Friday, 1 August 2014

Jumping Mad

There being nothing better to do for the moment, Fantasy Bob completed a short questionnaire on the BBC Commonwealth Games website which offered to identify which sports he would be best at.

Cricket shamefully being absent from these Games, the expected advice that FB should stick to bowling extended spells up the hill against the wind rather than entertain fantasies in other areas of sporting endeavour was not forthcoming.  Surprisingly perhaps the computer seemed not to take account of FB's honest reporting of his extreme age and suggest that, in order to avoid undue pressure on emergency services, lawn bowls as the only suitable activity for him.

Not advised for FB
Instead the computer spilled forth the following advice:

Power, poise and focus is the name of the game for those who fancy themselves in the jumping events

While FB felt a mild relief that he was not deemed a suitable candidate for rhythmic gymnastics, he is uncertain that the computer is working effectively. 

The sad truth is that few of FB's colleagues in the Carlton All Stars Fourth Xl are likely to recognise this portrait of FB.  Power and poise are not the qualities that come first to their minds when thinking about their skipper - too often have they seen even the shimmer of poise that he might have shown abandoned as he reports yet another unsuccessful outcome of the toss to them.  The only focus he ever seems to offer is on the next empire biscuit.  In sum, the only jumping they've ever seen him doing is jumping the queue at the tea table.

However, since this questionnaire is described as being devised by top academics from a reputable British institution of higher education, FB must assume it is packed with insight and he should therefore get to grips with these jumping events.

This may be challenging and he is concerned that undue concentration on these events will limit his availability for the rest of the season.  A wider more joined up view of these potentially competing activities is therefore required.

The following world records have been suggested as relevant to FB's new career: 

World triple jump record - 18.29m - Jonathan Edwards - August 1995
World long jump record - 8.95m - Mike Powell - August 1991
World pole vault record - 6.16m - Renaud Lavillenie - Feb 2014

Commentators of the world of athletics will all judge these performances to be a good length.  But FB is not convinced.  From batting crease to batting crease measures 17.68m.  It therefore follows that the effort of Mr Edwards is seriously overpitched and would undoubtedly be smacked to a distant boundary.  The efforts of M Lavillenie and Mr Powell are  barely half trackers and would surely suffer a similar fate.

FB's further researches tell him that John McKenzie set the Scottish Triple Jump Record in September 1994 in Bedford at 16.17m. 

As the accompanying coaching aid shows this, on the right wicket could be more or less a good length.  While Mr McKenzie competed for Scotland, he was Australian born and is now resident in Australia - this may explain his understanding of length.

Mr McKenzie is to be congratulated and FB will use him as a guide to his new career, whether he likes it on not.

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