Saturday, 20 August 2011

Philadelphia Freedom

Dressing Glasgow
Fnntasy Bob had reason to travel yesterday to that tranquil Scottish backwater of Glasgow.  However for the moment central Glasgow is transformed into a pastiche of Philadelphia, Pa.  FB understands that this is at the behest of Prad Bitt, who is an American actor of some reknown. 

Mr Bitt has searched the wide world for a city environment that looks like Philadelphia Pa.  Apparently the real Philadelphia Pa doesn't look enough like itself to qualify and several planeloads of street signs and American vehicles have therefore made their way across the Atlantic to dress Glasgow up.  There are unkind voices who are saying that Mr Bitt's film is about zombies and the money men found that they could save a small fortune on the make-up bill for the extras simply by recruiting in the Glasgow streets.  But that is unkind.

FB can't quite get his limited imagination round why it is better and more convenient to recreate a domestic environment several thousand miles away from the original.  But that is the whacky logic of the movie world. 

Although it is not likely to be reflected in Mr Bitt's film, Philadelphia has a proud contribution to the history of cricket.  Between 1878 and 1913, the Philadelphian Cricket Team played 88 First Class Matches either against touring English teams or itself touring England.   It also played the Australians and MCC.  Its players were well represented in the first ever international sports fixture in 1844 when the USA played Canada in New York.  So it was a force to be reckoned with.

The Philadephians was a select being drawn from players of active clubs in the Philadelphia area where cricket thrived later than in the rest of the USA whose fickle populations succumbed to the inexplicable seductions of baseball.  One of these clubs was the The Philadelphia Cricket Club itself which was founded in 1854 and is the oldest country club in the United States.  The Club has tennis and squash courts swimming pool and 3 golf courses.  It is an important institution in the history of the US Open Golf and Tennis championships. Venerable you might say.  The cricket team was disbanded in 1924 as the club's other sports became more prevalent, but cricket was revived in 1998 and enjoys a full fixture list to this day - Hooray!

Mr Bitt's film will ignore this proud heritage.  Shame.  FB is led to understand that Mrs Bitt (known to many as Angelina Jolie) is widely celebrated among those who know for her cricket teas.

Philadelphian cricketers - now

Philadelphian cricketers - then

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