cricket pop culture references: west wing (what kind of day has it been)

If you watch the entire series of the West Wing (don’t watch the 9/11 episode, that’s shithouse) you’ll see on more than one occasion cricket pops up for no real reason.

Occasionally it will be something like “That’s just not how we play bridge. It’s not how we say cricket.”

Or when everyone’s favourite late 80s early 90s sit com actor John Larroquette wields around a cricket bat that was given to him by the Queen of England.

But, the single greatest mention has to be when President Bartlet decides to watch a women’s college softball match instead of cricket.

“If that’s what’s on, then that’s what they watch. It’s either that, or a cricket match
between Scotland and Bermuda. Now, I am an educated man, Charlie, but when someone tries
to explain cricket to me, all I want to do is hit him in the head with a teapot.”

President Bartlet was such an intelligent man that when terrorists actually attacked America, he was put on non-fiction programs to talk about it.

But, he’s made up a cricket game. Bermuda never played Scotland in any senior game until the 2005 ICC, yet this episode aired in 1999. It’s a lie.

You can make up things on TV for the sake of drama or comedy. So that’s ok.

However, I don’t know much about cricket on TV in America, but if games between sides as hardly watched as Bermuda and Scotland were on TV, than companies like Willow TV would not be necessary.

Outside of an ICC tournament, would this match be broadcast anywhere other than maybe Bermuda.

No, they went too far and because of this the gag of a man watching women’s college softball was completely lost.

The bat that was used in the West Wing by John Larroquette was given to him by Australian legspinner Colin McCool, who was a massive fan of the sitcom “night court”. McCool would quote lines from the first series when visitors popped in.

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7 thoughts on “cricket pop culture references: west wing (what kind of day has it been)

  1. kirbyakasid says:

    This line worked for me, because I took it as deliberate hyperbole to illustrate that men will watch anything so long as it’s sport. I don’t think it matters that such a match would rarely be televised. But I see your point – for a show aimed primarily at a US audience, the difference between mentioning, say, Australia v India and Scotland v Bermuda would be negligable, because surely neither would mean much to the majority.

  2. If you watch West Wing writer Aaron Sorkin’s much-maligned later vehicle, “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” – a show that may not have aired outside the USA, as NBC barely finished airing one season, never mind putting it into syndication of any kind – there’s another reference to cricket.

    In one episode, the show needs a sporting event that’s going on, in order to prove that they’re going out live. They settle on a cricket match between the “Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology” and the “Bangalore Cricket Club,” in the, and again I’m quoting here, the “LG ICC Test Match.” Bangalore is 240 ahead with only one wicket down in the first innings.

    To be completely fair, the timing’s right, as long as the match is in Bangalore and not Melbourne.

    Here’s a link to the video, in case you’re still with me:

  3. Rajesh says:

    Exhibit A: Sports Science: Baseball Vs. Cricket. where they compare a Major league baseball player with a US college cricketer or international cricketer (if both are not different) to deduce that baseball is far superior to cricket. And this was straight form the mouth of so called sports scientists. no point expecting any thing better from a fictional politician.

  4. Matt says:

    I came here to say what Jon said.

    Also, Sorkin’s first show, “Sports Night” had an episode entitled “Ten Wickets”.


    In the summer of 2009, I was unemployed (just like everyone else in the world) and started each and every morning with two episodes of the West Wing. I went through the entire series one and a half times, or thereabouts. It was a fantastic experience. I highly recommend it. (But skip the 9/11 episode and that one where CJ goes to Dayton, OH for her high school reunion.)

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