R.E.S.P.E.C.T. (Sock it to me, Sock it to me)

Greetings pop pickers, and welcome to the hit parade of the best insults directed at cricket supporters by the cricket authorities and their media cheerleaders.  Call them supporters, cricketers, county members, amateurs – are they worth having a go at?  Not half!  Let’s get on with the countdown…

10) Ticket to Ride – The Beatles

Straight in to the top ten with Graeme Swann’s stirring anthem about Test match prices.  Not for him an awareness of the expense incurred by those paying his wages.  Not for him a sensible silence when not knowing how much a ticket costs.  Instead he piped up expressing surprise at the cost of attending, saying he was shocked to discover it was (then) almost £100 to go, and that he’d thought it was only “about £20”.  Derision swiftly followed.

9) Bills – Lunch Money Lewis

Hungry?  Feel like a nice meal?  Well, you’re out of luck.  You can spend an hour queueing up for soggy chips and a crappy burger and pay £15 for the privilege.  Don’t bother trying to around lunchtime though, that’ll take an hour or so.  If you want a beer as well, that’s a different queue.  Could be an hour there too, so that £100 you’ve spent on a ticket in London looks really good value when you miss the play you’ve paid for – you can even spend the time queueing working out the draining finances.  But fear not, for the Twitter account of Lords’ will be there to remind you of the fine dining options the players receive, and the equally delightful catering the press corps get.  It’s just what you want to see as you contemplate a diminishing wallet and a drooping excuse for a sandwich, comparing the image on your phone with the painful and largely inedible reality.

8) My Generation – The Who

Those who have given their lives over to cricket might feel that they deserve a bit of credit.  Those who play a game for no other reason than they love it might believe they should be left alone.  Those who give up their time to prepare pitches, decorate and maintain pavilions, organise teams, create youth sections and do all the enormous quantities of work involved in club cricket could feel there’s nothing wrong with them also picking up a bat and wandering out to the middle.  But they’d be wrong and Nasser Hussain was quick to tell them so, in the usual manner of Sky and the ECB aligning their stars perfectly.  Such “old fogeys” need to get out of the game according to him, they’re blocking the young players.  That there wouldn’t actually be any club cricket without the old fogeys doesn’t seem to have occurred to him.  Nor that people outside the professional game play because they want to.  The Scots have a phrase that answers this kind of argument, and it starts “get tae…”.

7) Stupid Girl – Garbage

If coming up with an idea that those who love the game consider pretty stupid to begin with, it helps to have the message alongside it a good one.  It probably isn’t best practice to first tell all those who buy tickets that it isn’t for them, second patronise half the population with the phrase “mums and kids” and third go for the ultimate in telling that minority majority that they’re making it vastly more complex simplifying things just for them.  Andrew Strauss’s extraordinarily clumsy justification for ripping up the game of cricket in this country and replacing it with another format went down like a cup of warm sick with those being addressed.  Mums and kids might be too dense to understand cricket as it stands, but they weren’t so dim they couldn’t spot they were being talked down to.  Women – know your place!

6) We Are Family – Sister Sledge

You can’t be US President unless you’re born in the USA.  This is a restriction that bothers most people not at all, given few have such an aspiration, but even less knew that there is also a barrier to being England captain that doesn’t involve, you know, being good at cricket.  The Odious Giles Clarke was quick to raise the bar by stating that in Alastair Cook, “he and his family are very much the sort of people we want the England captain and his family to be.”  Horrendous plebs like the vast majority of the English population need not apply.

5) The Flood – Take That

The ECB don’t leak.  You’ve been told, time and again.  By them, admittedly, and not by anyone else.  But they don’t leak, they don’t give primers to journalists, and they keep schtum at all times.  That the outcome of Kevin Pietersen’s meeting with Tom Harrison and Andrew Strauss was being broadcast by Jonathan Agnew within minutes of it taking place must have happened by osmosis.  That the “South-African-born-middle-order-batsman” (unlike Strauss himself, naturally) also had his private letter to Hugh Morris released to the press can’t possibly have happened.  That then England coach Peter Moores had to sit and watch England play Ireland while everyone knew he was being sacked definitely wasn’t an example of a leak.  Because the ECB don’t leak.  Ever.

