There was a time Steve Waugh walked the earth and changed the way people thought about hats.
Some people ignored him, and they wore a floppy white hat and felt just as Australian as the others. Eventually a rule was brought into the team to ensure that no head would be unbagged for a session.
This faded sweaty odd shaped cap seemingly had mythical powers, perhaps given to it directly by Steve Waugh who putty his money where his perfectly manicured bouffant was when buying one of Victor Trumper’s many caps.
At that point it was as if the whole human existence before hand never mattered. Even though there was a time it may have been given out to people on tours and some players were given heaps of them and lost them or gave them away for fun.
Thanks to Steve Waugh’s help, the baggy green could now make a boy a man, man a man a god and make a god an ashes winning product that could be used for many wide ranging products.
It shit all over a top hat, with or without a rabbit coming out. It was the ultimate millinery piece.
At that point in time Australians also got very interested in their flag, and Australia day, two other things that they’d happily never taken much interest in before.
Australia was changing, and you were now UnAustralian (on a side note all people who use the word Un and then their country’s name should be beaten to death their country’s mascot) if you didn’t love the flag, do something Australian on Australia day or worship at the frayed bits of Steve Waugh’s cap you were somehow less Australian.
It was ofcourse just as bullshit as claiming that putting the baggy green on the head of a young cricketer made him a better cricketer than someone wearing a black, maroon, blue or pink cap.
Australian cricketers would have been just have good had they been forced to put on a hat made out of discarded chicken wings. Although flies could have been a problem.
That didn’t matter back then, people bought it. Even when after the first session of the day players who liked floppy hats changed their headwear without magically become shitter cricketers or committing treason.
Cricket Australia used this false prophet over and over again. Their first foray into the digital world was baggygreen.com.au. They sold ceramic versions. They changed the way baggy greens were given out. They stopped giving them to touring players. And they only gave out one at a time, not a bag full.
Plus, they called their last two strategy plans “from the backyard to the baggy green”.
Now even Cricket Australia has abandoned the baggy green. Their no plan isn’t about baggy greens, it’s about the skateboarding surfer dude, the BBL.
It’s no longer traveling the Steve Waugh path from out back to the top of his head, it’s now spending Thursdays nights at the BBL, and can’t connect with the Australian team.
Cricket Australia doesn’t do things on a whim, they market research their focus groups, so when they turn from the baggy green, you know something is going wrong.
The baggy green is no longer the cure to all that ails you, Cricket Australia’s holy grail for marketing and performance. It doesn’t make cricketers better and it doesn’t bring in the kiddies who want to be like Steve.
It’s almost like it is just a piece of material that was shaped into a cap and has no magical, mystical or otherwordly qualities in it at all. And that it just happened to be worn by talented Australian cricketers who were proud to represent their country.
This is why people replace caps, because no matter how good they look at the start, eventually they fade.