Today: Arsenal scored five unanswered goals, and defeated the Scum 5-2 at the Emirates. (So many jokes: but simply put: the worst Arsenal team in a generation put five past the best Tottenham team like ever…hilarious).
The fourth goal was scored by Theo Walcott. A lovely dink after a poor first touch.
But what struck me was his reaction. He simply ran to the corner flag, stopped, clenched his fists, and screamed. In the London Sunshine. In front of 60,000 adoring fans.
It was his first goal at the Emirates in who knows how long, and quite possibly the biggest goal of his career.
It was visceral reaction. It was not showy, he did not lift his shirt to praise Jesus or whatever. He didn’t samba, or cradle an imaginary baby, or point to the sky.
He had simply been liberated by the goal. The shackles thrown off. And all he could do was stand and vent years’ worth of frustration. Frustration with himself, frustration with his team, the English press.
Watch it here.
It has been a terrible year for Arsenal. For Walcott. But that moment erased all of it, for everyone.
His reaction was everything I love about sport.
Two of my favorite things on the Internet right now are Bon Iver’s performance of Holocene on Saturday night live:
And this article entitled “All Ten” from the incomparable Old Batsman.
They go really well together, I would suggest you listen to the song as you read the article, even if you have experienced them on their own already.
My attempt at a mash-up, with a thousand apologies to the artists:
“It had taken maybe an hour and a half. They’d only made 60-odd and we knocked them off quickly, on the ground surrounded by trees, underneath the perfect sky.
And I can see for miles and miles…”
There is a great deal of quality cricket happening, too. The CB series is reaching its climax, the third and decisive T20 between Pakistan and England is tomorrow, and the 2nd ODI in South Africa’s tour of New Zealand is on the 29th (my birthday).
In the first ODI of that series, Jacques Kallis took two wickets and then later added a disappointing 13 with the bat.
The announcers called him the greatest all-rounder ever. And it is hard to argue with the numbers: in 150 test matches, he has scored 12,260 runs at an average of 57.02; whilst simultaneously taking 74 wickets at an economy rate of 2.84: including seven four-fers and five five-fers.
In ODIs, his all-round numbers are equally as impressive: 11,494 runs, 269 wickets.
And those are just the 30,000ft stats.
And if he really is the greatest all-rounder ever, does that make him the best cricketer ever?
That questions begs another question: who are the most valuable cricketers? The all rounder, the bowler, the wicketkeeper, the batsman, the captain?
A subject I plan to explore in my post tomorrow.