4) Don’t You Want Me – Human League

Tom Harrison is a kind of anti-thesaurus, whereby he considers all the possible words that could be used and resolutely chooses the wrong one.  A sillynym, if you like.  Most sports revel in their most dedicated acolytes, or at the very least pretend to pay them respect while counting the money that they pump in to the game to allow the administrators a decent supply of bourbon biscuits for their Very Important Meetings.  But not for him such lip service, not for the great man a recognition of the time and effort they put in to backing a game they adore.  No, no, they’re a barrier, a problem.  And thus can be safely termed “obsessives” instead.  Cricket is entirely unique in considering the game itself to be a problem, and those who love it most to be a big part of that problem rather than an important element to build upon.  It’s just one word, but once again it’s the wrong one, and once again cricket refuses to celebrate its own adherents but instead kicks them in the balls (women don’t count as we know) and screams at them not to get up again.

3) I Only Wanna Be With You – Dusty Springfield

Most sports have suffered from the rise of Marketing Speak – the unmitigated bollocks spouting from the executives in place of anything meaningful, and the endless use of the term “stakeholders” in cricket is guaranteed to raise the blood pressure of anyone getting progressively more fed up with every hopeless pronouncement.  But the ECB, as is their wont, go a bit further, by forgetting the supporters and amateur players each time they offer it up.  Ashley Giles came up with a good example with “We should show we have pride in playing cricket for England, that we respect everyone: all our stakeholders, sponsors, the media”.  Ah yes, sponsors and the media.  They’re the ones to talk about.  Especially post a shambolic World T20 where England stank the place out and supporters went nuts at the displays on offer.  As ever with ECB people, it’s not just what they say, it’s when they choose to say it, and who they are talking to.  Those awful little people can be safely ignored.

2) Don’t Blame it on the Sunshine – The Jackson Five

You can always rely on Colin Graves to put his foot in it.  Whether it be calling England’s opposition “mediocre” right before they hand out a thrashing, threatening counties for not acknowledging his greatness, or leading players up the garden path and encouraging them to give up hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of contracts before delivering a slap; he manages to say the wrong thing at the wrong time without exception.  So it was that he justified the impending Hundred with the immortal phrase “The younger generation, whether you like it or not, are just not attracted to cricket”.  It’s not that he’s entirely wrong, for everyone involved in the game has the same concerns, it’s the sheer chutzpah in refusing to recognise that the organisation he heads up is largely responsible for the damn thing in the first place – making the game entirely invisible to the wider public by hiding it behind a pay wall may not have been the best method of encouraging people to get involved.  To pipe up at exactly the same time as the ECB launched their latest All Stars Cricket aimed at the young was a superb example of telling everyone working hard at the lower levels that they were wasting their time doing so.

1) Let’s Go Outside – George Michael

It’s not all bad – after all it stopped us racking our brains for a name for this place.  But the ECB/PCA joint statement in the aftermath of the Kevin Pietersen sacking remains the high point in the long list of putting down the oiks who dare to object to the way the game is run.  It was two little words that did the damage, referring in parentheses to those “outside cricket” who had dared to be critical.  The defence made following the furious reaction to the statement was that it was clearly referring to Piers Morgan in particular, which remains a perfect example of how the professional game fails to get it.  Morgan is far from being everybody’s cup of tea, but the point was that since he goes to cricket and plays cricket at club level, if he is “outside cricket” then so is everyone else.  As a case study in how the professional game sneers at all those not in it, it has never been bettered.

Baby, I Got It.





17 thoughts on “R.E.S.P.E.C.T. (Sock it to me, Sock it to me)

  1. thebogfather Mar 30, 2019 / 1:43 pm

    Love it Chris!

    Here’s my own (sort of) from a couple of years ago,
    -with inspiration from/apologies to Fish/Marillion – ‘Assassing’ from the album ‘Fugazi’

    I am the obsessive, with love of cricket forged from eloquence
    We are the obsessives, deriding the ECB, our nemesis

    On the sacrificial game is altered by excess
    Unleashing an already tired beast, too late, aw bless
    No incantations of regret or remorse
    Seems paywall reality may have reached its course…

    They decorate the scarf with a fugi knot rash
    A camouflage product of the 22 yard stare
    Gouging the notches in big bat besot bash
    So hip, not, idiotic product proffered wi’out care

