Anorak News | Summer Daze

Summer Daze

by | 13th, September 2005

‘THE typical English summer consists of a few scorching hot days, much drizzly rain and grown men in replica football kits searching the more obscure reaches of the TV satellite and the Spanish costas for any signs of a football match.

That’s enough of that

But something odd happened this summer. Something the Sun reminds has not occurred for “5,887 days, 114 players, nine captains, 45 Ashes Tests and years of crowing Aussies”. Can you guess what it was?

No, Hell did not freeze over. Try again. No, there was no month of Sundays. Try and let your mind run free. Her Majesty the Queen moved to Dubbo? Good try, but that’s no until next year. The big news is that England’s cricketers have won the Ashes.

It’s hard to take in. We’ll say it again. England have won the Ashes. And if you doubt us (and we don’t blame you for doing so), the papers are keen to drum the message home on their front pages.

“FANTASHTIC!” yells the Sun. “URNCREDIBLE!” puns the Mirror.” “THEY’RE OURS!” says the Mail.

All the papers are united in triumph, but it’s the Sun that really milks the win like a suckling bulldog puppy on speed.

The Sun’s front page wraps over onto the back, where readers are given the words to Jerusalem, that unofficial England anthem, and shown a picture of England’s jubilant South African-born player Kevin Pietersen.

Cricket rules, although the paper cannot resist adopting the language of football and rehashing that famous piece of World Cup 1966 commentary to say, “They think it’s all Oval…it is now.”

There’s a similar pun on the cricketing venue (England secured the tiny trophy at London’s Brit Oval cricket ground) in the Mirror’s “OVAL THE MOON!”.

The paper then gives us the chance to see how celebrities responded to the match as floppy-haired Hugh Grant is shown looking tense on this “DAY OF HEROES”.

“Suddenly, life in England seems more hopeful,” says the Mail’s new recruit Paul Hayward. “English society has a new cast of heroes,” says he. “We have escaped from obscurity.”

So much for the extra “10,000 shrinks needed to beat blues epidemic”, as the Sun (“Britain is suffering a national epidemic of depression”) hears Lord Richard Layard, a Downing Street adviser, say that the NHS needs more people to “tackle Britain’s biggest social problem”.

Why, all you need is a bat and a ball. Oh, and a good woman. Someone like Rachel Flintoff would be just about ideal. She’s the wife of England’s boys’ own hero Andrew Flintoff. She’s the “WOMAN WHO WON THE ASHES”.

She did this not by bowling her husband a few wrong ‘uns or sledging him (“You’re crap in bed”, “I never loved you”, “Why can’t you be more like Shane?”).

She simply married him. As an “old cricketing friend” of Flintoff’s tells the paper: “The moment he had Rachel in his life, he had the stability to give 100 per cent to the game.”

It’s clear we owe Rachel our gratitude. Thanks, Rachel. And thank you, England. Now kindly move aside. Unless Rachel and Andrew plan to remarry on matching thrones before a celebrity-studded audience, they can’t hope to hold our attention for long.

The cricket is over. It’s time for the main event. Bring on the footballers, and their wives…’

Posted: 13th, September 2005 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink