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I Don't Like Cricket!

FEATURE BY MAX NOBLE
27/02/2022

Oh no! I love it! So sang 10cc on their chipper reggae number Dreadlock Holiday from the 1978 album Bloody Tourists. Simple times dear reader! Back when being stereotypical and generally overly homogeneous was just fine for humans as well as milk. We did not over think so, way back in the misty-eyed days of 1978.

Dreadlock Holiday went to number 1 in the UK, Belgium, New Zealand, and The Netherlands, showing a rather global appeal. While staggering to number 2 in Ireland, and Australia, and reaching various top 20 positions in Norway, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, and Austria. Yet it only jogged to 30 in the US, and 44 in Canada, a fact 10cc co song writer Graham Gouldman attributed to the reality that many American radio stations at the time refused to play reggae of any sort, even that generated by white chaps from Blighty. They must have missed the memo on diversity training I guess.

It's two opening paragraphs like that which force me to pray that people other than my dear mother, long may her Sunday Roast be supreme, and Esteemed Editor Balfe, long may he never infinitives split, continue reading... out of curiosity is fine by me, but please, join the journey once more dear reader! As a side note "my" cats (that is, I'm their human...) stare at the screen while I type, and often sit on the keyboard, but I think they only like the pictures, and do not actually read the articles...

Oh yes, my point. Here we are post a remarkable, enthralling, "best ever" (until the next one) Winter Olympics. Post some journalists no longer being with us due to some geographically bounded concepts having them removed. And now, as I type, post Russia going to help some mates who told them someone else's older brother was mean to them while waiting at the bus stop, or some such.

And yet. And yet, dear reader. We are supposed to say "Do not worry. Sport is above, outside, not related, to politics. No connection. All good here. Thanks. Can I sell you a corporate sponsorship deal?"

Everything. Yes, everything that transpires on this planet that we read about, care about, get impassioned about, is generated by, and for humans.

I'm sure a few F1 people are already getting nervous about the first open press sessions this season. How were your sponsorship dollars generated? How does your team operate with people on differing sides of a European ground war? Given that a geo-political region you support has irritating people vanish, how do you feel right now?

Oh, don't blame me. I'm sport, and that is politics. Without humans, and human interaction there is no politics. Without politics, there are still humans.

We are all suffering personal Pontius Pilot moments. It is as if we are each the fifth Roman governor of Judaea, calling for a basin of fresh water, and washing our hands of the matter. Yet the matter continues to develop regardless. No country, or people, is without blame. Human history is stained with the blood of millions of exhausted souls. Yet what is within our power to control? What can we, just like the selection to place that fork in our mouth and eat as we elect, what can we do about sports-washing, as opposed to; "Let sport be sport?"

History claims the tribes of Greece would call a truce during the original Olympics. The differing tribes would travel in peace, compete (in an all-male, no women setting), and then return home, have a good night's sleep, and resume battles, wars, and annihilations in the morning after the games.

It should be noted that our latest political move by force has been executed once the games finished, so I guess historic protocol has been preserved.

Will we, dear reader, or the wider Formula One community act, and speak, and care about increasingly concerning acts around the globe? Or will we, from the safety of our well run countries (by which I mean we have significant civil liberties, not that our governments actually known what they are doing), continue to love, and follow sport because we like it, while letting those less fortunate than us die, while we live to watch sport another day?

I await with sad anticipation Haas F1's press releases over the coming weeks.

While I personally like cricket rather than loving it, I love humanity. I love each of us having the chance to live our best possible life, and I love the sport of Formula One. I'm not in love (and don't forget it) with the increasing blindness of sporting bodies around the globe to crisis, after crisis of a very human nature.

If the FIA, and all those in Formula One consider "Masi-gate" as the biggest issue on the planet right now, or if they elect to focus only on "Masi-gate" while sticking their fingers in their ears and singing "la-la-la-la-Lola" loudly... well they have failed first and foremost as humans dear reader. (See what I did there Max? - Ed)

And without humans what is our sport? What are our lives? What do we think we are doing to leave this planet a fraction better than it was when we arrived?

I only like cricket, but damn, I'm so happy that many people love it.

Long may we all do the right thing at the right time, so that diversity may ever be celebrated.

Are we as a Formula One community going to mean something dear reader, or are we all just Bloody Tourists?

Max Noble

Learn more about Max and check out his previous features, here

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by ancient70!, 15/03/2022 12:02

"Max, executing, pun intended, as for the rest, eg ref to AH, EXTREME SARCASM!"

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2. Posted by Max Noble, 11/03/2022 8:34

"@ancient70! - Because he is running a sociopathic dis-information programme that only promote his agenda. Recommend you search out reliable news sources (hint, those regulated by clear legal standards in countries known for having a clear separation of the judicial side of government from the bunnies elected) and then obtain cross checks… and then elect to agree that Putin is not Mother Teresa…
(For reference should you care, I cross-check web sites from America, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and on occasion France, and Germany… when they all broadly agree on a topic I feel comfortable… conversely one can argue that if I disagree with all those countries I’m possibly living in the wrong country…)
"

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3. Posted by ancient70!, 07/03/2022 7:05

"Good one Max, it needs to said. One thing that puzzles me though is Mr Putin claims he is executing a denazification programme, why then is he acting just like a certain Adolf Hitler ???"

