This is going to take quite a bit of explaining.
The evening of 11 June 2008 was the first Domestic T20 match of the year for Middlesex. I was editing the Middlesex Till We Die (MTWD) website along with Barmy Kev at that time.
We were finding it difficult to generate much interest for the T20 tournament among Middlesex fans – this was to be the sixth year of the tournament and Middlesex had rarely managed to avoid humiliating defeats and low positions in the qualifying tables so far – not once had our beloved team even managed a quarter-final berth.
Indeed, to try and generate some interest, I wrote a “cut out and keep” glossary which I published that morning – click here – the piece subsequently updated but you can see by the article date and the comments that the piece originated that day.
Just in case anything ever happens to MTWD, I have scraped the pieces to Ogblog – only click the links below if the links above don’t work:
So deep was the low interest quotient, we were struggling to find match reporters for several of the matches, including the first. I agreed to “commission Hippity” to write a piece based on listening to the internet radio for the first match, which was away in Southampton, if no-one came forward to volunteer.
Then a full day’s work (for me, not for Hippity). Clients in the morning, a dash across town to London Bridge City Pier and a Z/Yen boat trip aboard the Lady Daphne that afternoon. Also, if I recall correctly, I needed to stay on a while and entertain one or two of the guests after the boat trip before dashing home.
I must have missed much of the Middlesex innings, as this extract from my e-mail to Kevin Hand at BBC Radio London (not to be confused with Barmy Kev of MTWD) attests:
Enjoying your commentary tonight enormously. Fun fun fun etc.
Problem is, I got home from work c 7:40 so missed the first 35-40 minutes of the game.
At the risk of boring less workaholic listeners, could you both update me…
“Big Al” was pace bowler Alan Richardson, who was injured at the time. Not Big Al DeLarge of my more recent King Cricket reports.
Middlesex did very well that night. Hampshire had consistently been one of the most successful teams at T20; Middlesex had gone to Southampton and was winning the game well.
I got over-excited; even the BBC commentary team got over-excited, as this later extract from my e-mails to them attests:
Get a grip.
Stumped/bowled/lbw – surely you can tell the difference. From here…I would say it was probably hit wicket.
Luvvvvvvvv the commentary.
So I decided that “Hippity” needed to file his match report in a hurry. To generate and/or build some interest in tournament. As much as anything else, I had meetings scheduled throughout the following day and was due to go straight to that evening’s game at Lord’s with a gang of people, so the report needed to go up quickly or not at all.
Why “Hippity” got it into his bean-filled head that one win meant that Middlesex were well on their way to winning the tournament, goodness only knows, but for once his mindless optimism proved to be justified.
Why “Hippity” thought that Delhi might have anything to do with it is more of a mystery. There was a shot at the ill-fated Champions League for the top teams, but I don’t think the Indian organisers had ever intended that tournament to take place in Delhi. In the end it was scheduled for Mumbai but had to be cancelled at the last minute following a hideous terrorist incident.
Anyway, given the late hour and early start scheduled for the next day, you can imagine how much time “Hippity” spent rattling off his rah-rah piece – here’s the link again. Indeed, looking at the timings on my e-mails to live commentators and the publishing time for the piece, “Hippity” must have written it before the match had completely finished.
The only other thing that needs explaining here is Hippity’s references to Gnomic the Leprechaun. At that time, Hippity had an imaginary friend of that name, who occasionally manifested as Charles Bartlett’s toy Yoda (see photo above). That now said, the matter seems to me to be fully elucidated, entirely normal and thus requires no further explanation.