We may have done a thing or two 10 years ago that might cause regrets were we famous, but since we are anything but, our words and actions immediately slip into the realm of the forgotten, seemingly before the sound has subsided or the ink set.
Not so in the case of Australia cricket coach Justine Langer, who has had an email from 2009 leaked just as his squad prepares for the attempt to retain the Ashes won in 2018.
Langer, nearing the end of his career as a player, was looking forward to the next stage of his life, which turned out to be 10 years of coaching the sides of Western Australia and the Perth Scorchers, when he sent a private email to then-coach Tim Nielsen characterizing English bowler James Anderson as someone displaying the traits of a part of the female reproductive anatomy in a manner generally considered disparaging.
The email was leaked to the Sunday Telegraph and caused Langer no small measure of chagrin.
Langer learned a valuable lesson in the scrutiny one living a public life can expect.
Neilsen printed the email and left it in the change room at Glamorgan. The message found its way into the possession of Glamorgan player Steve James, who filed it away until it could be of use, which was to serve as motivation for the Poms in 2009’s five-Test contest between the two countries.
A broadsheet with tabloid aspirations, the Sunday Telegraph is the sister operation to The Telegraph, which earned the 2009 British Newspaper of the Year award, not for Langer’s comments, but for its expose of Minister of Parliament expense account padding.
Langer’s comments to Nielson were fairly benign by today’s standards, even by 2009 standards and were treated as more or less equivalent to the umbrage elicited in England when the Australian cricket players were judged guilty of “earthing” for thinking that it would feel good to walk barefoot on the oval at Lord’s.
We have been compared to female reproductive anatomy of many occasions, but we have yet to walk barefoot on a cricket ground. Now, were we to have an opportunity to engage in some “earthing,” it would have to be at Scotland’s St. Andrews Golf Club, where we would traipse across the 18th green in an improper state of arousal.
We simply hope that our fear of being caught would not incite anyone to call us an ovary.