Monday, November 13, 2017


It has been rather enjoyable experiencing the local team's string of defeats vicariously, because as a complete Aspy sombitch, I really don't care. But the passionate despair and briefly flickering exultation -- followed by even more despair, agony, and gloom -- of the fans fills me with glee.
"Bugger all sport", I might say, "tis folly!"

Actually, I calmly refer to them as "the room filled with screaming yutzes", and holler at them to shut up back there, occasionally, when their passion gets too loud, but I usually ignore them. And the screen which upsets them. My knowledge of, and interest in, sports of any kind is neatly expressed in the poem 'Vitaï Lampada'. Which argues that the sportsmanship inculcated in English public schoolboys by playing cricket sustained them later in life when building the empire and killing savages.
Or being killed by them.
Good stuff.

There's a breathless hush in the Close tonight,
Ten to make and the match to win;
A bumping pitch and a blinding light,
An hour to play and the last man in.

And it's not for the sake of a ribboned coat,
Or the selfish hope of a season's fame;
But his captain's hand on his shoulder smote,
"Play up! play up! and play the game!"

The sand of the desert is sodden red,
Red with the wreck of a square that broke;
The Gatling's jammed and the Colonel dead,
And the regiment blind with dust and smoke.

The river of death has brimmed its banks,
And England's far, and honour a name;
But the voice of a schoolboy rallies the ranks,
"Play up! play up! and play the game!"

This is the word that year by year,
While in her place the school is set;
Every one of her sons must hear,
And none that hears it dare forget.

This they all with a joyful mind,
Bear through life like a torch in flame;
And falling, fling to the host behind,
"Play up! play up! and play the game!"

-----Henry Newbolt, famous British historian and educator.

Oh my how jolly stirring, what. Inspiring. Cricket!

Now go massacre those savages.

Baseball and American football have no such uplifting baggage. All you can learn from those games is how to sing the National Anthem, and that Gator Ade builds strong young bodies and goes well with cookies late at night.

I seldom drink beer. Never during the day.
Most Americans are alcoholics.
Addicted to pizza.

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