Wednesday 21 August 2013

It’s Not a Stupid Game

I was sitting around a table today with a group of co-workers, fighting off imminent exhaustion, when I mentioned a park in the city. Everyone knew the park and most have fond memories of either playing in the park when they were younger, playing with their kids or grandkids.

One of the guys asked if that was the park where they have a cricket pitch. Well, he actually said “Is that where they dress in white and play that stupid game?” We all knew what game he was talking about and no one at the table made any attempt to correct him. The sum total of my knowledge of Cricket comes from TV and movies.
I did have a personal anecdote that I contributed to the conversation. I was responsible for painting the lines on the soccer fields for our area. It was an onerous job and thankfully I only had to do it once in the springtime. We would mix “roundup” in with the paint and it would effectively kill all of the grass wherever the paint was for the season. There was another, greener, community that put a strong fertilizer in with their paint. The lines on the fields were outlined in emerald green grass. It was really quite unique and beautiful! The only draw back is that the grass on the lines grew much faster and thicker than the grass on the field and often the ball would be deflected or stopped by the lines. We stuck with the Roundup.

One day I went to paint lines up in Falconridge, and found a group of young men playing Cricket on the soccer field. I watched the game for a while and it still made no sense to me. I told the guys that I was there to paint the lines on the field and asked them if they wouldn’t mind playing their games off the soccer field in the future, because the running back and forth had killed the grass in that area. They said sure, no problem. Of course they continued to play where they were, but I’m not the field police and they were just having fun.
The odd thing about the negative comment about Cricket is that it came from a guy that played golf several days a week and in the winter he is a  curler. I suggested that just because it seems stupid, some might say the same about golfing and curling. I didn’t mention that I was the someone I was referring to. We went on to talk about all of the stupid, boring games that people play, and for every stupid game mentioned, there was someone at the table that either played it or watched it. 

It is possible that I was at a table with stupid people (likely), or that no game is stupid if you like it. Right now in Canada, we are pretty much in the middle of football and baseball season. They seem to go on forever. However, for a really stupid game that goes on forever, we are just about to enter the Hockey season. There is game after game after game for eight or nine months, and it isn’t until the playoffs sometime in the spring or early summer that the players take the game seriously. Maybe I just don’t get enthused until the spring. Maybe my heart has been ripped out by teams that just don’t seem to care about winning as much as the fans do.

Anyways, they play Cricket at Riley Park and unless 20,000,000 people in the world are wrong, it’s not a stupid game.

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