Tag Archives: Chris Dillow

Das Ding an Sich or Drawbridge Down – Why It’s Time Team England Management Went for a Clumsy Solution


Those who have visited the National Cricket Performance Centre, Loughborough, will know that the glass doorway to this nerve centre of cricket in England and Wales is approached by way of a bridge, all rather reminiscent of, among other besieged entrances, the one taken by Charles 1st into his Carisbrooke confinement.

Phenomenally the span is fixed, but ‘the thing in itself’, the noumenal, is a draw bridge and the draw bridge has been up for many months.

Yesterday, inside the Centre’s print room, where copies of the infamous 84 page Nutritional Guidance for Hosts to the England and Wales Touring Party to the Antipodes 2013/14 were impressed from the divine (original) form, the machine was whirring again.

“’Ou’s this geezer Dildo anyway?”

“Chris Dillow? He’s a Marxists the Gaffer thinks a lot ov.”

“Waz this about then? Seys “Revenge Effects”. We planning fer 2015?”


“Revenge. I likes the sound of that.”

Chris Dillow, who Third Man once described as ‘that radical left arm around the wicket bowler whose front-on and off-the -wrong-foot action delivers very late away swing – a sort of Proctor through the looking glass’ has written an important piece and it is refreshing to see that the Central High Command Cricket England ™ has registered its importance and is already disseminating it’s intelligence to underlings.

The Dillow piece is an extended comment on this from Smudger Smith (RHB, RAMF), copies of which had already emerged warm from the copier and are being collated.

“Smudge ‘as cum up wif anotha one then?”

“Quality, mate, quality, that boy.”

“As soon as I sees him, I seys, ‘quality bat’.”

“A rare’ne.”

“An ‘ard worker wif the right stuff seys the Gaffer.”

Here’s the point that Smudge makes, ‘Some players need to be managed towards greater discipline, focus and restraint. Others require the opposite encouragement, to be set free from stifling executive control. Hence two questions – where each player stands on that spectrum, and how to move them in the appropriate direction – add up to a definitive set of judgements for all captains and managers.’

“Yer see, Smudge’s using an early two dimenshunal form of Cult’ral Theory: the ‘higherarchical’ an the ‘individulistic’.”

“Yer means he’s not yet factored in the ‘fatalist, the ‘egalitarian’ and the ‘autonomous’?


“But the boy done gud?”

“O yeh.”

Thankfully, copies of Organising and Disorganising: A Dynamic and Non-linear Theory of Institutional Emergence and Its Implication by Michael Thompson are already a well thumbed essential in the kit bags of all support staff. (WISH)

As the blurb says, “There are five ways of organising: the hierarchical, the egalitarian, the individualistic, the fatalistic and the autonomous. Each approach is a way of disorganising the other four: without the other four, it would have nothing to organise itself against.

“In Organising and Disorganising, Michael Thompson gives a detailed explanation of the dynamics of these five fundamental arrangements that underlie ‘Cultural Theory’.

“We may believe that our perspective is the right one and that any interaction with opposing views is a messy and unwelcome contradiction. So why should egalitarians engage with individualists, or hierachists with egalitarians?

“Using a range of examples and analogies, the author shows how the best outcomes depend upon an essential argumentative process, which encourages subversions that are constructive whilst discouraging those that are not.

“In this way each approach gets more of what it wants and less of what it doesn’t want. Michael Thompson calls these best outcomes ‘Clumsy Solutions’.”

“Lower the drawbridge and let the others in!” yelled Andy (WISH).  


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India Pale Ale – Commentary from an Empire Chaise

Congratulations to Test Match Sofa on being picked up by one of the big outlets.  Third Man has always valued irreverence and he hopes that they gain the wider audience that their cosy cheek merits.  If only he too were 29 and lived in Crouch End.

Congratulations also to Sportskeeda whose hits, according to the sports entrepreneur Porush Jain, exceeded 50,000 a day for the first time yesterday. Feel that width.

The other afternoon, while taking his ease in the Empire Room and casting a weary eye and a pulverized ear over an IPL encounter, the Squire wondered whether there was a niche market for a lower key commentary covering the tournament.

“A kind of IPL Ordinary, Third Man.”

He quickly summoned the village smith to put together the technology by which a rota of staff at the Great House could provide a languid and, frankly, muted alternative to the so-called commentary of those roustabouts making a crore bigging up IPL Entertainments Inc..

The Squire considered that he could make a quite decent Head Summariser, in the manner of a youthful David Gascoyne.

“It would be as laid back as this couch, TM.  Hardly a murmur. A sedative for the soul. We would utilize the Benaud Principle – silence is all that is necessary.”

“Your Grace, perhaps the mill could grind a lens to cover the screen and tone down some of the colouring”

“A serious option TM:  IPL Light.”

Chris Dillow, that radical left arm around the wicket bowler whose front-on and off-the -wrong-foot action delivers very late away swing – a sort of Proctor Through the  Looking Glass – has an interesting piece on the Media vs Bloggers.

Chris, a seasoned blogger, ‘can remember when mainstream journalists looked down upon bloggers as ‘socially inadequate’ angry ranters who were no replacement for serious journalism. But I’m starting to think that the opposite is increasingly the case. It is mainstream journalism that comprises linkbait (Samantha Brick), trolls (“Rod” Liddle, A.A Gill, The Mail’s nastiness towards female celebs) and shallow self-absorbed diarists, whilst many bloggers are serious, intellectual and high-minded.’

For those who enjoy reading good writing about cricket there is wondrous enjoyment to be had at Different Shades of Green,  or by calling in on Backwatersman  or seeing cricket with the excited, born again perspective of  Pencil Cricket  to name but three that echo the quality of Dillow’s examples.

Chris argues that ‘there’s the tendency for people to specialize in what they are best at. Mainstream journalists have an advantage over bloggers in some things – such as celebrity and Westminster gossip – but a disadvantage in other respects; such as their excessive deference and ignorance of statistics.’

Not something for which you could ever criticize Idle Summers .  

‘This,’ writes Chris, ‘creates a space for intelligent blogging.’ [And the quirky, don’t forget the quirky – TM]

In cricket the mainstream journalist can too easily be dependent upon sources to speak truth unto power. Or to have been picked for their celebrity rather than their prose or perspective.

The mainstream are forced to chase eyeballs with brashness.  From this tyranny the blogger is free.

And the Dillow conclusion?

‘I suspect blogs are a little like the BBC. There’s a lot of rubbish, but the structure of incentives is such as to facilitate a minority of great work to a greater extent than is the case for the capitalist sector.’

“Third Man, find out if Dillow is free for the Whitsun Bank holiday fixture against Quill and Pen C.C.”

“Now are we on air? Good.  ‘Coming in from the Venkatashwera End, arms pumping like the 8.25 out of Thurminster Newton …’”


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