Joe Root and canned excitement

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< 1 minute read

There’s no excitement quite so depressing as mandatory excitement. Compare and contrast the following.

  1. Joe Root strides to the crease and a large crowd rumbles with enthusiasm
  2. A batsman strides to the crease and Somebody Told Me by The Killers plays
  1. Joe Root takes a quick single and a large, partisan crowd pretty much roars
  2. A batsman hits a six and is rewarded with four bars of Chelsea Dagger by The Fratellis
  1. Joe Root makes his debut Test hundred on his home ground and everyone goes crazy-mental for about 20 minutes
  2. Anything at all happens warranting Simply The Best or We Are The Champions

Now we may very well be old, cynical, jaundiced and miserable, but we’re also correct. Excitement doesn’t come from the tangentia surrounding a sports event. Either it arises naturally or not at all. If anything, canned excitement only draws attention to what’s missing.

Emotions cannot be scheduled nor coaxed into existence. If you’re anything other than an idiot, you accept that fact and so take extra pleasure on the rare occasions when the planets align and something half-decent happens.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. Ha! The last line pretty much describes my five years in grad school. Most days were spent hitting my head against the wall and the subsequent grim resignation, but on the one day when I had results…Ah!

  2. I’d choose Metal Machine Music, Part 2, although I’d possibly end up timed out.

  3. I was there yesterday on my stag do. I was dressed as a vagina. It was an excellent afternoon, root’s century being the obvious highlight.

    Although screaming at jimmy Anderson at the end of play to come and ‘sign my flaps’ was rather enjoyable as well.

    1. Strangely, I think the TV cameras omitted to show you in the crowd, Dandy Dan.

      I have been trying to think which band would be the most suitable for your gladiatorial entry, should you choose to stride out to the crease thus dressed.

      My best shot is Pussy Riot, but perhaps other correspondents have better ideas.

    2. 😮

      I particularly admire the use of sunglasses to disguise your face, within the more comprehensive disguise that is the costume, Dandy Dan.

  4. Heath Streak used to walk out to the wicket with Puff the Magic Dragon playing. I’m not sure if batsmen actually get to choose their music any more. If I was in a position to get entrance music I would pick Threnody to the victims of Hiroshima, by Penderecki.

  5. Of course, in the good old days you could take several canned excitements into the ground with you, to enhance your enjoyment of the cricket match. Cans of John Smith’s, Boddingtons or Heineken, to name three examples.

    But nowadays, the only sporting venues I can think of that allow you to take such canned excitements in with you are Lord’s and Wimbledon.

    It’s a strange world.

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