Soup of This Day #290: Everybody’s Looking For Something
This is a trout. 1 of these (But probably not this exact 1) almost caused the loss of 1 of the FA Cup’s finest goals – Talismanic Coventry City striker Keith Houchen went down with food poisoning just prior to the 1987 Cup Final, which he’d got from a trout caught by the Sky Blue’s reserve keeper, Jack Findlay. Houchen fortunately found his feet in time to assist City to a 3-2 win over Spurs – Image: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Unknown date. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is not affiliated with Longworth72. Image cropped by Longworth72.
I’m always misplacing things.
Keys, glasses, my watch, my phone, apostrophe’s, my wallet and occasionally my car. This is because I am a chronically forgetful person. I will put down my keys, convinced that I will remember where I put them, and a moment later I will have forgotten not only where I put my keys, but also that I will need them at some not-too-distant juncture to make the car that I’ve misplaced start.
This is who I have always been, as far back as I can remember anyway. Which sometimes isn’t particularly far to be honest – Halfway through the previous paragraph I forgot what this post was supposed to be about. This is not too bad an issue as I usually write these things with absolutely no idea what they’re about until a fair way in.
It helps that I have a memory that is calibrated for sport. I can for instance tell you that Coventry City FC’s Keith Houchen scored with a magnificent diving header, a 2nd-half equaliser in the 1987 FA Cup Final against Spurs.
I cannot though tell you the mobile phone number of my wife. Partly because that would be a dumb breach of privacy, but mostly because, despite it not changing in all the years I’ve known her, I can’t remember it. I’m pretty sure it’s got numbers in it, but that’s about all I can draw out of my brain.
Memories, light the somethings of my something, something…
All of this – Well the bits I could recall anyway – came to mind the other day on a trip to the cricket. It was an early start – A friend had arranged a guest entry as a member for the Western Australian Cricket Association (WACA) ground and this involved queuing from early on a Sunday morning so as to secure good seats.
This was a rare and cool visit to the WACA (The more so because the game featured Australia against the effortlessly cool West Indies) and so I made an effort to be ready the night before, packing a bag with all of the things I figured I’d need for a long day watching cricket. Some of these things were easy to find – They were already packed up in the bag from when I’d last been to a football match, just weeks before. Others though took a bit of finding – I spent a good half-hour trying to find sunscreen in a house which has pump-action sunscreen dispensers, roll-on sunscreen dispensers and spray-on sunscreen dispensers.
Yep, if you know a blue whale who wants a week of sunbathing off the coast of Western Australia then we have the means to make it sun-safe for him.
Just don’t go expecting it promptly you lazy cetacean, because I can’t lay my hands on the good oil quickly – That kind of stuff is always in the last place you look.
Because after you’ve found it you stop looking, right?
I think that what I’m really complaining about is not that it’s always in the last place I look – It’s that I wasted time looking in a whole bunch of places in the lead-up, some of which in hindsight were clearly not going to hold sunscreen.
I vaguely remember checking the pantry and maybe the fridge, although I was hungry so who knows?
The thing is – I don’t really believe that I always or even often spend eons looking for stuff that I’ve misplaced. It’s just that those are the occasions that stand out in my muddled memory. Those times I misplaced the car, belatedly realising that I’d used a different carpark – Yep, remember those. The time though that I put my phone in my right pocket rather than the usual left – Not so much – It’s not like there are a lot of pocketing options to run through if it’s not in the left 1 – You just go to the right and there it is.
Losing is memorable if you spend a lot getting to the finding. And finding stuff eventually doesn’t assuage that – It’s not like you’ve got yourself a bonus there, because all you’ve gone and done is to find something you expected to have some time previously. You are supposed to not lose stuff – That’s kind of the minimum state you’re looking for.
There’s a parallel in cricket. In that sport you’re expected to catch the ball if it’s hit in your direction.
Even if you’re in the crowd and are 2 sheets to the wind – Got. To. Catch. The. Ball.
Because catches win matches, as the old adage goes. Except that’s not really how I see it – Lots of things help you to win matches. The opposition getting accidentally locked into their change rooms and thus forfeiting the game on time can help you win an outing but nobody every goes around announcing that latches win matches.
At least that last 1 rhymes – Sometimes games are won by a team simply hitting more runs than the other outfit. Scoring more runs wins matches just doesn’t flow and frankly comes across as stating the obvious.
But still we cling to the ring of catches win matches, even if it can sometimes lack authenticity. In that game at the WACA the Windies had 1st use of the ball and took every catch offered them, including 3 or so that were bloody good efforts. 1 in particular, by their captain, Darren Sammy, was an absolute blinder. He reached high above himself at blinding speed to pluck down a screamer that nobody would have faulted him for getting nowhere near to.
Australia by contrast grassed at least 2 very catchable chances.
And then won the game by a comfortable 54 runs.
Catches are nice and helpful, but they aren’t necessarily as decisive as some pundits would have us believe.
Which will be of comfort to Ryan Carters.
Ryan sort of played cricket for Australia in the 5th and final match of the series between Australia and the Windies, this time at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). It was a dead rubber, Australia having won the previous 4 outings, but there were a clutch of Australians playing on the fringe of selection on a more permanent basis, so there was a fair bit at stake. Particularly given that this year will see a tour of India and 2 Ashes series, both home and away.
To be clear, Ryan was not 1 of the hopefuls. He was instead a substitute fielder, getting a moment in the green and gold that would otherwise not come his way. Which isn’t to say that he’s not decent at cricket – They don’t send just anybody out there to fill in while 1 of the regular players gets a drink, a toilet break, a rub down or some time to complete their daily sudoku.
Those puzzles can sure bug you.
Subs don’t get to bat and they are not allowed to bowl. All they are able to do is field and they need to be good at it. Carters fits that bill nicely – He is the reserve wicketkeeper for state side Victoria – An up-and-coming tyro who knows how to take a catch. He’s not really a player on the cusp of Australian selection though – Subs are almost always not fringe players because those are usually off somewhere else trying to get meaningful game time with the bat or ball so as to impress the selectors. Selectors are never going to be impressed by the guy who comes in to field for 4 overs in a dead rubber.
Instead subs get to bask in the glow of representing a grateful nation, even though they don’t earn a cap and can’t really count the feat on their cricketing resume. If they are moderately lucky they’ll perform the job adequately, hardly ever being called upon to do anything too taxing. If they are extremely fortunate they will get a pivotal cameo – A part in a run-out maybe, or even a crucial catch.
Ryan Carters was not lucky.
He could have been. The Windies had built a decent partnership up – Johnson Charles was handily swinging the bat and the calypso kings were in with a halfway-possible shout of a consolation win when Charles suffered a mental lapse and lofted a shot out to sweeper cover.
Where Ryan Carters awaited in classic catching repose – His hands out front, fingers pointed to the sky, a study in textbook catching as the ball headed neatly into his hands.
And through his fingers, over his right shoulder and to ground, scant metres behind him.
That’s like losing your car and your pants.
In full view of the MCG crowd and an audience watching on TV.
That’s not good. There is a silver lining of sorts for everyone though. Charles was out 23 runs later, having made his maiden 1st class century, despite being dropped by Carters and 1 other Australian fielder throughout his knock. That good luck and Charles parleying that fortune into a fine innings, was to no avail.
Yep, Australia won by 17 runs. Maybe it’s time to lose that belief that catches always win matches.
Has anyone seen my car?