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An Essex boy in a Middlesex sandwich

July 8th, 2008 by Daniel Brigham in County cricket and tagged , ,

There can’t be too many offices where county-cricket allegiances and rivalries take on football-like proportions, but, by definition, at TWC towers we’re lucky/nerdy enough to an office full of cricket-lovers – and not enough offices can claim that.

I’m an Essex fan, the only one in the office. I’ve followed them since Primary School, when none of my friends had any idea what I was talking about when I mentioned cricket below international level. Twenty years on, I feel no less an outsider in the office, stuck in an egg and bacon sandwich between two Middlesex fans.

Now, I’m the first to admit my support borders on the smug (when I say borders, it probably smashes through those boundaries and carries out midnight raids on neighbouring communities) but I’d like to think that comes from feeling as if I have to over-justify my support of the county. After all, I was born and raised in Norfolk. But as Norfolk had no chance of winning the Championship, this six-year-old asked his (Yorkshire-supporting) dad for his road map and found that Essex was the nearest county with the closest chance of success. So began my support, but my allegiance with Essex starts and ends with cricket, and therefore my support feels slightly fraudulent.

Not so for the two Middlesex fans, both London-born. That didn’t stop the support of one – let’s call him Nigel the designer, for that is his name and job – only becoming truly apparent when Middlesex started thumping Essex what seems like every week this season. He sits opposite me and has taken to listening to the BBC commentary on the matches whenever they’re playing each other. He doesn’t gloat or boast (like I do); instead his smugness is exhibited by raising his hands and, with the use of his fingers, letting me know how many Essex wickets have fallen. This happens a lot. Which each raising of a new finger I sink lower into my chair, my computer my only shield as I pretend not to care. John the editor – the other unfortunate Middlesex supporter – is far less subtle in his baiting (verbal and text insults), and I think I appreciate that a little more.

However, the one thing we three rivals are united on is our sneering at deputy editor Ed ‘who should I support today’ Craig. He prefers a split-personality approach to rivalry, happily swapping allegiances between Hampshire (he played for their seconds) and Durham (where he was born, although you couldn’t tell by his cords and Terry Thomas accent) throughout the season. It obviously never has anything to do with who is higher in the table …

Let us know of any of your office rivalries. Unless you’re a Middlesex fan, in which case you can keep it to yourself.

Daniel Brigham is assistant editor of The Wisden Cricketer

Posted in County cricket |

24 Responses to “An Essex boy in a Middlesex sandwich”

  1.   Will says:

    If John’s the egg and Nigel the bacon, what are you?

    Well done for supporting Essex. Someone has to. Here’s Napier and co celebrating a recent win in customary fashion. Bless.

  2.   Edward Craig says:

    Durham. It’s all Durham. That’s who i support, that’s who’ll win the Championship, that’s who’ll win the Twenty20 if the ECB let them play and that’s who was robbed - robbed! - in the FP semi.

    Essex were a one-man team (Ronnie) and he left.

  3.   Daniel says:

    Will, Essex are the all-you-can eat kebab buffet next to the egg and bacon sandwich, with 5p for every kethcup sachet.

    Ed - Better being a one-man team than a one-title team. Childish, but true.

  4.   Gary Naylor says:

    Tonight I’ll be in the Oval Pavilion (courtesy of my Surrey Membership) but supporting Lanky, Lanky, Lanky, Lanky Lankysher vs (you guessed it) Middlesex.

    I’m trying to inculcate Surrey support in my two kids (they are Sarf Larnden not Liverpool born), but I expect they will see more from Lanky in one match tonight than in the four dismal Surrey T20 performances they have witnessed.

  5.   Daniel says:

    Middlesex playing a home game at The Oval … says it all really. Where are the members going to fall asleep?

  6.   Gary Naylor says:

    On the tube.

  7.   Miriam says:

    Is Edward Craig actually Paul Collingwood?

  8.   Edward Craig says:

    Despite being ginger, bowling ordinary medium pace and not being good enough to play for England, i can confirm that i am not Paul Collingwood.

  9.   Sam says:

    You left out the obvious comparison between your captaincy styles.

  10.   Daniel says:

    Has anyone ever spotted Collingwood in cords? If so please let us know and we’ll have enough evidence to reveal that they really are the same person

  11.   Will says:

    Has anyone spotted any cricketer in cords? I imagine Andrew Strauss or Ed Smith would be the likely contenders (and yes, I know, that comment is snobbery-in-reverse gone mad).

    I think Pietersen should do a Federer and wear a cardy when he tosses with Smith for the first ODI.

  12.   Daniel says:

    i think Kallis should do a Nadal and wear a vest while batting. Actually maybe not.

  13.   Sam says:

    Graeme Smith should do a Sharapova… or perhaps a Serena Williams and wear a raincoat…

  14.   Miriam says:

    Please could I have some wire wool for my brain, to scrub out the image of Kallis in a Nadal vest and Graeme Smith in any ladies’ clothing at all? Thanks very much.

  15.   jrod says:

    Ed Craig told me he was a Lancashire fan, the editor of TWC and dashingly handsome.

  16.   James says:

    I thought that Ed supported whoever Stuart Broad plays for.

  17.   Gumbo says:

    Why should Ed support whoever Broad plays for?

  18.   Edward Craig says:

    Because he could be a part time model …
    Or an air-hostess in the sixties.

  19.   Miriam says:

    But he’ll probably have to keep his normal job.

  20.   Edward Craig says:

    With his hair down to his legs
    And legs down to the floor, leggy blond.

  21.   Miriam says:

    This reminds me of the final episode of Seinfeld where they have the conversation about the second shirt button.

  22.   Edward Craig says:

    Blogs eating themselves… but the same joke over and over again just keeps getting funnier.

  23.   SixSixEight says:

    Euuwww. I think I have seen Ed Smith in chords, with one of those harlequin golfing tank tops. Could have been jeans but the horror of the tank top…..oh its all coming back to me – he is 55 isn’t he?

  24.   Daniel says:

    I remember that … it was the day after Ed Craig had met up with him. He was very hush hush about the meeting, but now we know they were exchanging clothes

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