one) to get lulled into that hypnosis.
posted by zorrine at 11:52 AM on June 18, 2011


That article was greatly entertaining. I do find myself wishing that they'd started with the final instead of the semi-final, though. The India-Pakistan rivalry angle is obviously compelling to a newcomer, but many months later I wish someone would have told them that Pakistan were kind of a disaster in that match. There were a number of compelling matches during the CWC, it's too bad this wasn't really one of them.
posted by Errant at 12:25 PM on June 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


oh, I dunno, zorrine. There's something pretty much timeless in the patter of baseball announcers which takes me instantly back to being 5 years old and falling asleep listening to the radio on long drives with my father. Okay, the ESPN announcers spend WAY too much time talking about game insider stuff which ruins the flow of the announcing... but nearly every other baseball broadcast, television or radio, brings me into this odd space of limbo in which the past and the present blend together into a lengthly history of a game which has been played for longer than many states in the US have existed.

That said, I hate and loathe sports commercials, and they do ruin a lot of the flow of any broadcast sport for me.
posted by hippybear at 12:30 PM on June 18, 2011


The First International Cricket Match: USA vs. Canada, 1844 (Canada won by 23 runs)

Cricket has been played in the US since at least 1709 and was probably the primary stick-and-ball game in the US until the Civil War
posted by Bwithh at 1:32 PM on June 18, 2011


I haven't read the article from the FPP yet, but here's a great article that takes the same angle: Why You Should Care About Cricket. It's by an American dude who knew nothing about cricket, but went to Bangladesh and India to experience Cricket World Cup. A lot of the article is spent talking about the changing of the guard of Indian cricket heroes (which seems to be mirroring the change from test cricket being the dominant form to T20). It's amazing to me that there are people who 1/6 of the world's population practically worship, yet the vast majority of Americans have never heard of them.
posted by jessssse at 1:40 PM on June 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bill Bryson's description of cricket
posted by neuron at 4:33 PM on June 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love watching the NFL, but I think I would be perfectly content watching Australian rules football and cricket for a few months.
posted by neuron at 4:34 PM on June 18, 2011


The link (and the domain) appears to have gone dead during the twelve hour break I took in reading the article. Anyone have a fresh link?
posted by dry white toast at 5:40 AM on June 19, 2011


I miss the early days of Fox Sports, when they'd show Aussie Rules and other fun foreign games.

ESPN3 now streams three AFL games each week, and Russell Crowe helped broker a deal between NRL and Fox Sports to broadcast the State of Origin matches live on FSC.

Everyone's right to say that, season logistics aside, cricket isn't comparable to NBA/NFL as a sporting event, even in its short, flashy T20 variant. But the writers' generosity makes it a good piece.

There were a number of compelling matches during the CWC, it's too bad this wasn't really one of them.

True, that. The crazy swings of England-India were covered by the ESPN writer, but the India-SA group match or the Saffers choking against NZ in their QF were better spectacles.
posted by holgate at 12:08 PM on June 19, 2011


hippybear, I do enjoy listening to baseball on the radio, now that I think about it. If I'm driving and there's a game on, I'll listen. Watching on tv means I'm probably also using my laptop, checking facebook or twitter or whatever. Can't get into the hypnosis if you're checking twitter every few moments...
posted by zorrine at 1:49 PM on June 19, 2011


In 2009 the Irish chamber pop group The Duckworth Lewis Method wrote a song called "Jiggery Pokery" about this incident.

The Duckworth Lewis Method being a collaboration between Neil Hannon of the Divine Comedy and Thomas Walsh of Pugwash. It's a concept album about cricket and very fine.
posted by Grangousier at 2:09 PM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Quick answer: uh, no. On the other hand, Aussie Rules is a pretty entertaining form of football, and can do in a pinch.

I love watching the NFL, but I think I would be perfectly content watching Australian rules football and cricket for a few months


In my time in the Antipodes, I would say that rugby league is a lot closer to NFL than Aussie rules. At times I find league more similar to American football than rugby union. Someone should get these authors a copy of the state of origin match.

Also, I'd say some of the issue I had with the article was that the authors actually sat down to watch the cricket. Shouldn't they have been like the rest of us and just had it switched on in the background while they got on with their days?
posted by Metro Gnome at 6:16 PM on June 19, 2011


Shouldn't they have been like the rest of us and just had it switched on in the background while they got on with their days?

If by 'in the background' and 'got on with their days' you mean having the cricinfo livescores open in another browser window and checking it every 5 minutes while not getting any work done, and then knocking off early to watch the last session of the day in the pub across the road from the office... then yes, they definitely should.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 9:33 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


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