FINALLY! After all of the planning, travelling and now hanging around, we’re finally taking the field this afternoon for our first game of the AA Vigoro Titles. (What’s vigoro you ask? Jump back to Day 80 where I try to explain it.) So today it’s NSW Seniors vs QLD Maroon (QLD are fielding two senior teams: White and Maroon).
It’s really hard to explain what it feels like when we’re gearing up for a game. It’s one part nerves, one part excitement, one part bliss, and – inexplicably – one part self assurance. It’s weird because so much of the terror that sport creates in one’s mind is the fear of failure, and I certainly have not played to my potential in a good many years so I don’t have much cause to be self assured. But somehow I still am. My vigoro upbringing has instilled in me an unwavering and borderline ridiculous level of confidence. I am all swagger and bragadoccio, even when I fail, even when I realistically have doubts about my ability. I can’t help it, I’m cocky. There’s something about walking out to the middle that puts the swagger in my step and makes me think “Here. This is what I do. This is my spot.” There is nothing more exhilarating in my world than walking out to bat for NSW in a vigoro game. It’s the scariest and happiest 30 seconds of my life.
This all sounds super dramatic, but I think sport is dramatic. It’s a way in which we add excitement into our ordinary, everyday lives. A way in which we taste the thrill of combat, of facing your enemies in a fight to the death…except not really. One of those societal fascimiles that we invent to simulate life and death struggle. Everything feels vital. Every last detail matters. Even normally sober-minded skeptics like me become wildly superstitious, attaching undue importance to every single movement, every action, every habit, as if they have the power to supernaturally affect the result of a sporting match. But that’s what we do. Sport turns people into crazies. Me more than most.
Now that I’ve gone all amateur sports psychologist on your asses, I should probably note that as I’m writing this it’s halftime in our game vs QLD Maroon. We got 60 runs to their 62 so we trail by two runs on first innings. Argh, so close, but it was a really good effort in the field to get right back into the game after a pretty nervy first batting innings. The bad news is that the rain came over the minute we finished the first innings, and half an hour later looks like it has well and truly settled in. If this game gets called on account of rain we’ll cop a first innings loss (unlike cricket, we don’t need to play through both innings to get a result) which will be a bit of a disappointing way to open our account this week. It seems the rain is going to be making its unwanted presence felt throughout the carnival. Curse this tropical Queensland weather.
Update: yep, we’re heading off. Damn. Oh well, tomorrow’s another day, and another game. Let’s go Blues.