Stuart Broad: England’s Streaky Bacon

People have used many adjectives to describe Stuart Broad, of which ‘blonde’ and ‘tall’ are only the more polite examples. But ‘streaky’ is a word that comes up a lot, and it always brings bacon to mind.

See, the humble bacon comes in many forms, of which the two main are back and front. The English have a preference for back bacon, which is a lean, mean, salty, Geoffrey Boycott kind of bacon. Lovely on a bap, lays a proper platform for the fried egg, and never lets you forget that it is there, doing all the work.

Streaky bacon is a whole different animal. It comes from the belly: it’s a gutsy sort of bacon, and it has got these lovely seams of fat and meat and smoke and wood. It’s greasy, and crisps up in the pan, and it’s more than a bit American, which is fine, and, more importantly, wholly addictive. Once streaky bacon gets going, there’s no having just one strip, or even one pound. No, streaky bacon takes 7-44 on an afternoon, or 6-24, or scores a 165 at Lord’s. And struts around while doing it.

And then, just when you think streaky bacon is the thing for you, and you want to marry it and serve it with all your eggs, streaky bacon runs out of mojo. It just sits there. Alone, congealing, and broken. Corners come off. You snap it in half, in a frustrated sort of anger. It’s a bit burnt in the edges. And there’s a squeamish feeling in your gut about just how expensive it’s all been.

So you wonder. Should you have it again? Surely, health must come first. But no. You can’t. There’s no going back on bacon. Bacon, friends, is the gateway meat. And so you come back to it. Every single time. And you’re disappointed. And wish your grocers had more proper bacon. And maybe you try some different eggs. Duck, or an heirloom chicken. Or sausage. Or pie.

And then, somehow, without knowing it, streaky bacon is back. Out of habit. Out of boredom. Out of nothing. One minute it’s just there, and the next, it’s ruling the roost. With an oddly expensive five-fer and an exuberant almost-fifty. And then another two wickets, and the end is not yet in sight.

And that’s how you know Stuart Broad’s the bowler for you.