I love my cricket. I loved playing it and I love watching it. I also love the look on any American’s face when you explain that Test Matches can go on for five days and still result in a draw (that’s tie in American parlance).
Incredulous wouldn’t begin to describe it.
We obviously didn’t play the five-day version of the game as nothing would ever get done, but we did dabble in the finer arts of the one-day game during the weekend. And it was serious stuff in the old Lancashire League. If you can name me an amateur sports league anywhere in the world that allows a single professional to play alongside the amateurs I’ll be surprised. This is somewhat unique to certain cricketing circles.
And for quite some time the Lancashire League managed to attain the professional services of some of the biggest names in cricket. I won’t bore you with the intricacies, but I will bore you with a turgid baseball analogy: imagine the likes of your Barry Bonds playing for an amateur baseball team outside of the regular season.
Now I never got to play alongside some of these folks as I never played first team cricket at Nelson, but I did train and socialise with one or two over the years. I’ve even seen parts of certain professional sportsmen that aren’t privvy to your average mortal. And let me just say that being able to do that in a sport you love is close enough to living the dream for me. Of course, to be able to say you’d struck out Barry Bonds would be closer.
So, to me, growing up amongst this made Nelson C.C. my own personal field of dreams. To be asked to skipper (that’s captain in American parlance) their second team (or stiffs in Nelson parlance) a few years ago really was a bit of an honor.
Now I was a bit on the rusty side to put it mildly as I hadn’t picked a bat up in anger for some time, plus I had a paunch developing. Still, fitness is hardly the number one priority of any cricketer.
Besides me being in a bit of a shambles, it soon transpired that the team was in one also. Anyway, to cut a byzantine story short, and to Hollywoodificate™ the whole sorry tale, we did a Bad News Bears / Field of Dreams / Kevin Costner type of thing and turned ourselves from a bunch of bumbling no-hopers that used to have potential to a bunch of all-stars that could take on the world. And by jove we had a lot of batey fun doing it.
In essence it’s not too dissimilar to what we do round here. Let’s say a company has been running a pay per click campaign, but it hasn’t been doing overly well. Or perhaps they want to start advertising using Adwords but they don’t know where to start. What we’ll do is look at the existing set-up and see where it can be improved or where to chop the dead wood.
The thing both PPC and sports teams have in common is that they are all about results. Any sport is far more fun when you’re winning and the same goes for your pay per click campaign. Forget about all that nonsense about it being the taking part that matters and we’re all winners if we try our best.
I’m a competitive, proud kinda guy and I wasn’t going to be responsible for a laughable bunch of goons donning their whites of a weekend and finishing up with a wooden spoon. And nor will I stand for money being thrown into the black hole that is a mismanaged PPC campaign.
It just isn’t cricket.