COLUMN: The Ely Grumpster on the joy of the World Cup

The Ely Grumpster

The Ely Grumpster - Credit: Archant

• This week, my subject matter of choice is S&M.

Before anyone reaches for the smelling salts, I mean sport and meditation.

At the time of writing, I did not know whether or not England had progressed to the world cup quarter finals.

However that game went, it has actually been a pleasure to watch (other than the play-acting) and England, for once, haven’t been an utter embarrassment.

• Most pleasing of all is seeing the supporters mingling and sharing a drink together.

Compare that with scenes of yesteryear – shaven headed lard buckets smashing up bars while tear gas swirled around their tattooed ankles.

It has obviously helped that the worse thousand English Neanderthals have had to surrender their passports and their equivalent Russian meatheads are currently occupying themselves in some Siberian salt mine.

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• On Saturday, it was the Royal London cricket one day final that for which, by some miracle, Kent had qualified.

Playing Hampshire, we felt we had a chance but a combination of poor tactics, farcical run outs and bad luck meant that yet again, we went home as losers (though a word of praise for the Lord’s staff who unlike their miserable counterparts at the Surrey Oval, were a delight).

• And so to the subject of meditation, reflection or whatever you care to call it. Last season, Kent lost their captain, Sam Northeast to Hampshire in unfortunate circumstances.

In a nutshell, he pretty much stated that Kent was too small a club to further his England ambitions. With that backdrop, you can imagine the reaction he got when he came out to bat. The chorus of boos and cat calls was deafening, prompting comments of “shame” and “mindless” from commentators.

• I admit that I joined in, hoping that he would fail (which he didn’t). I was in the Cathedral on Sunday for an ordination service and for no apparent reason, the sight of Northeast walking out to a hail of abuse popped into my head.

I first felt uncomfortable, then mildly ashamed. Whatever the circumstances, he didn’t deserve that. I reflected on this for some time. My conclusion is that we are all capable of doing horrible things.

What makes you a better person is the ability to reflect on what you have done and acknowledge when you are wrong. I will be mailing Sam to say sorry.