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We All Fall Down

Well, and the first day of the Ashes is over. England did OK, it seemed to me, but then I don’t actually know anything about cricket.

At one point as I was following along on the Gaurniad’s site (and they have a bizarre little doo-hickey for following along that is like a cross between Gameday and a FlowingData contest; I’m not sure if I like it, but I can’t seem to take my eyes off it), my Perfect Non-Reader asked me who was winning. It’s more complicated than that. And it struck me, at that moment, that they had been playing for, oh, five or six hours at that point, and that it was Day One of a contest that would be going on for more than six weeks. Sure, there are a bunch of days off in there, but it’s perfectly plausible that all five tests will go to five days, and that most of those 25 days will have—what—six hours of play? Certainly more than a hundred hours of playing time, taken all together.

Now, I’m a baseball fan. I like a nice three-hour game, and I love the 162-game season. That’s a hundred and sixty-two games against two-dozen other teams, though. At the end of the year, there are a few playoff series that are multiple-game head-to-heads, and honestly it isn’t my favorite form of the game. But still, the long series are best-of-seven, and an unusually long series might take a total of— well, let’s take a look at some recent ones. Last year, five games of 3:23, 3:05, 3:41, 3:08 and 3:28 for a total of some sixteen and three-quarters hours. In 1991, the Diamonbacks and the Yankees played a remarkable seven-game series with two extra-inning games. Total game time: 23 and a half hours. That’s a lot. But let’s say that sometimes we see two top-notch teams playing each other in a series that takes almost two weeks and maybe conceivably as much as 25 hours of playing time.

Absolute minimum, if there is a good deal of rain and a blowout or two, four times that for the Ashes. Maximum of a hundred and fifty hours of play, more or less, not counting lunch breaks and tea breaks. Oh, and by the way, there are eleven men on a team plus two reserves.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,


yup I watched "Lagaan" a few years ago now, and was blown away by the idea of a single cricket game going on for DAYS. I thought Monopoly was a lengthy game!! Yeesh!! Great movie, though, and it really explains some of the rules of how it all works.

I still haven't seen that. Somehow, every time I come close (such as picking up a copy at the library), I see that running time and become all intimidated. But, again, this is where 224 minutes seems like a long time for a movie (and it is), but compared to an actual match…

By the way, England continued to be bat reasonably meh today, and then could not get a wicket from Australia for love nor money. I don't know anything, but it sure looks like this first Test is headed for a draw.


I watched Lagaan over the course of several days, an hour or so at a time. You don't have to commit to it all in one sitting--every time there's a major musical number it's effectively the end of an "act". :)

the domestic market version of lagaan, depending on the weather and audience reaction, you could be in the theater for more than a week. the next theater that will be showing the full version is in trinidad....

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