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Monday, Sep. 26, 2016

Feelin' Googly

Posted Thursday, April 7, 2011, at 3:32 PM

That's "batsman" with an "S"
The other day it suddenly occurred to me that I had no idea how to play cricket. I know! I was as stunned as you are.

I don't mean that I had never seen cricket played. I have. (Only on television, of course.) The trouble is, you can watch cricket being played for quite a while and still have no idea how it is played. And the confusion only worsens if you listen to the announcers. All I really knew was that the ball is "bowled" instead of thrown or pitched, and that sometimes the guy with the ball apparently "bowls a googly."

That fact is pretty much all I took away from the thing. I didn't know what you have to do with the ball to constitute a "googly," and I didn't care. To "bowl a googly" simply became my absolute favorite phrase. It sounds great and you can use it for pretty much any occasion.

"Boy, I really bowled a googly that time."

"All right, man! Geez! Don't bowl a googly!"


But the funny thing is, for a brief time in the 1980s, I did know how to play cricket. And I mean a really brief time--like thirty seconds or so. There was a PBS Mystery series called "Charters and Caldicott," and the characters in the story were obsessed with cricket. To help out us American viewers, the host, the great Vincent Price, explained the rules of the game. He did it very simply and clearly and when he finished I said, "Oh, I get it. Great." For the next several seconds I understood it all perfectly. Then it was gone again for the next 25 years.

Until today when I remembered that everything in the world is on YouTube. So I looked for it and there it was and I once more understand how cricket is played.

Now I just need to figure out why.

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