Posts tagged "cricket"

Olympic Games, cool—but I want to see some cricket

London! It’s not exactly the city that never sleeps, but with the 2012 Olympic Games coming to town, there probably won’t be much sleeping going on.

I know a lot of people are excited to see the Olympic Games and to experience them for themselves, but for me the Games are going to be my job while I’m there. As a photographer I find it difficult to really enjoy an event that I am covering since I’m so focused on what’s going on. Where do I need to be for this shot? Where do I think the action is going to happen? What do I need to do to get the effect that I want? And even though I may not cover any actual sporting event, covering the action surrounding the Olympic Games will make them part of my job.

This isn’t a bad thing, but it does mean that I am tending to look outside the main events for the pleasure-seeking part of my trip. For me, one of the more exciting parts of going to the U.K. will be the possibility of going to explore the land of my ancestors: Wales. My family on my father’s side is Welsh and German. I traveled to Germany my junior year of high school, and ever since then I’ve wanted to go to Wales to be able to say that I’ve visited the country where my family name comes from.

Being able to make this connection with my ancestral culture and heritage is one of the things I’m looking forward to this summer. Of course, I’m excited to be covering the Olympic Games and getting to see the best that London has to offer, but I’m a person of simple taste, making it the awesome cherry on top of my cultural sundae.

I’m also a fan of cricket. Yes, that’s the weird British sport with the big paddles for bats and the sticks with the funny name. However, being an American makes for a dull life as a cricket fan. For the past couple of years I have been forced to enjoy my cricket matches at 3 in the morning while yelling at my Internet for freezing on a key play of the match. So another exciting thing for me is that I might be able to see a real professional cricket match in person, something that I am saving my money for already.

There are so many things to look forward to, and I can’t really list all of them, but these are the two things that I think will make me the happiest. Of course I could always be surprised, which is something that I wouldn’t mind.

Bobby Ellis  |  Photographer
@bobbydellis

 

U.K. sports: dreary or daring?

I grew up in a family centered around athletics. My dad is a coach, my mom was an athletic trainer, and my brothers and I combined probably played every popular sport in the U.S. As I prepare for my trip to England this summer, centered around the biggest sporting event in the world, I’m becoming intrigued about the sports culture in the U.K. On one hand, ravenous European sports fans can be as intense as a Raiders fan during a playoff game. On the other hand, sports from across the pond do have a reputation to be rather … dreary. Is the difference between U.S. and U.K. sports so different?

Rugby
Rugby is the grandfather of football, American football that is. Basically, it’s football on steroids. There are fifteen players, and literally everybody on the field, or pitch, is in danger of taking a blow. Backs, essentially the scorers of rugby, can kick, throw and run the ball to score just like a football quarterback would. However, you are not allowed to throw the ball forward. Forwards are the linemen and they do all the tackling. There are also these weird team huddle groups called scrams, and they’re used like a face-off in hockey.

Honestly, I’m really intrigued by rugby. It’s is all about brute force and quick feet. It’s minimal protection and massive muscle. The average weight of a professional rugby player is 238 pounds. Bloody hell. What more could a female sports fan ask for?

Cricket
No matter how much I read up on cricket, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to understand the game. It’s sort of like baseball, in that there is a bat, a ball and to score you need to make runs. There are some fun twists that include wickets and bails. There are three wickets, or posts, that stand behind the batter. On top of the wickets are two pieces of wood called bails. If a batter knocks off the bails, then they’re out. There are only two “bases” that the batters run between. The positions are essentially the same: pitcher, batter, fielders.

It’s baseball mixed with Jenga. Did I also mention that cricket uniforms make the players look like they’re going out for tea afterwards?

Polo
Interestingly enough, Polo originated in India. It is legitimately the fastest sport in the world. The U.S. doesn’t really have a sport to compare to polo. We do have a men’s cologne named after it though.

Players on horses race full -peed towards a tiny ball, swinging giant mallets. What could possibly go wrong? Maybe not so ironically, a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that 64 percent of polo injuries were considered major, the most common of which were fractures and facial lacerations. So if you like demolition derby mixed with croquet and horse racing, polo is the sport for you.

Tennis, soccer (football), boxing, golf
Tennis, soccer, boxing and golf are other sports that are really popular in the United Kingdom. Soccer is an especially beloved pastime. Don’t call it soccer though, unless you want everyone to know that you are an uncultured American.
Some other sports words that you should know are: pitch (field), boots (cleats), kit (uniform), footie (game/match), etc., etc.

Even though cricket and polo are the only sports on this list that aren’t an official sport of the summer Olympic Games, I’m still excited to see all of these games and athletes in action.

Jessica Pettengill  |  Features Reporter 

@jmpetty10