Test Match Special
Good morning, and welcome to Uncyclopedia's article about British cricket commentary radio institution Test Match Special, coming to you live from Trent Bridge cricket ground, Nottingham. It's a superb day to enjoy this article, and we have our usual selection of experts and Geoffrey Boycott to take you through the action, and they'll be giving you the benefit of their opinion on the ground, the city, the food, the quality of the ladies in the crowd, how well they slept last night, the hat -stand outside the ground, the local hostelries, and possibly even the cricket.
The article is likely to progress in a whimsical English manner, with plenty of cricket-related jargon to totally baffle any non-cricketing types who may chance upon it, and a smattering of exchanges that sound very rude unless you know what is being referred to. Aggers, Tuffers and Boycs will be joining us shortly, but as the action gets under way, prepare to be gently soothed by the none-more-English tones of Blowers himself, Henry Blofeld.
Blowers gets things started
Good morning everyone, and what a lovely English morning it is! The rain is quite beautifully temperate, and the clouds a particularly piquant shade of pea-soup grey. The genteel crowd will eventually take their seats when they get through politely insisting "no - after you!" to everyone else in the ground; and of course, there's always the faint possibility that we may touch upon something approximately cricket-related in our verbal meanderings today.
I'll start off by describing the first ball - he runs in; he bowls; and the batsman rocks back and tickles a jaffa straight through the gaping legs of second slip for a streaky single - and now it's time to head off on to the first patented TMS meandering deviation from the point. Do you know, that bowler, with the way he runs in with his chest puffed out, has a similar manner about him to the pigeons that speckle the outfield here today. I count seven pigeons on the field, with three more on the sightscreens, which I always feel adds a little something to the spectac... Ah, another of their fellows has just deposited a message on the window of our commentary position - slightly distasteful, although of course you do hear it's meant to be good luck - for the pigeon, presumably.
We've taken delivery of a rather superb pie now - oh I say, good shot, sir! - and it's fair to say there's more chance of you getting a thorough description of this morsel than any sustained focus on the sport you've tuned in to hear about. It's got three kinds of ham in it, apparently, as well as eggs, bacon, cream, mustard, and some really rather wonderful pastry, which crumbles easily, just like the England batting order tends to, if you follow my meaning!
Anyway, time for a change in the commentary box - the score stands at 246 for 3, and there has been all kinds of excitement happening on the field, and I hope I conveyed little to none of that to you - time now to leave you in the care of Tuffers - lovely pie, by the way Tuffers, I entreat you to try a slice.
Tuffers chips in
Cheers Blowers, nice one! Professional wide boy Tuffers here to further bolster my persona as a loveable chirpy cockney sparrer. Happy days! What I thought I'd do, if it's alright with you, is not tell anyone anything they didn't already know, but do so in a faintly roguish manner that makes people think I'd be a good laugh to drink with down the pub. Anyway, straight down to business - time to do justice to that pie!
<munch> Speaking of pubs, here we are of course near the "world famous" Trent Bridge Inn, one of the better <chomp> pubs in the immediate vicinity of a cricket ground. I tell you, if some of today's players spent as long <crunch> - crikey, think I got a bit of eggshell there - working on their techniques as Mike "Fat Gatt" Gatting spent in the bar here, England would be a force to be reckoned with in world cricket again, you know? Lovely pie, really good stuff - better leave some for the lads this afternoon though.
Cor dear - and the batsman has a wild and windy whoosh at one short of a length that spits and leaves him scrambling to make up his ground before he can be stumped - the bowler had him done up like an absolute kipper there.
Thing is, cricket's a simple game - it must be, if a simple lad like me can play it. Just chuck the ball up there and try to give the batsman something to think about - the morning's crossword would be ideal, if you can get him thinking about that, he might not have time to play his shots, and then you've got him on toast!
Now, something I'd like to clear up here: about all that stuff people keep bringing up about me smoking in the slips during that England game, and those allegations that I was skinning up behind the stumps while the bowlers were changing ends? Now, surely you don't believe any of that, do you? I'm telling you that any cigarettes that I may have been seen with were prescribed medically in an effort to improve my catching. Seriously - tar is sticky, so getting it on your fingers increases your grip. Makes sense, dunnit?
And that's the lunch break now, and with over 500 runs and 8 wickets in the morning session, it's been a fantastic advert for the game of cricket - from which we've done our very best to shield you. Time now to get the views of someone who knows nothing at all about cricket but is more famous than anyone else in the ground, so the producers thought you might care what he has to say.
A random "celebrity" is brought in from the crowd to opine on the morning's play during the lunch break
Hi guys, Simon Cowell here to liven things up a bit. Thanks for inviting me up here and giving me the chance to subtly plug my show. It's always nice to get along to a major sporting event - does my profile no harm at all, plus I get free drinks and food because the governing body of this sport somehow thinks that by having me in attendance, it will make the sport seem more desirable to a wider audience. Doesn't work, of course, but it allows me to swing free tickets and food, so it's fine with me! What sport are we watching here anyway? Oh right - cricket. I knew there was a reason I hadn't been paying attention.
