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Soup of This Day #51: I’d Tell The Baker He Does A Pretty Good Job

August 20, 2011

England vs South Africa Test Cricket
Test Cricket. The only cricket. Note the wearing of whites and not pajamas – Photo: Louis Rossouw, 2005. Louis Rossouw is not affiliated with Longworth72. Image cropped by Longworth72.

I started writing this blog partly so that I could get the voices out of my head.

Ok, that sounds weird.

Let me clarify that a little. I am interested in sport. A lot of sport. There are 3 teams in 3 different sports that occupy my allegiance but I watch a lot of other sport as well. By extension I like to talk about it too. Who doesn’t like a good conversation re their interests? The problem is that the Longworth72 sphere of interest is a little specialized – I not a fan of the Yankees or Manchester United or Collingwood – I don’t get sports with arbitrary scoring systems (I’m looking at you rhythmic gymnastics) – I like what the US has done with baseball but am not really into their football – I think college basketball is great but the NBA kinda does nothing for me – I like watching pro cycling but I’m not really that fond of talking about me actually riding a bike – I love watching Test cricket but think that T20 is a poisonous blight on the game. All of this must drive my friends nuts. Which is impressive because, although there isn’t many of them, my friends are without exception loyal, patient, intelligent and very much generous of their time. Couldn’t wish for better.

Likewise my beautiful, wonderful wife is extraordinarily tolerant however doesn’t really like to discuss why Ellsbury is coming of age as a lead-off man or why I think the Downing transfer is good business. ‘What’s my mobile phone number babe?’ She’ll ask. Which is a problem because, while I can tell you that Alex Raisbeck was the first captain of Liverpool to collect a league title, I can’t for the life of me remember her phone number.

My brother is a partial exception to this rule. He grew up with me so he is understandably as mad as I am but with a small difference. He supports other teams and they don’t win much. Not by choice, it’s more of a bad luck thing that sees him support Everton, the Canucks and now, the Blue Jays. They used to win stuff (except the Canucks), they just haven’t for a while. He’s as committed as his little brother alright but his view and mine don’t always coincide.

So this blog is my outlet. It’s where I take most of my views on sport and blurt them out for everyone or as it sometimes happens, no one, to read. In this way, it doesn’t really matter how many people read these posts. What matters is that I got the thoughts out and I don’t have to wander around for days with a raging debate in my head about the designated hitter role and the National League. Which might give the impression that I don’t care about my readership. That’s not true. In fact, just writing ‘my readership’ has a kind of magical quality to it. That people read this stuff and some of them get a laugh or some enjoyment from it is brilliant. I look at the stats and comments regularly and am really quite chuffed that anyone looks at what I write. Comments, either attached to a post or via email, almost always make me smile.

Even the stuff that XXXJenny keeps sending me.

If you truly are reading this blog as, ‘one of you’re (sic) favourites’ XXXJenny can I just say that I think you seem more interested in getting me to pay to view you doing unspeakable things than you are in talking about baseball. Which is fine if that’s what you’re happy doing. Please don’t be offended if I block your comments though. PS. The ‘XXX’ bit was a giveaway. Maybe camouflage that a little.

Partly inspired by the thought that people read this and partly inspired by a desire to clear up any XXXJenny type confusion here now is a current review of the sites that I link to on this blog. They go through a rigorous selection process (I have to like reading them) and they are all by turns intelligent, humorous and poignant. Some are also written by drunk people. Which is ok. All of them are worth a look and a read so link on and spread the good news:

I only have 2 links under ‘Association Football’. This is the 1 you should read if you want good unbiased technical anaylsis of the EPL with moments of humour thrown in. The ‘Winners and Losers’ column, published each Monday is a concise and pointed commentary on the weekend action.

Liverpool FC
The official website. Pay a subscription and get decent match coverage and archival video that is worth the price of admission by itself.

You have to be mental to be a Dockers fan. Dockerland is therefore the website of the mental institution that is the Dockers support base. It straddles the fine line between good taste and honest, hard hitting journalism. Actually when I say ‘straddles’ I mean ‘humps, like a dog’. Don’t read this blog if you’re sensitive or are a West Coast Eagles fan with a good lawyer.

