Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Bradman



This story by academics David Dunstan and Tom Heenan has appeared in today's New Daily.

 Apart from the sound track of Paul Kelly's *iconic brilliant song, it's a "must watch" because of the footage of the Don in action.

I wish I had been around at the time to see it.

The article has as its central thesis an argument that Bradman resembled a modern professional cricketer more than he did the amateurs who were his contemporaries. It also describes him as ruthless and acquisitive.

Whatever. Most modern cricketers are both these things.

For mine, the most interesting allegation in the story is that Bradman behaved as if he was on the Autism Spectrum. In other words, the Don had Asperger's Syndrome.

This is perhaps plausible, Bradman was extraordinarily focused, and socially flat (there is plenty of evidence of this in interviews), but I'd argue that it is irrelevant.

Anyway, watch the video and listen to the soundtrack. For those who are into Karaoke, here are Kelly's lyrics -

Sydney, 1926, this is the story of a man 
Just a kid in from the sticks, just a kid with a plan 
St George took a gamble, played him in first grade 
Pretty soon that young man showed them how to flash the blade 
And at the age of nineteen he was playing for the State From 
Adelaide to Brisbane the runs did not abate 
He hit 'em hard, he hit 'em straight 

He was more than just a batsman 
He was something like a tide 
He was more than just one man 
He could take on any side 
They always came for Bradman 'cause fortune used to hide in the palm of his hand 

A team came out from England 
Wally Hammond wore his felt hat like a chief 
All through the summer of '28, '29 they gave the greencaps no relief 
Some reputations came to grief 
They say the darkest hour is right before the dawn 
And in the hour of greatest slaughter the great avenger is being born 
But who then could have seen the shape of things to come 
In Bradman's first test he went for eighteen and for one 
They dropped him like a gun 
Now big Maurice Tate was the trickiest of them all 
And a man with a wisecracking habit 
But there's one crack that won't stop ringing in his ears 
"Hey Whitey, that's my rabbit" 
Bradman never forgot it 

He was more than just a batsman 
He was something like a tide 
He was more than just one man 
He could take on any side 
They always came for Bradman 'cause fortune used to hide in the palm of his hand

England 1930 and the seed burst into flower 
All of Jackson's grace failed him, it was Bradman was the power 
He murdered them in Yorkshire,he danced for them in Kent 
He laughed at them in Leicestershire, Leeds was an event 
Three hundred runs he took and rewrote all the books 
That really knocked those gents 
The critics could not comprehend hsi nonchalant phenomenon 
"Why this man is a machine," they said. "Even his friends say he isn't human" 
Even friends have to cut something 

He was more than just a batsman 
He was something like a tide 
He was more than just one man 
He could take on any side 
They always came for Bradman 'cause fortune used to hide in the palm of his hand 

Summer 1932 and Captain Douglas had a plan 
When Larwood bowled to Bradman it was more than man to man 
And staid Adelaide nearly boiled over as rage ruled over sense 
When Oldfield hit the ground they nearly jumped the fence 
Now Bill Woodill was as fine a man as ever went to wicket 
And the bruises on his body that day showed that he could stick it 
But to this day he's still quoted and only he could wear it 
"There's two teams out there today and only one of them's playing cricket." 
 He was longer than a memory, bigger than a town 
He feet they used to sparkle and he always kept them on the ground 
Fathers took their sons who never lost the sound of the roar of the grandstand 
Now shadows they grow longer and there's so mush more yet to be told 
But we're not getting any younger, so let the part tell the whole 
Now the players all wear colours, the circus is in town 
I can no longer go down there, down to that sacred ground 

He was more than just a batsman 
He was something like a tide 
He was more than just one man He could take on any side 
They always came for Bradman 'cause fortune used to hide in the palm of his hand

* I will never use this cliche..............

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