Cricket, in my opinion, is terribly dull. What it needs is livening up. Maybe instead of the referee deciding if a batsman is out by following some incredibly arcane laws that even the die-hard fans don't fully understand, they could be voted out by a panel of celebrity judges? I'd certainly enjoy the game more if I was allowed to make smugly bitchy remarks about their talent, ability and charisma, despite having absolutely no talent in this field myself. A little bit like what happens on The X Factor, for instance, which has a new series starting very soon - I don't care if this is pretty early to be slipping in a blatant plug for my show, I have very little to say about cricket, so we may as well talk about something interesting.
Besides, which would you rather watch - a bunch of fumbling amateurs trying desperately to show they have a modicum of talent, or my show? And you're on the radio here, so you can't even do what they do on TV to liven up proceedings - pan the cameras over the crowd in search of some crumpet to focus on.
Oh, is that a pie? Looks rather good - think I'll have that, it'll make up for having to wander up here and pretend to care about cricket for half an hour of my life that I'll never get back. Anyway, thanks for letting me plug my show during your show, I'm off now to continue ignoring the action and concentrate on looking as good as I can for the cameras. I think someone I've never heard of is going to take you through the afternoon's play now. Watch my show!
Aggers makes a wry observation
Well, thanks for those characteristically blunt insights, Simon, and with the match intriguingly poised, let's try to get straight on to the afternoon's action. But first, I'll mention the cricket in passing - the batsman comes forward and gets in a right old mess trying to pull the bowler round the corner. Bending over and reaching around, he only succeeded in catching a full toss squarely in the face. Luckily for him, it looks like his pads have given him enough protection this time. He chances his arm again next delivery, and cracks the ball right out of the meat of his bat, smearing one that straightened up a little right across fine leg, and down to deep point. .
Now, I believe Henry mentioned a rather more-ish pie, and I've been looking forward to sampling this little beauty all morning, so let's have a little... Cowell's had it? What, all of it? Well, really, I say... That's a little... Well, it's not cricket, is it? I dare say he's peckish - so am I. I'm going into a little sulk now, so I'll treat you to one of TMS's famous silences, just long enough for you to wonder if there's a technical problem.
I was really looking forward to that pie.
Well, that's been a fine bit of silence, I'm sure you'll agree. Meanwhile, in the middle, there's been some of the most audacious stroke-play I've seen in a while, accompanied by some frankly vicious bowling, the score has rocketed along, and they're close to setting a new record for the number of runs scored in one day of a test - it really has been gripping stuff, as I'm sure you won't have any chance of appreciating because I've been lamenting the loss of that pie. So let's pass you across to Geoffrey so he can tell you what's been going wrong.
Boycott cuts through the nonsense
Good afternoon everybody. Now, what the bloody hell is all this rubbish? Honestly, we've been going for the best part of a page now, and there's been nowt resembling an article on one of creakit's most beloved institutions! Honestly, my grandma could have explained more about TMS with her hearing aid feeding back on her and her false teeth glued together whilst knitting a sweater.
In my day, Fred Trueman would 'ave 'ad a good couple of sections about the authoritative coverage straight off, quick as winking. To be coming towards the close with a paltry few facts on the board - it's not good enough. I mean, talking about pigeon shit, come on - even as a deviation from the topic at hand, it's substandard. Now, Brian Close, there were a man who could deviate from a topic - invite him to start an anecdote on the Thursday, he'd still be miles from the point by Sunday teatime!
And as for Cowell nicking off with that pie - that's poor manners, plain and simple. No respect for the traditions of the game. I've no time for folk like that - I'd say he were all mouth and no trousers, but that's not really true is it? He's more trousers than anything else!
That's put me in a proper bad mood now - why is anyone reading this rubbish anyway? Go on with yer - go read a proper article about TMS, instead of this drivel. I'm off to tell anyone who'll listen how much better things were in my day. Bloomin' good match by the way - some proper entertainment out there. If you'd been watching the television coverage that I also commentate on, you'd have really enjoyed it. Shame you were at work and had to tune in to this instead. Good evening everybody.
- Yes, he shares a name with a Bond villain - this is not coincidence, Fleming named Blofeld after him. Or was it his father? Someone in his family anyway. A baddie named after a cricket commentator - not quite so menacing now, is he?
- Yes, this is a perfectly acceptable bit of cricket jargon, but if you don't understand the sport, please don't ask us to explain - there isn't enough room on the whole wiki.
- If you don't: the England batting order has a famous tendency to make pastry seem quite solid at times. If that still makes no sense, we can only assume you are American, so it's your own fault.
- That is, famous in the parts of the world that play cricket, and even then only to those who really know their test cricket venues - but "the vaguely well known in the former British colonies Trent Bridge Inn" doesn't sound as snappy for marketing purposes, does it?
- We're not even going to try to explain this to you - if you don't get it, you don't get it.
- Again, a perfectly acceptable slice of cricket jargon, and nothing else. Go wash your brain out with soap and water.