I wrote recently about my disillusionment with the modern way of giving, noting en passant that sponsorable feats are ‘subject to worthiness inflation, that is, to justify sponsorship you must come up with ever more wacky or onerous tasks. It won’t be long before there’s a charitable foundation for the children of people who’ve died on fund-raising trips’. Well, this may have been a joke of sorts even though it was based on observation of people doing frankly stupid things for charity, but today I discover that one American, Richard Swanson, died after being hit by a truck while attempting to dribble a football to Brazil for the opening of the World Cup, to benefit a football charity. Continue reading
The scorebook is something of a sacred object in cricket, a fetish, even. It records without prejudice the bare facts of an innings, its degree of accuracy dependant entirely on the skill and attention to detail of the scorer who wields the pencil. Many club scorers are women, imitating early modern publishers’ wives such as Sarah Griffin who kept the order books spic and span while their less literate husbands got on with the messy grunt of moveable type. Continue reading
I’m not particularly comfortable with, or good at, asking people for money. Last year, when I switched to batting left-handed and asked for sponsorship, the smart money was on a very small runs tally. The smart money doesn’t always win. It began unravelling for my various sponsors during my first innings, in which I scored 40 not out. Though the next few languished in single figures, the die was cast, and this, coupled with an insane quantity of games played, meant that the amount pledged racked up. Naturally, an amount failed to be given in, but this was due to my refusing to accept money until the season’s runs were scored. Continue reading
Andrew Bloxham wrote an interesting piece in the huffington post.
I refuse to post a comment because I won’t allow HuffPost to update my tweets. Plus I bet Andrew posted for free (for this issue see Press Gazette on interns).
I would have posted this:
There is a point here with regards what leads to success in the game itself. Whether a natural ability to work hard and eliminate the shots which lead to one’s downfall can be considered talent is difficult to judge.
I think that in this area talent is, and should remain, true to the dictionary definition, namely ‘natural aptitude or skill’, with emphasis on the natural. It’s same in music, where some sublimely gifted players never make it because the game of the music business starts with talent … but ends with hard work, grit, application and so forth.
In the examples you pick here, notably the current test captain, you are talking about Test cricket as specific game for which he seems preternaturally gifted … but that’s a different argument altogether (though you’re patently correct).
I’ll give you one …
London, 1593. A young Ben Jonson bursts into a dark, wood-panelled room. Inside there are several figures, all wearing hooded capes. They sit around a table, heads bowed.
Jonson stops in the centre of the room. Breathless, he removes his cap.
‘Milords’. He utters. ‘There is a problem with Will’.
‘There’s always a problem with Will. What is it this time?’ Continue reading
This week, I had the pleasure of two concerts to review – the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain and the Guitar Masters. No prizes for guessing which one sucked. Yup. You call yourself the Guitar Masters and you’d better tear the house down. I suspect the review I posted will attract the ire of several internet geeks, but just so you guys and girls know, I really know what the fuck I’m talking about when it comes to guitar playing, and no, I’m not jealous. Continue reading
So, the South Africans have taken the opportunity to put the boot in, and their size tens home straight in on the private parts of the England camp: the captain and coach. They don’t have an issue with KP, it seems. All they are doing, now the crack in the team is held open with a wooden wedge, is poor water onto it. This press release, as reported in The Guardian is, knowingly or not, genius: Continue reading
Well, as the KP fiasco takes root ever deeper, it’s beginning to bear the hallmarks of a witch-hunt. I’m not going to add my tuppence h’apennorth to the debate on KP himself, only to point out that like Usain Bolt, there’s an awful lot of psychology going on with the insouciance with which he bats, and to note that David Gower’s airy wafts outside off stump were strokes of genius when they sped through the covers, signs of carelessness when they were edged to the slips. We English love genius and hate our heroes sullying themselves with anything approaching hard work – until, that is, their star inevitably fades, and we can nod knowingly and wonder how much they would have achieved if only they’d done the hard yards. Continue reading