As you may or may not be aware, tomorrow is Election Day here in the United States.
Trying to relate American electoral politics to cricket has turned into a bit of a fool’s errand.
Only one cricket match ever has been played on the same day as a US election: an ODI between New Zealand and Bangladesh in 2004 at Chittagong. The Kiwis won by a 100 and some odd runs. It was nothing to write home about. Chris Cairns steered his side to 224 all out with a score of 74 off of 83, then New Zealand bowled out the hosts in just 31.5 overs thanks to Kyle Mills’ 4-14.
That said, if the rain holds off, tomorrow we shall see the second cricket match to take place on an American election day, as New Zealand are set to play Sri Lanka tomorrow at Pallekele.
The big story for tomorrow of course is Obama versus Romney, but there are other races here locally that are just as important: the 6th and 8th districts, for instance, plus two potentially very destructive constitutional amendments.
I have very, very few Minnesota based readers (my wife doesn’t even read me anymore), so I won’t bore you with the details. But I will say that I am nervous as hell. Completely on edge and distracted and just want nothing more than to go vote and then start drinking.
Which, of course, in a lot of ways, is exactly how I feel before a big Arsenal match.
Sport and politics; politics and sport. Two twins, separated at birth.
Winners, losers, cheerleaders. Opinion, polls, cable channels. Flags, slogans, and lots and lots of frothing at the mouth.
Books have been written on the subject of course. I am not the first to point this out. And I am not the only one who watches poll results like others watch batting averages. And I am know that I am not the only person sitting on pins and needles today.
The big difference however is that while political elections can have very real and very lasting affects on ones life, sport is nothing of the sort. Sure, I get down a little when Arsenal play like shit and lose to Man United, but if Obama finds a way to lose tomorrow we could very well see another war and the most conservative Supreme Court in our history; and if the marriage amendment passes I will all of a sudden have good friends and good neighbors that will be constitutionally discriminated against.
Despite the similarities sport is the antidote to politics; it’s what we will all use to forget about tomorrow’s results, whether they go our way or not.
So I am looking forward to enjoying Arsenal v Schalke tomorrow to ease my nerves, and I am looking forward to Australia versus South Africa in just four days to help me recover from the election season.
Win or lose though, life goes go. That’s the important thing to remember. Whether it be Arsenal or the Ashes or an election. Life goes on.