Earlier: Sticky Wicket—NY TIMES Claims ”Climate Change” Now Threatening Cricket
From The Economist news section, some Christmastime wishful thinking:
Why cricket and America are made for each other
The world’s second-most-popular sport and biggest sports market are about to meet
Dec 20th 2022 | GRAND PRAIRIE, MORRISVILLE AND STATEN ISLAND
… Cricket is about to challenge baseball, and maybe what it means to be American, too
Back in the late 1970s at Rice U., I watched cricket matches out my dorm window played by immigrants, grad students, and doctors at the Texas Medical Center across Main St.
I was initially fairly interested by this exotic spectacle, but soon lost interest.
I’m reasonably fascinated by sports and am a raging Anglophile, but cricket has always been baffling to me, with a jargon that appears to have been designed by P.G. Wodehouse to amuse Saturday Evening Post readers with the extreme impenetrable Englishness of it. For instance, here are some defensive positions:
Backward Square Leg
Deep Fine Leg
And not one in a hundred native-born Americans can explain the scoring system of cricket.
Granted, the rules have been modernized to allow a game to be over and done in a few hours. That’s a good thing. I wish cricket well in the places where it is popular.
But if cricket can’t get me the slightest bit interested, what chance does it have in the already overcrowded American sports calendar?
In general, sports have become more homogenous over my lifetime. A half century ago, the ABC Wide World of Sports TV show and Sports Illustrated magazine covered a lot of obscure but interesting sports like hurling and pacing.
Here are sports featured on Wide World of Sports:
|August 5, 1961||Frontier Days rodeo from Cheyenne|
|September 2, 1961||World Water Ski Championships|
|January 14, 1962||World Barrel Jumping Championships|
|February 4, 1962||National Ski Jumping Championships|
|February 18, 1962||Bob-sledding championships from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, and men’s finals in surfing.|
|September 15 & 22, 1962||America’s Cup from Newport, R.I.|
|March 16, 1963||New England Invitational Dog Sled Race.|
|January 25, 1964||World Cyclo Ball Championship from Basel, Switzerland.|
|February 1, 1964||Championship Tarpon Fishing from Big Pine Key, Florida and National Ice Boat Racing from Green Lake, Wisconsin|
|February 8, 1964||The finals of the Fort Worth Rodeo|
|September 26, 1964||Oklahoma Live Rattlesnake Hunt.|
|April 17, 1965||NCAA Wrestling Championships.|
|January 1, 1966||Horse racing on Ice from St. Moritz becomes the first Wide World of Sports segment in color.|
|May 27, 1967||English Rugby League Cup Final.|
|June 3, 1967||British yachtsman Sir Francis Chichester completes his 28,500-mile around the world trip.|
|March 9, 1968||International Cliff Diving Championships from Acapulco.|
|January 11, 1969||Mexican 1000 Cross Country Road Racing Championships.|
Since then, soccer football has come to dominate international sports and American football domestic sports.
During the internet era, lots of weird sexual and/or political fetishes have flourished, but not weird sports. It would be nice if other sports made a comeback, but that’s not likely to happen.