    Listen to the syllabullshit of sycophantic precision
    Platitudes without thrust or thought, rape our minds with derision
    Apoplectic in plagiarism, casting aside the outside
    Pathetique in its lack of sagism, or common sense inside
    Verbal inanity from empty suits and those MSM recruits
    Who cuddle in a muddle of dining table fine winery
    So befuddled they be, opining fables of inanity

    Nothing but sentimental mercenaries in a free loader zone
    Parading a Bollywood conscience
    Now the fashionable objectors with a Giles Clarke fetish
    Slaves to the cash till ring of excess
    Such non-observers or reality with relish
    Yet we the obsessive will remain

    It’s still Our Game

    Should we resign ourselves to their failure? Obsession, my friends
    Could we ignore the killing they tailor? Devotion, my friends
    How do we eradicate the power hungry mongrels and their media
    Who seek to kill cricket, and leave us with nothing more than more
    T20 excess so OneHundredly forgettable
    To let them, would be so regrettable

    Let’s be the obsessives, the assassins…


  2. thebogfather Mar 30, 2019 / 4:11 pm

    Strauss to be, comma, director, of the ‘Leaping Lords’ franchise… #KPalreadybannedfromthebiddingmanymonthsinadvancejusttobesurethattrustisnotanissue


  3. thebogfather Mar 30, 2019 / 4:17 pm

    Danny is off on one very quickly, and splendidly so


  4. pktroll (@pktroll) Mar 31, 2019 / 3:00 pm

    I was wondering about a song title that refers to Harry Gurney demanding that us club cricket plebs only play 100/120 ball cricket?

    That’s the way I like it- KC and the Sunshine band.

    Anyone want to raise on that?


  5. dlpthomas Apr 9, 2019 / 11:38 am

    I’m going to go completely off topic yet again (last time – would I lie to you?). Like many people I didn’t think much of Geoff Lemon’s book about the ball tampering saga. However, the interview with him on the Australian Cricket Podcast is well worth a listen.


    • LordCanisLupus Apr 10, 2019 / 9:37 pm

      Wisden made it book of the year. The first half of it is fucking terrible. I mean awful.


      • dlpthomas Apr 11, 2019 / 10:19 am

        Do you know who the judges were?


    • Mark Apr 9, 2019 / 5:25 pm

      What is the point? They have already told me I’m not their required demographic.

      Which means I can count to six, and don’t need to be in bed by 9pm


      • thebogfather Apr 9, 2019 / 5:55 pm

        There may be no point Mark, but there’s a little joy in being able to give them the answers that they don’t want to receive – hell even the obtuseness and lack of integrity/knowledge/honesty in the setting of some q’s just invites us to play!


        • Mark Apr 9, 2019 / 6:52 pm

          I know what you mean Bogfather, but I honsestly don’t think they take a blind bit of notice if we give them the answers they don’t want to hear.

          It’s an excercise in public relations box ticking. Mr Harrison can then claim “we have listened to our stakeholders.”


  6. thebogfather Apr 10, 2019 / 12:15 pm

    Maybe, but it’s 5 mins to make a clusterfuck of their minds..
    for example – when they ask how many u16s in your immediate family, answer as 26
    When asked what sports interest you/them – answer everything that is not cricket
    when asked which grounds you might go to for 100 – answer all those not of the 8
    when asked hoe much you might pay say £2 for all (you cant say less)
    so many ridculous Q”‘s to take the P!ss out of the ECB Cnuts

    Have fun with it


  7. man in a barrel Apr 11, 2019 / 9:44 am

    If only someone had done a song called “Work the nuts off”, in honour of Sir Alastair


  8. thebogfather Apr 19, 2019 / 7:44 am

    Isn’t it wonderful that the first two rounds of CC matches (albeit with not every team having had 2 fixtures – WTF?) and now the opening two sets of games in the B&H, sorry, Royal London 50 over last stand cup being played with few if any weather disruptions? It must be the ECB genius of season planning reaping its rewards…

    Yet, wouldn’t we all raise a smile or three if the WC becomes a damp squib, and #TheGreatestAshesContestEver (copyright Team ECBSky) has a weather problem too, particularly with the likelihood of 4 day tests being force fed in the future?

    Oh, and where is the BOC ‘IPL Panel’ that I’m sure this site needs so to be shown as ‘excited’ about the worlds premier 20/20 league?


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