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I Would Like To Clarify Once More That The Assertion That The Umpires Were ‘Hopelessly Compromised Cheats’ Was Not My Opinion But Rather That Of My Ventriloquist’s Dummy, Corporal Barmington

I Would Like To Clarify Once More That The Assertion That The Umpires Were ‘Hopelessly Compromised Cheats’ Was Not My Opinion But Rather That Of My Ventriloquist’s Dummy, Corporal Barmington
By Dan Liebke • Issue #37 • View online
In light of my recent fine from the match referee, I would like to stress, once again, the facts of the situation.

Forthright cricket 'tragic' Corporal Barmington
Forthright cricket 'tragic' Corporal Barmington
First, I ultimately accepted all the umpires’ decisions - good and terrible - and told them so after the match. Sure, they made mistakes, some of them egregious ones that undoubtedly cost us the match. But we all make mistakes. And, as captain of the side, I understand that and would certainly never react disrespectfully to what several neutral observers have gone to great lengths to assure me were honest, human errors. In particular, I can’t even imagine the circumstances under which I’d publicly imply that the officials who’d made those shocking calls had done so maliciously. 
As we all now know, however, my ventriloquist’s dummy, Corporal Barmington, has no such qualms. His claim that the umpires were ‘hopelessly compromised cheats’ was disappointing, even if it did accurately reflect what many of the fans that I bumped into after the match were saying. Did he go too far when he called them ‘almost certainly corrupt’ and ‘the lowest form of humanity that has ever existed’? You’d have to say yes.
On reflection, it was perhaps a mistake to bring Corporal Barmington to the press conference, knowing how fiery and foul-mouthed he can get. Given his passionate reputation, maybe I should have been able to foresee that he would slam the third umpire as being ‘too blind to acknowledge a mark on UltraEdge so spikey that it perhaps poked his idiot eyes out’, accuse him of ‘taking filthy money from foreign bookies’ and demand that he be ‘drawn and quartered by herds of water buffalo’.
Too far? Of course. But that’s Corporal Barmington for you. He speaks his mind on cricketing matters and, to my way of thinking, that’s how he’s become so beloved in the greater cricketing community and why his appearances on podcasts can add hundred of thousands of new listeners to the download numbers of even the most tiresome of those self-indulgent ramblefests. Fans love his enthusiasm and unfiltered zeal for the game, even when he makes such outrageous claims that me and my team should have defecated in the officials’ lunches because ‘the umpires were so full of shit already that they wouldn’t even notice’. 
So, yes. Perhaps I should have left Corporal Barmington locked in the suitcase at the back of the dressing room. But I thought his presence might lighten the mood after a tense and undeserved defeat. How was I to know that the questions from the cricketing media would get him so fired up?
After all, while I did the right thing by pointing out that, from certain angles, you might make a plausible case that, perhaps, the ball had bounced before the catch was claimed, Corporal Barmington’s opinions were more trenchant - calling the opposition ‘the worst fucking swindlers in the history of the fucking sport - a disgrace to their muck-riddled nation, but also kind of what we expect from a country of degenerate lowlifes that have spent their entire cricketing history dragging everything down to their subterranean, inhuman level’. I’m pretty sure that was all just a bit of banter meant in good spirits even if, again, I personally think he’s maybe going too far.
When the journalists asked him follow-up questions, you will notice that I very clearly took a long sip of water as Corporal Barmington exploded with fury, calling my opposing captain the ‘most loathsome crook in the history of the sport’ and ‘the shittiest shitstain on the shit-riddled shithouse owned by the shittest of shit blokes’. Corporal Barmington’s words, not mine. In fact, if you go back and study the footage of the press conference you will clearly hear me interjecting phrases such as ‘no’ and ‘that’s going too far, Corporal Barmington’ as the venerated puppet got worked up into one of his infamous rants.
One of the other things I’d like to make clear is that Corporal Barmington’s use of racial and ethnic slurs is definitely not on. Again, he’s achieved his notoriety with his no-holds-barred opinions, and that’s why he has such an enormous social media following. But his decision to resort to the crudest of stereotypes as he raged against the opposition and the umpires is definitely not one I endorse. In fact, you can clearly hear me exhaling in disappointment as Corporal Barmington makes his most outrageous slurs, something that, I think you’ll agree, showcases once again that I don’t agree with his controversial opinions.
I have been asked time and time again who, then, is the voice behind Corporal Barmington. And once more I’d like to make it clear that Corporal Barmington is his own puppet - a free-thinking cricket ‘tragic’ who doesn’t go along with the woke thought police that so infest current day cricket cancel culture. He has his opinions and he’ll share them and woe betide anybody who gets in his path. It’s a bit of fun that even when it goes too far - like last month with some of his, frankly pretty disgraceful, insinuations about our magnificent women’s cricket team - is the price of free speech.
So, again. No, we don’t endorse any of the opinions of Corporal Barmington, but also yes, he will be present at the team announcement on Thursday, handing out caps to our debutants. Thank you for your time and, as Corporal Barmington would say, ‘now fuck off back to your press box swill troughs, you subhuman pieces of detritus’.
As always you can get my behind-the-scenes thoughts on the writing of this piece over on my Patreon (patreon.com/liebcricket), along with approximately one squillion other benefits. All for just $2/month
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Dan Liebke

Every Friday, I go through my big list of cricket ideas, and churn out a first draft of something I've got in there. It won't be polished. It may not be interesting. I make no promises. But I'm going to throw something up and see what works and what (infinitely more likely) does not.

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