Cup Match spirit conquers all

I was actually pretty nonchalant about this year's Cup Match. With the poor performances by the men's national team in regional competition, and the apparent same-ol same-ol happening in local leagues, I was pretty much meh to this year's event. Combine that with the ICC's attitude to cricket beyond the Test world and possibly my own limited contribution to coaching with the Achilles' injury, I was more than content to let July and August roll by without caring one bit about Cup Match, who wins, who loses, whatever. Cricket was fully set to become an after-thought in my ordinarily All-Sport-Loving mind.

Yet somehow, there's this spirit of Cup Match that manages to win me over, stir up my enjoyment of donning the Blue And Blue and engaging with smack talk to the villainous Somerset faithful.

Perhaps it's that it's a rare occasion that people in Bermuda put aside things like politics or religion or other contentious topics that would otherwise stir up anger or vitriol, and everyone's just happy for the 'break' from the daily grind, even if the actual cricket isn't part of the conversation. People who don't know a lick about cricket, much less who Janiero or O.J. is, will chat about how their 'team' is going to win the Cup.

We now have handy how-to-guides published on how to enjoy the game.

Even our famous (international) adopted TV celebrity was enticed to weigh in (of course she chose the correct team to support):

There's something about Cup Match, indeed. Perhaps somebody needs to bottle it up and spread it throughout the remainder of the year.

Just remember, folks...
What a holiday.


Football (soccer) fan betrayals

I'm regrettably a supporter of Aston Villa, which used to be a proper English footy club back in the day and is now in the heights of mediocrity; too horrible to be a contender, not horrible enough to get relegated so they can rebuild.

Team captain Fabian Delph was one of the few bright spots last season, and going into the offseason, it looked good he'd stay with the club. Even after powerhouse team Manchester City made a bid, Delph showed signs of loyalty, endearing him to the club fanbase:

Great. What a declaration. He was going to spend the next couple of years working for the team. Loyalty to a 'T'.

Then along comes Friday, not even a week since the original statement. Just like that, he's bolted.

Forget that he's going to see less playing time in a crowded Man City midfield. He'll get exposure to Europe football, and that's fine. His prospects for England may become iffy, though, with the reduced opportunity to perform on the pitch. And of course his wages should get a nice bump.

It's not about any of that. He basically got the hopes up of every single Villa supporter, made them feel really good about themselves and their club, then stabbed them right in the gut. Why put them through the ringer like that?

I trust the faithful footy supporters (not just Villa, but possibly also those who see Man City as a good team to slag for various reasons) will have no shortage of good songs to come up with during Delph's matches next season, especially when he returns to Villa Park.