Friday, 11 February 2011


Fantasy Bob has noticed reports that the recently released film NEDS which is Neds has attracted a lot of Neds to the screenings.  So much so that they are ruining the audience's enjoyment (if that is the correct word in the case of a gritty realist drama of knifing and delinquency in the wastelands of Glasgow) by behaving Neds.

Fantasy Bob forbears from comment - he finds the behaviour of the modern cinema audience with its constant slurping and chewing pretty near the darker side of human depravity at the best of times.  But this sounds as if things have gone to another level.  FB has often thought that some of today's general loutishness and ill grace could be addressed by greater exposure to cricket and its rules and behaviours.  He recognises that these are themselves under pressure from sledging, from non-wlaking behaviours, not to mention spot betting scandals.  But if idealism has anything to offer it has to be about ideals.  And FB is an idealist at heart.

FB can dream on but now he finds someone is on the same wavelength.  He lays aside all his facile comments to offer his readers this link to a captivating story on the BBC website.  It is about the development of a cricket team in one of the toughest areas of Los Angeles - Compton.   (Not named after the great English batsman.)  The team is now the first all American team to be touring Australia.

Here is a quote from the article:
"We were so successful at teaching the homeless guys civility through the game that we lost a lot players. They grew up and got out of the Dome Village."
It was the start of what was to become a collaboration of former gangsters, homeless men and street kids, who now see cricket as a metaphor for living a purposeful and law-abiding life.

"Most important is the etiquette of cricket - what it means to compete and win but be a gentleman about it."
Civility and etiquette.  Inspiring.  Let us hope that the old rule that happens in the US eventually comes to the UK applies.  Could this happen in football fixated Scotland?  So is it too much to think that not too far away in the future we will see an imaginative scheme to bring cricket to Drumchapel or Pilton or Hilltown.    Could a small sliver of the fortune being thrown away on the Olympics not be found for such a worthy cause?

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