Delenda Est Carthago

Why not delve into a twisted mind? Thoughts on the world, history, politics, entertainment, comics, and why all shall call me master!

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

I plan on being the supreme dictator of the country, if not the world. Therefore, you might want to stay on my good side. Just a hint: ABBA rules!


Odd news of the world

A weird story from the world of sport:

Pakistan's cricket coach is now believed to have been murdered. I heard about Bob Woolmer's death soon after Pakistan lost in the World Cup in Jamaica, and now it appears he was killed. People can say what they want about ugly Americans, but when soccer and (apparently) cricket is involved, other countries' citizens get a bit kooky. I just saw some guys playing cricket at a high school in Chandler last weekend. A bit of synchronicity there.

This kind of thing happens far too often in sports outside the United States. I wonder if the fact that we have so many other diversions means we don't take sports quite as seriously. I mean, Pakistan isn't really a garden spot in the world, is it? Maybe cricket is all they have! It just seems like the same thing that makes our national teams not as good (even in basketball, which we invented, for crying out loud!) might be the reason why we don't have coaches getting murdered over some gambling operation. I don't know; I'm just spitballing.

I guess the lesson is: man, don't lose at the World Cup of Cricket. And some groups think buying up web domains that could be used to criticize their coaches will stop the problem!

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Anonymous Distance said...

The reason why Bob Woolmer was murdered is, of course, not known yet. But there's a long history of corruption in cricket, with South-East Asian betting syndicates right at the centre. Some prominent cricketers, including several Pakistanis, have been involved in betting scandals.

So when Pakistan loses to Ireland (NFL equivalent: the Patriots get pasted by the University of Northern Alaska reserve squad), and the manager gets murdered immediately afterwards, most people aren't thinking disgruntled fan. This one stinks.

24/3/07 2:00 AM  
Blogger john sweet said...

I know this was brought up because of cricket... but I work in the rough and tumble steel industry. When one of the engineers (he is Indian) and I started getting riled up around World Cup time and talking soccer, the overwhelming response was, "Soccer is gay. Football (meaning American football) is where it is at!"

Now, I love football AND football but had to defend soccer, and did, by explaining how other countries have police forces... not security but POLICE FORCES at matches to quell riots. I have seen bonfires set in the stands, hooligans playing at IFC in the streets after matches, and more people in the stands at a non-championship match between rivals than you will ever see at the Super Bowl.

Sports in other countries are closer to warfare and are more closely related to patriotism than competition. Link it all with corruption, greed, money, and power and you get a beast bigger than the United States' political arena.


24/3/07 5:13 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

Distance: Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that disgruntled fans killed Woolmer. I didn't rehash the gambling aspects that are in the article, because I figured they did a good job. What I meant to say is that the gambling stems from the obsessive behavior of the fans, putting more pressure on everyone involved. If, for instance, the Patriots DID lose to the University of Northern Alaska reserve squad, I doubt if Bill Belichick would be killed. Fired, maybe, but not killed. I could be wrong. Sorry for the confusion!

24/3/07 8:24 AM  
Anonymous Distance said...


I just realised you might have misread me as saying your post stinks. Sorry: what I meant was that this whole affair stinks.

I know who I think may have killed Woolmer. I'm guessing everyone does. It needed two or more physically strong people who could gain access to Woolmer's room without breaking in and without him raising any alarm. They didn't steal anything, and, unusually for Jamaica, no firearms were used. They needed a motive for murder and a reason to do it on the night after Pakistan lost to Ireland.

That narrows the field, but given our libel laws, there's no way I'm going any further.

But it's not about sport, and not about cricket. It's about money and gambling. Cricket is (relatively) easy to fix compared with soccer because the players' wages are so much lower and it's trivial to throw away your wicket or bowl badly. Cricket's gone bad on the sub-continent, but I don't think it's much to do with hooliganism, or cricket fans. The obsessive behaviour that matters here is that of those who gamble, and those who take advantage of it.

This is all more like a dodgy mafia killing in the backstreets of Atlantic City than a punt on the superbowl.

Purely my opinion, but I think the reason there isn't so much sports hooliganism in the USA is the availability of firearms. God help us if Cleveland and Pittsburgh start taking shots at each other.

24/3/07 10:28 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

No, don't worry - I didn't misread you. That's very interesting about the whole thing, especially about cricket being easier to fix. I know very little about the sport (I did once score a game, which was fun, but I lost that ability pretty quickly once I left Australia), and it's strange that it's gone so bad. It's a shame.

That's a very good point about fans in the U.S. I wonder if it's true - that here, there's a good possibility people will be armed, so they don't fight. That's for the sociologists to decide!

24/3/07 10:49 AM  
Blogger Ashley said...

Cricket is a religion over there. No kidding. Pakistan and India have Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, and Cricket.

24/3/07 2:17 PM  
Anonymous Distance said...

The other thing that US sport appears to lack is an away games culture. This means turning up in a strange town where the locals hate you and the police treat you with contempt. You get overcharged and then pinned into the most unpleasant part of the ground. More often than not, you then watch your team lose.

Surprisingly, going to away games is a fantastic experience, and one which fires rivalry more than anything. If not supervised properly, it can easily turn violent, though.

Although some people obviously do travel to away games in the USA, I don't detect the same connotations. Perhaps it's the distances involved - how many Eagles fans want to head off to Dallas?

25/3/07 6:03 AM  
Blogger Roger Green said...

Apropos of nothing:
Arizona's Maricopa Leads Counties in Population Growth Since Census 2000

26/3/07 6:19 AM  
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