Archive for July, 2011
It’s impossible for me to spend a significant amount of time working on a computer and not have my time away from it affected by the interaction habits it’s taught me. On several occasions in the past 10 or so years I’ve found myself mentally groping for my flat’s crt+f function when I can’t find my keys, or reaching for ctrl+z when I feel my cat’s bones shatter between my ass and the couch. It’s simply impossible not to want to replicate the shortcuts we learn from interacting with a device as rational as a computer in our regular lives. Thus far, all attempts at doing so have been fruitless (I use the term ‘attempts’ very loosely here. I mostly just fantastize about it).
Having said all that, I think I may just have found the first realistic instance of successfully integrating a typical computer-based interaction shortcut into my life, and not a minute too soon, because if I find myself in a particular scenario again without the option of responding with the real-life equivalent of a hack, I may just start bleeding from my eyes. More on this later.
Those of you who know me personally, or have read some of the posts on my site, will know that I’m not only a massive cricket fan but also a devout supporter of Graeme Smith. The guy has his faults, both personally and technically but, by and large, I worship the ground he hits boundaries across. It’s patently obvious to me, however, that this places me in relatively small group of people. I don’t think I’ve been involved in a cricket discussion over the past 8 or so months that wasn’t interrupted by some blowhard who feels that the statement “I wish they’d just get rid of that wanker Smith. Jeez I hate that guy. He really needs to just die of cancer. Those chops are done, boet.” is a valid contribution to an enjoyable, intelligent conversation about the nuances of the most nuanced of games.
Sure, the guy comes across in a way that makes him difficult to love the way South Africans have loved past captains. Heck, even Jacques Kallis, a man who acts on the field like he’d benefit from having a pillow shoved in his face by a giant, mute Native American, is universally adored in comparison. I’m not gonna go into detail about why I think Smith is disliked by the public. I have my theories, but publishing them here is at odds with what I’m trying to achieve, which is to communicate to the hordes of South Africans calling for his head that there really is a significant difference between disliking a player and the team being better off without him.
Sadly we live in a world where a person’s celebrity outweighs his contribution to something as banal as reality. Or, perhaps even more tragically, a world where there is no longer a distinction between the two. Queries as to the logic of dropping him from the team are often met with comments on his weight, how he chews gum, who he’s dating or what a dick he was that one time you tried to have a drunken conversation with him at Forries.
There is obviously a somewhat feeble case that can be made for his current form and that’s a debate I’ll happily have. With a person who knows what they’re talking about. To everyone else… your comments are not welcome in a serious discussion about cricket. The only reason real cricket people don’t tell you to fuck off is because the laws of society compel us to tolerate ignorance. Kinda the same way a group of adults are tolerant of a child attempting to contribute to their banter. Sure, they want to kick his balls into his pancreas, but it would almost certainly lead to more trouble than it would solve.
But I realise that I’m not in a position to dictate what people can or can’t talk about, so let me make a suggestion. The next time you feel the need to blurt out your theory on how Smith’s relationship with Minki ruined SA cricket, go to www.heat.co.za where I’m sure you’ll find a whole bunch of new BFF’s happy to applaud your insight. To the grown-ups, you’re just annoying.
So, back to my original point. In order to combat the overwhelming ignorance of people who believe they know the game because they once watched a whole day of test cricket when they had the flu back in 2003, I’m going to keep this post on my website forever. Then I’m going to save this that URL as a template on my phone or as a bookmark in my browser, allowing me to educate these fools in two or three simple clicks of a button. And with significantly less risk of breaking my fist on any nearby structure. Better yet, I’m going to include a list of Graeme Smith’s test cricket achievements over the past 3 years. That should shut some people up, provided the lack of celebrity sex tapes don’t put them off the post entirely.
Series batting performances
- India 10/11 – Averaged 28.6 in 5 innings with one half-century. Failure.
- Pakistan 10/11 – Averaged 48 in 3 innings with one century. Very good.
- West Indies 10/11 – Averaged 61.8 in 6 innings with one century and two 50s. Top run scorer in the series. Terrific.
- India 09/10 – Averaged 10 in 3 innings. Awful.
- England 09/10 – Averaged 61 in 7 innings with two centuries and one 50. This includes the fantastic 183 at Newlands. Still one of the best test innings’ I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing an SA captain play. Top run scorer in the series. Awesome.
- Australia 08/09 – averaged 35 in 3 innings with one fifty. Not great.\
- Australia 08/09 – averaged 65.2 in 6 innings with two centuries and one 50. One of the best performances bycaptain in any test series I’ve ever followed. This includes his legendary innings of 108 in Perth where South Africa chased down the second highest target in the history of test cricket. Champion.
- Bangladesh 08/09 – averaged 92. Amazing.
- England 08/09 – averaged 61. With two centuries, the match-winning one in Birmingham being the best innings he’s played in his career. Third highest run scorer in the series. Legendary.
- Averages 52 over the past 3 years.
- Second highest run scorer in SA test cricket history behind Kallis.
- Second behind Kallis with number of test centuries.
- His 277 against England was the highest SA test score for 7 years.
- Features in four of SA’s 10 biggest partnerships.
In closing, the man is a national hero, arguably the least appreciated legend in the history of South African cricket, and we should kneel before our beds every night to thank The Almighty that he was born in our country.