Monday, 10 January 2005

Fiery pits of hell

AKA.. “The day I learnt cricket is best enjoyed on television”

The last time I went to any sort of One Day International was in the late 90’s. I think it was Sri Lanka vs England at the MCG. I remember nothing - NOTHING - from that game except that it was the day that they had the funniest picture of all time in the paper. The one with Rachel McQuillan bending over with a tennis racquet in her hand that looked as if she was about to perform some perverted stunt perfected in Bangkok. One day I’m going to the State Library, finding it in the archives and copying it. It deserves a wider audience.

Anyway. I broke the ODI drought today by rocking up to the MCG for the Tsunami appeal match and predictably, given my shithouse record when it comes to heat, failed to last the distance. Never again. Had I been roped into going to some normal match I probably would have stayed till the bitter end , even if it meant passing out in my seat from heatstroke and waking up only to spew across half the arena in order to make my $40 worthwhile but I thought tonight as the money had already gone to a good cause that I’d get the hell out of there before I made myself seriously ill. The first ten overs were a nightmare as a power failure knocked out the scoreboard so that nobody knew what the hell was going on - thankfully they got it right eventually.

The World team put on a colossal tonk in their innings - very rarely have I ever watched a game where 345 came up - but I simply couldn’t appreciate it while I was frying my ass off. At least the day I was roped into going to the Boxing Day test I managed a good 5 hours in the TAB to 1 hr in the sun ratio. Top innings by Ponting, and an entertaining slog from Chris Cairns to go with it.

Stacked on top of the heat issues is the fact that due to an unexpected (and rare) indoor soccer marathon on Sunday my body is broken like an Iraqi POW. Back, arm, legs, feet - all wrecked. I can barely move. Not the right day to be trying to curb my un-Australian hatred of the heat.

The fucking idiot award goes jointly to,

* The people who persisted in trying to start a Mexican wave. Is it that difficult to see that doing something called THE WAVE at an event raising money for the victims of a GIANT WAVE is potentially insensitive. Petty I know - and almost certainly not deliberate but a bit dodgy nonetheless.

* The very minor portion of the crowd who pulled out the eternally dreary “No Ball” cry when Murili bowled his first ball. It wasn’t funny three seasons ago and certainly had no place in a charity game. Thankfully I’m assuming that they were smacked down thoroughly by everyone sitting around them because you never heard it again.

I was going at the dinner break anyway - as things didn’t look like getting any cooler - when the Melbourne FC logo came on the screen and they started talking about Troy Broadbridge and how he’d played his last game on this very ground. I looked down to where I sat that day, right behind the goals at the Southern Stand end and thought about how somebody who had stood a few feet from me just a few months ago - finally fully fit, not much older than me and in the best form of his short career - was now gone. No longer alive. And the horrible, horrible tragedy of what has happened hit me harder than ever. 200,000 people wiped off the face of the planet. I don’t mind saying I came close to shedding a tear. I know that even the biggest moron on earth doesn’t need that sort of sign to take in the gravity of the situation - and I was certainly aware of it beforehand but this just hit me like a baseball bat. And people dare to say there’s some kind of merciful god running things. What a load of shit.

Apparently Melbourne are going to play Collingwood in a 20/20 cricket match. Presumably it’ll be at the Junction Oval. TSP will be there for a full report on Colin Sylvia going the tonk.

Anyway. I may not have seen the likes of Tendulkar and Jayusariya bat in person but I’m sure I’ll appreciate more in the safety - and relative cool - of my own home. Good to see so much money flooding in. I even payed $4 for a 600ml bottle of Coke without whinging for once.

UPDATE - My other whinge came from the songs that played when the bowlers changed and new batsmen came out. While I’m quite willing to believe that Chris Cairns would have picked Back In Black willing (though in an ideal world he’d come out to Slice of Heaven by Dave Dobbyn and Herbs off the Footrot Flats soundtrack) I refuse, REFUSE to believe that of every song on earth Charminda Vaas chose “You Get What You Give” by the New Radicals as his personalised theme song. They must have a very, VERY small list of tunes to pick from. If it had to be jaunty crowd pleasing music I’d pick “Danger! High Voltage!” by Electric Six. That’d get the crowd going.

And what the hell song did Steven Fleming come out to? I’ve never heard it before but kind of liked it. Sadly I was too busy dying to take in enough lyrics to search for.

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