Ok now on to part 2 of why I don’t like cricket
Like I said before, I will cheer for my country during the World Cup, but other than that I do not watch cricket anymore.
I did pour out a lot of emotions on my previous post. I’m sorry if that sounded harsh to some [which even evoked a response post], but that’s just the way I feel. I see things as they are and I don’t try to justify it with counter-reasoning or fervent mediocrity.
The next (and final) point is purely about the way we get to see the game, and not about the game or the fans.
Reason #2 – Why I don’t like cricket - Advertisements Over-Dose!
Like I mentioned in my previous post, my main game was basketball. School and College basketball captain, University team member, played for various successful clubs in Mizoram and Tamilnadu, and even managed to qualify for an International level club tournament (where we got hammered by Mercantile Bank, Sri Lanka).
I was addicted to NBA back then. Never used to miss the Playoffs on TV as it usually took place during my summer vacations. I was a hardcore Jazz fan during the Jazz-Bulls rivalry of ’97, ’98. I hated the Bulls. Don’t get me wrong, Jordan was God, and the others like Pippen, Rodman, Kukoc, Longley were all good too. But John Stockton was my idol. I loved the Jazz team combo of Stockton, Malone, Hornacek, Ostertag, and Anderson. Simple yet effective, whereas the Bulls were more of a stylish one-man show.
I could relate myself to Stockton really well because he did none of the fancy superman stuff that Jordan did (which was awesome, but didn’t help me in my career at all as I’d never be able to do those stuff). Stockton was down to earth simple, yet lead the league when it came to assists and steals. I learnt a lot from him as I too was a play maker (ball-controller). Maybe that was why all my NBA idols those days were all point guards –Stockton, Allen Iverson, Gary Payton, Damon Stoudamire, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Avery Johnson, Penny Hardaway, Tim Hardaway etc. Short guys who could dribble, pass, steal, assist and shoot over big guys.
After the Bulls era came the Lakers and Spurs, and the Finals started becoming boring because whoever won the Western conference (either Lakers or Spurs) would usually go on to win the conference Finals.
But the main reason why I stopped watching the NBA playoffs was because I discovered football. I became an ardent fan of Arsenal during the early 2000s, and it struck me – watching football was wayyyyyy more exciting and interesting than basketball because of one very simple reason – lack of advertisements!
With football, I get 45 minutes + another 45 minutes of pure uninterrupted continuous joy. No advertisements except during half time.
With basketball, especially towards the end when there is just one minute left and the score is almost tied, expect the game to drag on for at least another 10 minutes or so with either coach calling a time out every 5 seconds, followed by yet another bombardment of advertisements.
That’s the same case with cricket. Too many advertisements. A couple of ads after every freaking over. And that’s not all - If an important wicket is taken during a match, instead of a slow motion replay or commentary from the experts – advertisements fill our TV screens. By the time the ad is over, the excitement about that wicket has all but fizzled down.
Imagine the same thing happening for football! An ad appearing every time the ball goes out or there is an injury or even during a substitution! Dayymmm. That would be the end of football for me.
You might find it a bit ironic that I am bitching about ads so much, considering I work in an ad agency. Well, a prostitute who sells her body for money does it for the money, and not because she enjoys having sex with different strangers. I roll out ads because it is my line of work, but watching football is my passion, and I wouldn’t like any ads interfering with my pleasure - my moment of solace.
Making ads is fun. Watching them while you’re in the middle of something else? Not so much fun. For the more mature audience out there, I’m sure you wouldn’t wanna be interrupted every 3-4 minutes during sex, would ya? Same thing with cricket - Why the interruption?
In cricket, just imagine a complete innings taking place without a single ad! After every over, instead of ads, imagine if they show replays of important shots or wickets, or stats of the players, strategy etc. by an expert commentary panel. Wouldn’t that be freaking awesome?
But then again, that will never happen. Cricket is an Advertising Heaven. That’s the reason why the media gives it so much attention – because of its huge potential as a cash cow. By giving the game more prominence compared to any other sports, more people are hooked to this game, ergo more money churning in. If you think this game is for the common man, do you even know how many tickets are actually available this World Cup for the common man? And the few tickets available are being sold in the black market at prices as high as 50,000 bucks! Yes, the perfect venue to mint cash while you are I lose out obliviously, like sheep to the slaughter.
One may argue with the chicken and egg theory – what came first - The cricket fan or the media buzz? But at the end of the day, what we get are ads after ads interrupting us incessantly during an exciting innings or over. It’s like hitting a speed breaker every time your adrenalin is just about to take off. But like it or not, that is what we get – more ads, less cricket. And nothing we say or do will stop certain people from getting richer even at the cost of our entertainment. Clearly at the end of this World Cup, the team that wins will not be the only winner.