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4. Posted by Max Noble, 01/03/2022 23:59

"@Spindoctor - Well observed. As you note, sport should not be “war by other means”. It always makes me wince when people use “battle talk” in business, or sporting settings. War is a horror, and any language or thinking which normalises it and makes it all “just fine, please carry on” is wrong. It makes for a far more dangerous world…"

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5. Posted by Spindoctor, 01/03/2022 14:08

"@Max Noble Very well said!
Like it or not we can't escape from Politics & even less so from "politics". As you so rightly observe we are all immersed in a "World" of human creation. Of course, there's our old paramour Ms Physics and a host of other constraining factors but choosing whether to murder or nurture our neighbours is a decision we make outside those constraints based on whatever motivates & drives us.

Anyone who still (after reading your piece) believes that Sport exists outside Politics need look no further than the machinations of FIFA, IoC & (whisper it) FIA. Similarly, Liberty can't claim immunity. They know exactly why they get all that luverly cash from despotic regimes like the Saudis, Russia etc. & they also spurn decent countries like Germany because they can't pay\won't pay as much.

Events in Ukraine should remind us of just how lucky we are & how insecure our little bubble of Decency, Democracy & the Rule of Law really is. The Barbarians aren't merely at the gates, they infiltrated and started to co****n & undermine our nations years ago. It takes very little to pitch our cosy world into the chaos of war, or become another Russia or Syria controlled by Gangsters and autocrats.

Sport should be a joyous release, not an extension of warfare by other means...."

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6. Posted by Superbird70, 01/03/2022 13:34

"@Max Noble- Well said. Thank you."

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7. Posted by Max Noble, 01/03/2022 12:19

"@Superbird70 - it is such a complex and inhumane issue on so many levels. I’m a keen follower of Tennis ( I like it more than cricket, but love it less than F1…) and the appalling position Daniil Medvedev finds himself in echoes for all those Russian athletes that are clearly *NOT* actively invading Ukraine. Yet if we go “No worries, all go on compete, do whatever in the world of sport, and death, war, invasion, genocide is simply fine as long as it is not committed on the pitch/oval/court…” well what have we become as humans? Just as the young and innocent in Ukraine now find themselves facing bullets, and bombs they would rather not see, so the athletes of Russia are going to have to face bans they do not wish to see, and then act to have their government reform, and be reasonable. The old “We win and lose as a team” - well you are all team Russia, so you all need to own (and solve) the fact that Putin is a problem. Without pressure on the whole of, ”Team Russia” necessary changes for the good of the planet will not happen. So dear sporting folk of Russia - go sort out your own house, and see you back on the courts, and fields of sport shortly… Own the problem - own the outcome."

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8. Posted by @R1Racing71, 01/03/2022 12:15

"@Ed Egyptian Reggae was the first ever record that I bought (or actually asked my mum for with my pocket money)
May have had something to do with the exotic dance Pans People were doing during tops of the pops on that Thursday evening.
A Lot to answer for pans people......."

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9. Posted by Superbird70, 01/03/2022 11:52

"The NHL has cut off social media and business dealings with a certain country but no player bans yet."

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10. Posted by Max Noble, 01/03/2022 9:08

"As my own foot note to this, FIFA, UEFA, and now international skating are banning folk from specific countries. Following the IOC (remarkably to be honest) banning folk. We simply cannot ignore this level of bullying, and go “Business as usual” in sport. Where is our humanity? Cancelling the Russian GP is a fine first step by the FIA. They need to continue to follow-through."

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11. Posted by Max Noble, 01/03/2022 0:39

"@Superbird70 - very true, on both the amusing historic front, and the current developing disaster. "

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12. Posted by Superbird70, 28/02/2022 15:26

"@Max Noble, only alternative stations played it in Canada. The station that I listened to probably had it sandwiched between Frank Sinatra's My Way, and the Strangler's No More Heroes.

The world could do with some heroes right now."

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13. Posted by Max Noble, 28/02/2022 12:30

"@Editor - Ah! Such sweet musical history… I’m crying!

@Devonlad - I think you mean going back an *additional* 13 years. Lamborghini had their biggest market in Russia for some years, which is VW-Audi-Porsche group. Which goes full circle to the “Do watch makers make expensive watches just for nasty people, or is simply that wealthy nasty people buy expensive watches…?”

If a Picasso is loved by an inhuman person, is the painting or the person at fault…? Humanity is complex. Bad people buy lovely things crafted by genius artisans. Go figure… just please do not run your main battle tank over my grandmother… Yup - I don’t like cricket… "

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14. Posted by Editor, 28/02/2022 10:31 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 28/02/2022 10:33)

"@ Devonlad

Might have something to do with the fact that the man behind it was Jonathan King.

Of course, the fact he wrote it gives a whole new meaning to the line in the song which naughty schoolboys of the time - and I was one - seized upon.

"He looks me in the eye when he shoots," sang the Piglets."

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15. Posted by Devonlad, 28/02/2022 10:26

"Going back 13 years an equally applicable title is The Sound of Silence. Or perhaps Mercedes, Renault, Honda and Ferrari don't sell cars in Russia?

And strange that Johnny Reggae wasn't a smash hit over the pond either"

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