Eoin Morgan wants to catapult England forward – but is that wise?

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Eoin Morgan (via YouTube)

In some ways it was hard to know what year it was. Playing their first one-day international since winning the World Cup, England made 258-8 and were then conspicuously short of weirdness in the middle overs with the ball.

The difference is that this was day one of a project to build a new side for the next World Cup, rather than a limp performance in the group stages of the same competition. You’d trust Eoin Morgan to work out what is and isn’t going to work before 2023, wouldn’t you? We’d trust him to do most things. (Maybe not dentistry or anything like that, but most jobs that involve little more than clear thinking and common sense.)

Speaking about the defeat afterwards, England’s captain said: “Failure is a huge platform to try and catapult yourself forward, and learn from your mistakes.”

This is interesting, not so much for the desire to move forward (international captains have long been disappointingly averse to moving backwards, sideways, or even diagonally) but for the mode of conveyance.

When we think of catapults, we tend to think of the siege scenes in The Lord of the Rings. Sieges constitute quite a large proportion of those films. If Lord of the Rings characters aren’t gazing wanly into each other’s eyes or speaking in feared tones about some ancient mystical threat or other, they’re generally involved in a siege.

Catapults feature prominently (so do trebuchets, but let’s not get into that whole thing) and while the projectiles are usually rocks, we’ve a dim recollection of an orc climbing onto one too. We really wanted to watch this scene again to see what happened to that orc as that would give us some idea whether Morgan’s correct to see catapulting as a legitimate way to get from A to B or whether he’s massively, massively incorrect.

We can’t find the scene in question and we can’t be bothered to watch all of the films from start to finish to find it. We can however get a feel for what might have happened by looking at how the catapult normally works.

For example, according to The Lord of the Rings films this is what happens when you catapult a rock at a stone wall.

When you catapult a rock at a stone wall, the rock obliterates the stone wall.

The way Morgan talks, being catapulted involves making rapid and desirable progress. But what about the landing?

Imagine that you’re the rock. Maybe you envision yourself soaring through the air before spidermanning to the wall, ready for action.

We’re here to tell you that would not happen. We’re here to tell you that your limbs couldn’t sufficiently soften the impact, so there are no ninja moves here, there is only a sad smear of blood and gristle.

‘Catapulting yourself forward’ sounds like a great and positive thing, but it is actually a very uncontrolled way to progress. We would far rather see things go a little slower. You’ve got almost four years, Eoin.


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  1. ‘Eoin’ looks like the name of a dwarf from the Hobbit in any case.

    Anyway, Joe Denly seems like just the sort of man who’d still travel slightly above running speed after being fired from a catapult.

  2. Everyone always says failure is the best because that’s the only way to learn.

    I recently got a promotion and things are going quite well in life. Am I doomed?

    1. Yeah and we can think of a whole handful of things we wish we’d never learned about.

    2. Sam, if your job is going well then it may lead to you getting promoted again, perhaps to a job where you are out of your depth, and which is so all-encompassing and stressful that you lose out on time with loved ones and can’t keep track of England away tours….

      ….so no need to worry.

    3. Well done on your promotion btw, Sam.

      Your career seems to be on just the right trajectory for you to be hosting day-time TV game shows when I get to the care home/orthopaedic chair stage.

      “I met that young man at the start of his career, you know. Nice fellow. Likes cricket”.

      “Course you did, dear. Now take your meds…especially the opiates.”

  3. The answer clearly lies in your previous Eoin Morgan story.

    Until a few months ago, Eoin Morgan had,allegedly, never tried coffee.


    Now I have been a regular coffee drinker for decades. Catch me before I have downed some coffee in the morning, I’m like slug. But once I have had a few coffees, I’m bouncing off the walls in the style of a catapulted thing, at least for a while.

    Eoin Morgan is new to coffee. No wonder he is going through a catapultish phase.

    He’ll grow out of it…or at least get more used to coffee.

  4. You *could* move forward whilst moving at an angle, you know? Maybe even diagonally. Morgan might not be as geometrically challenged as you think he is. This should give you hope. Theoretically.

      1. Favourite part is how everyone very obviously concludes: “Well that turned out to be very legit and sensible – let’s all do that.”

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