And Here I Thought Cricket Has Nothing On Football…

And Here I Thought Cricket Has Nothing On Football…

When it comes to sports, Calico has always favored football (world football, that is, the game in which players actually kick a ball with their feet, not American football, which clearly should be called something else) over any sport played with a stick, be it baseball, golf, croquette or lacrosse. 

A recent bit of news coverage about cricket has Calico rethinking the cold shoulder she has given the sport over the years, however. It’s not news about the game, per se, but more about an element of pre-match strategy embraced by a particular cricket coach. It may not lead her to watching any cricket matches in the future, but it has certainly increased her respect for at least one of the game’s public faces.

What is this element of cricket strategy Calico finds so compelling? Is Calico a going to become a “badger” now? WTF does “cafeteria bowling” mean — and does it involve macaroni and cheese? For the most part, these questions will not be answered in Calico’s new post, “And Here I Thought Cricket Has Nothing On Football…” 

– Calico Rudasill, Porn For Women

cricket match

Read on…

Outside of football (by which I mean “soccer”), I wouldn’t classify myself as a “fan” of any sport. Still, I’m generally fine with certain sports finding their way onto our television screen, at least on special occasions in those sports. 

The last few weeks, for example, the Phoenix Suns have spent a lot of time on that screen, in no small part because back when I was a child of the 70s, the Suns were the only major professional sports franchise in my home state of Arizona. The Diamondbacks and Coyotes didn’t exist yet and the Cardinals hadn’t yet moved to Phoenix from St. Louis. For a girl growing up in Tucson, the only teams it made geographic sense to root for were the Suns and teams fielded by the University of Arizona.

In Football vs. Cricket it’s “Advantage: Football” (Mostly.)

Outside of attending hockey games in person (which is primarily an excuse for me to get liquored up and yell obscene things at big, burly men wearing ice skates), I’ve never been much for what I call “stick sports,” whether the game involves hitting a ball with the stick, hurling and catching a ball with a stick, or using the stick to make shaved ice in the path of an object that is slowly sliding in the direction of circles of paint.

Much to the chagrin of my British relatives, the stick sport in which I’ve exhibited the least interest has been cricket. To be fair, the main reason I don’t like cricket is likely that I know nothing about the sport, including how it is scored, any of its rules, or why it’s named after bugs that annoyingly chirp all night when I’m just trying to get some sleep, GOD DAMMIT.

The Brits in the family tolerate this shortcoming of mine, mostly because I’m at least enough of a fan of football that I understand how the offside rule works, know who Harry Kane is and can name the four players depicted in “The Champions” sculpture near the Boleyn Ground without having to look up their names. (For the record: Geoff Hurst, Bobby Moore, Martin Peters and Ray Wilson.)

But I’ve recently discovered something that makes me wonder if I’ve been selling short cricket compared to my appreciation of football, at least when it comes to my appreciation of coaching strategy in major international competitions.

Hopefully, The Players’ Gooooollll Wasn’t to Have Sex

When it comes to complaints about managerial strategy, most football fans focus on things like team shape, overly conservative and defensive play, or inexplicable changes in first team selection they believe to have prevented Manchester City from winning the Champions League yet again

(Please note I’m not going to rub in this fact in by sending my ‘Cityzen’ second-cousin William a link to this post as soon as soon as it publishes… I will wait at least seven minutes after it posts before I send that link. I’m not a monster, after all.)

I don’t care so much about shape, tactics or team selection, though. My main complaint about managers is when they demand that their players refrain from having sex during major tournaments.

I’m not sure how so many football managers –national team managers, in particular – came to believe that having sex creates a disadvantage for their teams, but in recent years, many stories have surfaced about managers prohibiting their players from having sex during football competitions.

What’s most unclear to me is why this has continued, considering the results experienced by the sex-banning managers. It didn’t work for Mexico in 2014, that’s for sure. And Germany in 2018? They didn’t even make it out of the group stage! (To be fair, Germany did win the cup in 2014, so maybe Joachim Low was just trying to stick with what worked.)

Maybe these managers should try hedging their bets a bit, and go the route of the surprisingly successful Icelandic team, whose manager stopped short of banning sex – and merely banned the players having sex with anyone other than their wives and girlfriends.

Now THAT Hits My Wickets!

Anyway, back to my discovery about cricket that has me rethinking my dismissal of the game. In contrast to football managers like Joachim Low, Miguel Herrera and Heimar Hallgrimsson, former “mental conditioning” coach for India’s national cricket team Paddy Upton advised his players TO have sex before matches.

Apparently, Upton has also revealed that back during the preparation of Champions Trophy in 2009, when he was preparing notes for the team’s players, he “gave a detailed account of benefits of sex,” as puts it.

“In the notes prepared for the players, Paddy mentioned, ‘Does having sex improve your performance? Yes, it grows.’”

Yes, it does grow – so long as you’re doing it right and your man doesn’t suffer from ED. Oh wait, Upton probably meant your performance grows, right? Never mind.

In any event, this advice of Upton’s to the Indian national team was given back in 2011 – and wouldn’t you know it, India took home the title

I’m not entirely sure why this tidbit of coaching strategy is in the news now, as the book it was revealed in, Upton’s The Barefoot Coach, came out in 2019. But I certainly welcome it being highlighted in plenty of time for football managers of all countries to take it under consideration in advance of World Cup 2022.


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