Thursday, November 13, 2008

SPOTY - Mac Millings

You can keep your Bolts and your Phelpseses. There’s only one true candidate for Overseas Sports Personality of the Year, and his name is Sir Allen Stanford. That might not seem a likely suggestion, or even a sensible one, but consider this: why wouldn’t you select this brash Texan billionaire with few real connections to UK and little discernible sporting talent as the latest OSPOTY? The answer may surprise you.

The pros and cons are many. I will deal with them in order of no order whatsoever.

He hasn’t just brought Twenty20 cricket to the Caribbean. His stated aim - to rebuild the sport’s infrastructure in the region – is surely to be commended. For the good of the game and its continued diversity, to allow Caribbean cricket to founder is unthinkable. Conversely, what has Giles Clarke brought to the English game other than the Stanford Twenty20 for 20?

Some say he’s not really “Sir” Allen Stanford at all, and they’re quite right. His real name is Sirallen Stanford, and he is a pioneer in the field of ridiculous composite names, inspiring the likes of 4Real, D’Brickashaw and theguardian.

Then there’s “breaking America” – an idea that seems ridiculous to some. It shouldn’t. Of course cricket will never come close to threatening the major US sports, but that there are a large number of healthy minor sports in a country of over 300 million is no surprise. And with the populations of Americans of , for example, Caribbean and South Asian (particularly Indian) descent large and growing, and the possibilities of niche marketing in the age of the internet and cable/satellite/digital TV, why might cricket not be run as a small, but profitable, business, just as other minor US sports – both professional and amateur - are, in what we might call the Sports Economics version of The Long Tail (stop giggling at the back)?

We might even get a US team out of it one day – someone for England to beat, at least for a while. And who cares if their side wouldn’t showcase the best sportsmen that America has to offer? After all, English cricket lost the man his coach called “the greatest schoolboy cricketer he’d ever known” to football.

Kick-starting the renaissance of West Indian cricket isn’t Stanford’s only gift to the global game - he has also revealed to future opponents England’s fatal flaw. To guarantee success, simply raise the prize money to uncountable levels (n.b. India and Australia – you chaps needn’t bother).

This man - with a moustache bested in modern times only by my Grandma’s – may not be an actual sportsman, but with assets of $2.2 billion, and pretty ladies bouncing on his knee, he certainly is a player, and my Overseas Sports Personality of the Year.


MotM said...

Briliant Mac! Better than all three shortlisted!

I've never got anywhere with humour though and there's barely a shortlised piece from BB1 or BB2 with a laugh in it.

Keep 'em coming.

mac millings said...

Thanks mouth!

Confession time: this is a very slightly modified version of my Big Blogger entry. I have removed one "joke" - about 20 words or so - that had to go (which I realised at approximately the same time I hit 'send', or fractionally thereafter).

ElSell said...

Top ending; however
What you at man?
2 humouress to be categorized as a straight piece
2 straight to be categorized as zany

This is the house where glendenning is the funny one, you havent got a prayer son, youre assuming people think, fatal flaw on your part!!

cop on; pick a genre and stick to it word for word!!!

thats my 3urppence!

PS Bazzo if your out there pretending to be doing research, its a joke, i think your a man of letters; a couple of numbers tooo!


offsideintahiti said...

Another crickety piece of which I understand nearly nothing but enjoy nonetheless. That's a good sign, Mac, believe me.

greeengrass said...

Nice one, Mac, though I echo ElSell's sentiments - there's one law for GU hacks, another for the rest of the human race.
Happily, humour has been known to meet with applause on these pages.
I couldn't understand how England's players could ever throw such a big-money game; now I understand that someone had simply upset them, poor sods!

zeph said...

Aha, Mac, I did a Stanford one too, but not the man himself! I like this, it's funny.

zeph said...

Aha, Mac, I did a Stanford one too, but not the man himself! I like this, it's funny.

zeph said...

sorry, double post, duh.

mimi said...

Loved this and as I'm in the middle of reading Netherland, I understand Stanford's idea re the US.
"Cricket was the first modern team sport in America. It came before baseball and football. Cricket has been played in New York since the 1770s .... It was not until the First World War that the sport went into sharp decline for complicated reasons."

In this same book, we find some stats about the population of the NY metropolitan area. From the 2000census, 500,000 West Indians, and the same number at least of South Asians and that's the official numbers. Can't tell me that cricket isn't important to a substantial amount of people.

Cricket in the USA is just waiting for someone to make it happen.

Allout said...

Well done Mac

Another great effort - personally I preferred that to Blogs B and C. Hope you get a full reward for your piece next week.

Tweet it, digg it