Reality or TV?

Last week I saw something very spectacular. It was a man called Mitchell Johnson getting figures of three for three in the four overs he bowled in a twenty/twenty semi-final.

The first wicket came off the very first ball — a diamond duck if I'm not mistaken — when the small figure off Johnson bowled a bouncer (I think) that the batsman possibly parried by allowing it to come onto the blade and fly behind them for what could have easily been a six if it weren't for the speck of a fielder standing on the rope and catching the glint of the white ball in the setting sun.

The roar of the crowd and Johnson's outstretched arms of celebration signaled to us that it was indeed a wicket and we also roared and stood and applauded.

Two balls later and Johnson was at it again, the crowd's cheers confirming that he had got another opening batsmen for naught and perhaps (I haven't checked) achieved the first first-over double wicket maiden ever (for domestic t20). I do know, for a non-alternative fact (i.e. an actual fact), that his resulting figures are the best in Big Bash League history, and that he became the first bowler to have conceded less than a run an over.

Very spectacular.

Really though, I should've brought binoculars because it was all a little too far away for me to see. That, and the real issue of the sun dropping below the brim of my West Coast Eagles hat and reflecting around the rim of my sunglasses and into my eyes, got me thinking that maybe it would have been better to have watched the game on TV (don't tell my brother that, whom I had to convince to come with me).

Perhaps that desire to watch sport on TV comes from how I've been brought up. My parents, who really aren't the best followers of sport, never took me to many games (whether that be cricket or my favourite sport, football). Perhaps that's shaped how I enjoy watching sport; up close and personal despite being very far away.

There's a paradox for you.

When watching sport on television, I am closer to the action. There's the commentators in my ears to tell me exactly what's going on (if they have any idea what's going on), the close ups and mid-shots of the main players, the replays so I can re-examine exactly what just happened (often in slow-motion if you don't mind), and the constant stream of advertisements free-to-air television is lovely enough to provide.

Scratch that last one.

When watching sport at a ground or a venue I'm not able to hear the commentators' commentating but instead have to rely on occasional Mexican waves and the crowd's banter ("why aren't you playing for your state Stoinis?", "give us a wave Voges.") to spice up the experience.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the game, but if I go to a sports match I'm probably going to have more memories of the event in its entirety (queuing up for entry, queuing up for the toilets, being given a disproportionately high number of Weet-bix 6/4 signs to my number of limbs, baking in the afternoon heat, slip, slop, and slapping on sunscreen, wondering why the bowler's figures are at the bottom of the scoreboard where I can't see them, being near the guy with the orange beard, and KFC buckets which seem like a good idea on TV but in reality are akin to sitting behind a tall person) rather than the game played on a bit of grass.

Anything further than fifty metres is a bit hard to see. That means that all those catches and sixes and fours on the other side of the oval are less exciting in real life than on the television.

I've had the same experience watching football, where most of the time I've sat behind the goals rather than on the wings. Especially in football, where there is a great range of movement, the actions of the players just don't seem real. It's difficult to explain but it's like a celebrity has stepped out of the TV and appeared in the living room like they're an actual, normal person (except the fact that they just stepped out of a bunch of pixels — that be crazy).

At the footy, look to the big screen and you'll get a better idea of what's happening than if you look right in front of you.

Maybe next time I go to the football or the cricket I just need to find some better seats. I'm definitely keen to turn up at the Perth Stadium and check out a few of the games being played there — though that might be more of a photo opportunity than a game-watching one.

That's one thing I haven't mentioned: you get much better photos at a game than watching the thing on TV.

Bet you didn't see that from your soft couches and sofas. Bet you did see lots of gambling ads though :(

Just after the sun had set behind the western hill.

The man with the golden gun orange beard.

The man with the golden gun orange beard part two. You wouldn't have gotten these kind of visuals at home.

When your lens isn't wide enough to get both light towers in the frame, try anyway.

Or just walk further away and try and try again. The WACA exodus.

The Perth Scorchers went on to win their third BBL title a few days later, again at the WACA. This time I watched the game with a dodgy TV connection, with the noise of a stop-start vaccum behind me and the smell of fresh paint up my nose.

J/R


Photo of my Week

Where I post an image that sums up an aspect of my week.

This was taken on one of my walks around Narrogin, as you can probably tell by reading the 'www.narroginhyandai.com' text at the top of this picture. What you probably can't tell, especially if you read the text at the centre of the picture is what this building's purpose is. Is it a Hyundai dealership or a Centrelink....ummm...centre? All will be revealed next time on — nah, I've got no idea.

Anyway, I've enjoyed walking around town with my camera and have made a few observations about the place. Here is one very astute observation: the closest pub near us has one of those 'ice for sale signs' at the back, but I don't see no ice machine. What could that mean? I'll allow you, dear reader, to decide.

Here's the image as proof:

Joel Gibson

Read more posts by this author.

Perth, Western Australia

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