A Red Sox Fan From Pinstripe Territory
Brilliant site with pre and post game anaylsis plus some pretty decent photo albums to complement, many taken at Fenway by the author.

Boston Irish
An Irish baseball blog. That’s not the start of a joke. It’s actually quite a good blog, written by a guy who has logged more than a few years pitching for the Irish National Baseball team. And no, I’m still not joking. The guy is a Red Sox fan and finds time to cover other sport (NFL plus EPL) as well.

Fire Danny Ainge
I’m not that into the NBA so I can’t explain what Danny Ainge has done to warrant being fired. Fire Danny Ainge does not appear to like him. I don’t think the title is ironic. Either way Fire Danny Ainge writes a nice blog with some good ideas and pretty decent commentaries on sport, largely in the Boston domain. Does appear to love Tim Thomas a little which is ok cos he’s a goal tender.

MLB Gameday
If you can’t watch the game then this is the alternative. It is the best non-tv sports coverage I’ve ever seen. Combine with Extra Bases (below) and you can stay sane and in touch without draining bandwidth or pissing off your employers.

Peanuts From Heaven
Peanuts From Heaven is a blog about the Minnesota Twins. I don’t mind the Twins and this is a nice blog. Note that there does seem to be an absence of some secret spice recipe for actual heavenly peanuts.

Peter’s Red Sox Forever
Peter’s Red Sox Forever is one of the best post-game blogs out there for Red Sox fans. Peter is articulate, intelligent and polite with a simple delivery of how the game panned out, supplemented by some useful stats on the side. He’s even generous when writing about John Lackey, which makes him either committed, patient or all of the above.

The Boston Globe Extra Bases Blog
Live blogging of every game, coupled with pre-game prep, post-game anaylsis, trade talk and discussion of all things Red Sox. It’s simple, brilliant and mandatory reading. Peter Abraham et al take a bow.

Too Soxy For My Shirt
Too Soxy’s a little bit left of left field at times but is passionate in exile about the Red Sox and writes a stream of conscious that is unpretentious and pretty much just fun to read. When on a rant she manages to be angry with a sense of humour and perspective that means the posts aren’t whiny or petulant. Even her love/stalking of Kevin Youkilis is… admirable for it’s dedication.

Sports Attitude

A nice blog that dips it’s toes in the waters of all manner of US sport, seemingly from a Philly perspective.

The Guardian
UK newspaper that does a nice line in fine journalism. In the Longworth72 world they most notably cover football, cricket and assorted events, such as the Tour de France. They manage this coverage with a great deal less histrionics and a great deal more intelligent discussion than most other UK papers combined. Of special note is their text commentary. Why read text commentary, frantically hitting F5 to refresh, when you can listen or watch live? Because the Guardian are brilliant at it. They could do text commentary of snooker and it would be thrilling, with a touch of pathos and humour. Actually they have done snooker and it was a cracking good read.

To finish this off I thought I’d take you to a sample of the Guardian’s sport section. Specifically this week’s ‘Classic YouTube’ spot. One of the clips in particular knocked my socks off. Actually several did but for now check out this brilliant short film detailing Finnish rally god Ari Vatanen’s flight up Pikes Peak in 1989:

Completely. Mental.

  1. I notice this is an old entry, but I have to comment because you have now made us feel compelled to actually develop a secret recipe for Heavenly Peanuts. Unfortunately if it was a secret, we still wouldn’t be able to share it on the blog so I’m afraid this would not help you. Sorry.

    P.S. Thanks for the link 🙂 I love your blog – I fully condone having no recipe for soup.

  2. I notice this is an old entry, but I pretty much have to comment because you have now made us feel compelled to create an actual secret recipe for heavenly peanuts. Unfortunately, if it were truly a secret recipe then we couldn’t share it on the blog, so I’m afraid that would not help you… sorry.

    Also, I like your blog! I fully condone soup with no recipe. Thanks for the link 🙂

    • I’ll have to rely on my own tried and true recipe – It involves plain old salted peanuts and a pint or 2 of beer. Eat peanuts. Drink beer. Watch baseball. Might not be heavenly but pretty good nonetheless.

      Thank you for the link – As the Twins have 2 Western Australians (Both have featured for the Perth Heat too) in their opening day roster, I’m kinda hoping they’ll do well this year. I’ll rely on you guys for the info out of Target Field.

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