2. Genuine charisma.
3. Nice guy.
4. He's massive, a heroic blacksmith figure. You know that if it came to blows, Flintoff would take out over half of the opposition players.
5. Working class hero.
6. When he plays well, he's unmatchable - he bowls fast and aggressively and takes vital wickets through sheer force of will; and he hits the ball a terrifically long way.
For these reasons, I find your bafflement a little baffling. But as I say if you're not an England fan you may not fully appreciate point 1.
However, now he actually is pretty good (no more than that), which he has been since 2003, it's not remotely surprising.
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Hmmm not really sure with point 1, I mean if the 'convicts' underestimate Strauss and Pietersen (especially on home soil) they've got to be pretty foolish, when the ball swings Anderson's pretty damn dangerous too.
Regarding points 2 and 3 as none of us actually know the bloke I don't see how we can comment, but I'll never forget his "I'm going to smash your f'ing face in" comment to yuvraj, hardly indicative of a 'nice bloke'. I also believe that the timing of his retirement announcement was selfish, there's no reason he couldn't have waited, he wanted the fanfare, he should have waited untill the series was taken (if it was taken). I was shocked when Waugh did it, didn't seem in keeping with his character, thought Warne and Mcgrath timed theirs perfectly, series was won.
Well as someone who has done martial arts competitions for 12 years I can tell you that the most a single man can take on (unless there's a huge difference in skill, size or motivation) is maybe 3 men, even that's very unlikely. The blokes I really wouldn't want to face are Johnson, Lee, Strauss and to an extent Pietersen, those guys are seriously built and Johnson and Lee in particular look like they've been doing combat training from a physical perspective, very toned, strong in the right areas too. Strauss looks like he could pack one hell of a punch with those arms and has a pretty low centre of gravity, Johnson is the best athlete of any cricket player I've ever seen though, really phenomenal. Flintoff looks too slow and heavy footed to be a proper fighter, also a bit stiff at the hips which is a big problem for a fighter, but at 5'9 75kg I wouldn't want to go anywhere near him! p.s. please explain why you chose 'blacksmiths', thought it was a touch bizarre.
I agree he is a working class hero, and there haven't been many in English cricket over the years, definitely good for spreading the game, I only hope it has.
Not really sure about unmatchable, yeah sure he's great to watch but his results haven't really reflected that, I saw an article by John Woodcock today rating Flintoff with Holding at the Oval in 76 and Lillee at Headingley in 81, just seemed ridiculous. Guess I'm too scientific in my approach to sport, it's all about results for me, no good looking slick and getting out for 30. When Botham played at his best he really was unmatchable, but he was in different league to Flintoff and I think anyone who rates Flintoff anywhere near as highly is delusional. I really don't buy into this 'force of will' type nonsense, it's all too Mark Nicholas for me, something journalists write to fill column inches and to convey skill to the lay person. For me it's about ticking all the right boxes in the pursuit of perfection (Malcolm Marshall in case you're wondering!). I do believe if we lived in the age of radio (pre TMS) and newspapers Flintoff wouldn't be nearly as highly rated. This stuff about him always taking vital wickets too, I guess I need some evidence of it, I mean judging from the results when he's played over the years they couldn't have been all that vital!
Contrary to what some forum members think I'm not just having a tantrum or trying to rain on anyone's parade, I'm just seeking a bit of objectivity.
Last edited by oitoitoi; 24-07-2009 at 04:00 PM.
He loves a pint. That makes him a hero in my books; especially in an age when most of our sportsmen are all boring and have about as much charisma as one of my stools.
Plus he's a Lancastrian. That makes him 10 times the man that anyone from any other place in the world could ever be.
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Meh, North West > Northeast.
But in all seriousness, it's not so much Flintoff the player I love; it's the beer swilling pie loving fat man that I adore. He's a working class hero.
Flintoff's a rare sportsman indeed.
You have the Paul Gascoigne types, mercurial talents who have all the ability but piss it away.
There's the Paul Collingwoods, the honest performers who seem to make the most of their natural ability and hence become popular with fans- but you sometimes suspect they don't work as hard off the field as they do on it.
There's the Geoffrey Boycotts, who have all the talent and all the application but never manage to capture the imagination of the fans because they lack any kind of magic in their game.
There are Shahid Afridis, capable of the most magnificent moments but never solid nor consistent enough to contribute regularly to the success of their team.
There are Kevin Pietersens, exciting and very, very good, but with an attitude that makes him hard to identify with and sometimes unpopular.
Then you have someone like Flintoff, tremendously talented but still willing to put in the hard yards, capable of playing the most thrilling cricket at times but still brilliantly consistent and solid, one of the best in the world at what he does yet still comes across as a down-to-earth, good bloke. How many sportsmen could you say that about? He's exactly who you want playing for your team. Of course the English ****ing love him.
He's no Brian O'Driscoll though.
Do you feel you need to know him personally to work out that he has charisma? With all due respect, that's one of the most ridiculous things I've ever read on CW.
As for him being a nice guy, find me one player who's ever said anything to contradict this. Or one person who's ever met him. Then I might be prepared to rethink the opinion that I've formed having watched him play the game, having heard him speak on countless occasions, and having spoken to people who've met him (one of whom memorably described him as "the People's Prince; I would follow him into a war").
Well Australia hoped that it might prove a distraction but it hasn't exactly harmed the England team so far has it? He announces his retirement, Lord's is whipped into (by its standards) a frenzy, he lifts the crowd and his team-mates with an inspired spell of fast bowling and England claim their first Ashes win at Lord's for 75 years.I also believe that the timing of his retirement announcement was selfish, there's no reason he couldn't have waited, he wanted the fanfare, he should have waited untill the series was taken (if it was taken).
Whoosh. No I didn't literally mean that he would take out half the team.Well as someone who has done martial arts competitions for 12 years I can tell you that the most a single man can take on (unless there's a huge difference in skill, size or motivation) is maybe 3 men, even that's very unlikely.
Blacksmiths have a particular cultural significance for English people as epitomising uncomplicated individuals of massive strength.p.s. please explain why you chose 'blacksmiths', thought it was a touch bizarre.
As for unmatchable, I don't mean in terms of cold hard results. Remember, I was responding to you saying that you were unable to understand why he is hero worshipped. Players don't tend to get hero worshipped because of their stats (Bradman a rare exception). Ask the general public what Ian Botham's batting or bowling average is, and most of them wouldn't have a clue. What they care about is the fact that Freddie bowls fast and hits the ball hard and plays the game with a smile on his face. It's what almost every armchair cricket fan wishes he could do.Not really sure about unmatchable, yeah sure he's great to watch but his results haven't really reflected that, I saw an article by John Woodcock today rating Flintoff with Holding at the Oval in 76 and Lillee at Headingley in 81, just seemed ridiculous.
Well that's up to you. But if you watch him bowl, it's hard to avoid this conclusion.I really don't buy into this 'force of will' type nonsense
Last edited by zaremba; 25-07-2009 at 04:44 AM.
Making an embarrassment of yourself (and some of the rest of the team at that) isn't exactly tantamount to wastage of talent, it's just something everyone would be better-off without.
Biggest way Flintoff has wasted his talent is in his refusal to change the position of his bowling foot. Without all the injuries that's caused, he could've been so much more of a player.
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