HERE’S the problem: you know what this column’s going to be about. I know what this column’s going to be about and I know that you know what this column’s going to be about.
In fact, why wait any longer and why not just come out with it – the weather. I’m about to craft an angry column about the weather.
The God, awful, weather.
The thing is, the sports ed, generous chap that he is, has taken pity on me. While my remit when I pop up on these pages is pretty clear – to write about being a weekend cricketer – he has every sympathy for the fact that it’s no mean feat to wring out 1,000 words on playing weekend cricket when, you know, you don’t play any weekend cricket because of the weather.
So he’s given me permission to write about other sports.
Problem is, I really don’t know anything about other sports. I played basketball for a long time and at a high level when I was younger but wouldn’t know an NBA player these days if one stood on me (I’m short, they are generally very tall) and I’m no more than an occasional passive observer of any sport that isn’t cricket. I get interested when I’m playing a sport, but no-one wants to hear how I’m surprisingly good on a five-a-side pitch or about that time I nailed a par five in three glorious shots.
All this means that I am limited to the trials and tribulations of a weekend cricketer on this page for a very good reason.
My views on Murray will be unenlightening, my thoughts on John Terry’s racism trial as ignorant as a Chelsea player, my opinion on convicted drugs cheats representing team GB in the Olympics like whistling in the wind.
So, let’s get to it.
Six. It’s now six weeks since the boys of Airedale Cricket Club have taken to the field.
There was a league meeting last week and everyone was discussing how no-one can remember a summer as bad as this. In fact, it’s a record breaking summer – for all the wrong reasons.
Our ground has been under five feet of water for several days this ‘summer’and grounds around the league are sodden, even the ones at the top of the valleys, and not just the grounds of mugs like me, at the very bottom of the valley. It is the same all over as our picture of the St George’s Road ground at Harrogate shows.
So, yes, I am frustrated beyond belief. Like a man wandering through the desert who happens upon a drinks vending machine and doesn’t have any change, the season is tantalisingly right there – there are teams of blokes desperate to play on a Saturday and we are all entirely impotent in the face of the weather.
What’s making writing this even worse is that profanities are verboten in the Yorkshire Post, so I can’t even adequately explain how frustrated I am, which is very frustrating. That, my friends, is irony.
So, given that you are here on the pages of Sports Monday and therefore, I imagine, a sports fan, are you going to spend the remainder of this column listening to an angry little man rage against the weather?
Are you going to hear a weekend cricketer spit fury at his inability to take arms against a sea of troubles, to listen to me complain that I have to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous summer weather?
No. I’m going to attempt to lighten my mood and, at the suggestion of a fellow team member (Kenny insisted he was credited – for “having an idea”, which, clearly is the hard part), I’m going to take you into the changing room and tell you what happens when it’s raining.
Scene: June 9, 2012, Bradley cricket ground, Away Team changing rooms.
El Capitan (me, you fools): “Lads, if I’m honest, I’m massively hungover, it’s wet, it’s miserable, we’re clearly not going to play, shall we just call it off?
Giles: “It’s forecast to brighten up later on today.”
Simon Hunter: “It says on my phone that it’s going to rain again in the next half hour.”
Lee Rickaby: “Now then lads. Sorry I’m late, me dad couldn’t find the ground.”
Me: “What is that on your head?”
Lee Rickaby: “Me new hat. D’you like it? We playing then?”
Me: “Where’s your kit? And no, Lee, I do not like your hat. But at least it covers your ridiculous hair.”
Giles: “Shall we give it another half hour and see if it brightens up?”
Me: “I’m going to sleep for a bit, someone wake me up when we get called off.”
Jason: “I’ve found some cards.”
Me/Scott/Lee: “Let’s play poker.”
Jason: “There’s only 15 cards here.”
Me: “I’m going to sleep. You, little brother, are a muppet.”
Opposition captain: “All right lads, your skipper here? “
Me: “Ready to call it off?”
Oppo captain: “Shall we go have a look at the wicket and then give it another half-an-hour?”
Giles: “I think it’s getting brighter.”
Me (silently): “I’m going to kill him. I don’t think any of them realise just how hungover I am. (out loud) All right then skip, shall we go have a look?”
Ten minutes later.
Giles: “Looking promising.”
Me: “If you weren’t six foot eight I’d flatten you, I’m soaking, I just got drenched out there.”
Jason: “I think I’ve worked out a way to play poker with 15 cards.”
Josh: “Nick, I’m not available next week.”
Me: “I’m not listening to you Josh, tell me on Tuesday at selection.”
Sully: “Neither am I.”
Lee Rickaby: “What’s wrong with me haircut?”
Me: “I’m going to sleep.”
Please let the rain end soon.