Joe Denly and Joe Biden? Alright I know what you might be thinking.
Joe Denly is a cricketer from Canterbury, England. Joe Biden will take oath on January 20th as the next President of the United States. Then, why in the world are they put together? What possibly could they have in common except for the name?
There is more to it than you think.
Both had early starts to their see-saw careers, boast their own Meme Teams (read till the end for some glorious memes & rants), have featured in dropped catches or awkward gaffes, and are massively underrated.
You may or may not like them, even disagree with their opinions or team selections. But you can definitely not ignore them. This is a story of patience, tragedy, and hope. There is so much to learn from both. Keep on reading!
“They also serve who only stand and wait.” – John Milton
*Note: Videos are linked & bolded. Other articles are just linked.Embed from Getty Images
Nourished at the Kent County Cricket Club from an early age, Joe Denly would make his first class debut way back in 2004, at the age of 18. He would slowly rise through the ranks of England U-19 and England Lions to make his senior international debut in 2009.
Unfortunately, his first stint did not last long as England dropped him right before their victorious 2010 World T20 campaign. After going “missing for a few years,” he would reinvent himself to claim his test debut eight years later in 2018. At 32, he would become the oldest English Test batsman debutant in nearly a quarter of a century.
Before we go on, here are some of the highlights and stats of Joe Denly’s career (so far).
- Tests: 15 Matches, 28 Inn, 827 Runs, best of 94, 29.53 average,100s-0/50s-6,*Denturies-10, Half-Denturies-7
- ODIs: 16 Matches, 446 Runs, best of 87, 34.30 average, 100s-0/50s-4
- T20Is: 13 Matches, 125 Runs, best of 30, 12.50 average/105.93 SR
- FC: 212 Matches, 366 Inn, 12474 Runs, best of 227, 36.58 average, 100s-29/50s-63
*Denturies: # of Joe Denly’s Innings that are over 100 balls. Purpose: To ‘dent’ the new ball.
- Denturies: 30(101), 50(155), 53(123), 94 (206), 74(181) & 35(142), 50(111), 38(130) & 31 (111), 25(100)
- Half-Denturies: 69(99),17(62), 20(50) , 26(51), 31(79) , 18(58) & 29 (70)
Born and raised in Scranton, Pennsylvania and later settling in Delaware, Biden has been referred to as ‘Middle Class Joe.’ Growing up, he had to battle stuttering and saw his father lose a job, two early moments that would impact his life.
In 1973, Joe Biden became the sixth youngest elected Senator and will soon become the oldest U.S. President.
Here are just some of the major highlights of Joe Biden’s career.
- Party: Democrat
- U.S. Senate (Delaware): 1973-2009
- Vice-President of the United States: 2009-2017
- Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction: 2017 (Lovely video this)
- President-Elect: 2021-
Ups and Downs
An iconic phrase from Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who is, “A person’s a person no matter how small.” In an orchestra or band, each part is just as important whether it is the front and center soprano soloist or the percussionist in the back.
In the last couple of years, Root, Buttler, Stokes, Woakes have all had at least one match-winning 100s and doubles, while the newcomers Zak Crawley 267, Dom Sibley 133*, Ollie Pope’s 135* have at least one career defining innings. Denly’s highest in this period was just 94 with a career average of 29.53.
Are Denly’s stats spectacular? No, but he played his part.
In Stokes’ epic in the Ashes, few remember Denly’s 50 (155) contribution. In hindsight, Denly was the transition cog England needed. Following Cook’s receding form & retirement, inability to find him a consistent opening partner after Andrew Strauss, Root’s diminishing conversion rates, and recent England collapses, Denly was the perfect find.
In his 15 Tests, 8 were overseas (West Indies, New Zealand, and South Africa), his batting position switched between opening or #3/4, and 17 out of his 28 innings were Half-Denturies. The Denturies might not be have provided him a long rope, but it provided the youngsters and the middle order stars a platform to produce the daddy hundreds.
Along with Biden’s humble beginnings, it is his story of rising up from the depth of unimaginable loss that resonates with the public.
Just a few weeks after his election, his wife and daughter died in a car accident, with his sons, Hunter and Beau, sustaining injuries. In order to be with his sons, he would commute via train from Delaware to Washington D.C. every day. A few years later, he would marry Dr. Jill Biden to complete his family again.
Unfortunately, this would not be the only tragedy to impact his life. His eldest son, Beau Biden, a budding star in American politics, would pass away at the age of 46 after a battle with brain tumor.
In his long career, he would also endure several controversial moments including the 1994 Crime Bill, the Anita Hill trials, and plagiarism allegations in his first failed presidential campaign in 1988 (the second one being 2008, which Barack Obama won).
From the depths of political mistakes and grief, Joe Biden always got back up. If you had to take one thing out of his life, it is to never step aside. Build a support staff, talk to others, but the next day, pull yourself up and start the engine back again. It is easy to give up, difficult to carry on.
Biden carried on.
Some of his career achievements include the Violence Against Women Act & Foreign Relations Committee as a senator, and his negotiations as a Vice President during the 2008 Great Recession, Gun Violence Task Force, and Cancer Moonshot. A lifelong Democrat, he is known for his ability to bond with people across the aisles, most famously with his friendship with Republican John McCain. (This video is worth watching as well).Embed from Getty Images
Where Do They Go From Here?
For Joe Biden, it is straightforward. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris take charge on January 20th, 2021 and will hope to implement measures to battle coronavirus and economic stress.
Joe Denly? It is less than certain after being dropped from the Test team last summer. In the ODIs, he was in contention for the 2019 World Cup squad as a lower order spin-allrounder, but just like 2010, he was dropped at the last minute. He has been in-and-out since, but has not been picked for the upcoming Sri Lanka tour.
Don’t write him off just yet. We are living in historic times, and Fawad Alam just scored an overseas Test century after being overlooked for a decade. Be assured, you can still find him at the Big Bash scoring 50s (with another Joe-Joe Burns), later in the PSL, or with Kent Cricket Club. Whatever it is, he will be enjoying his game and so will his fans.
What Can We Learn From Denly and Biden?
Michelle and Barack Obama were once-in-a-generation inspirational leaders. Ellyse Perry and Sachin Tendulkar are out of this world, two of the best cricket has ever produced. These individuals are great to idolize, but difficult to emulate.
But you can be like Joe Biden or Joe Denly.
Dale Carnegie, an American writer who wrote How to Win Friends and Influence People and How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, once remarked, “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”
Patience. Determination. Perseverance.
Joe Biden will become president at the age of 78—48 years after stepping into national politics. Similarly, Joe Denly received his Test cap at the age of 32—10 years after debuting in ODI cricket. They never gave up, and kept at it. After missing 3172 days of international cricket or failing two presidential races (and almost down and about in the 3rd), if you can still give it your all, then that is good enough.
Be like Joe.
What’s in a name anyway?
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Drum roll. Here is what you have been waiting for.
Here are some Biden-Obama bromance moments, Biden SNL imitation, Biden Gifs, and some of the Denly Memes.
Biden might have had Obama, and Denly might have had Ed Smith, but they both cultivated their own legacies due to their own hard work.
A Word on the Denly Meme Team
In a Twitter world with Viratians vs Rohitians vs Dhonians, the constant comparison between the Fab 4/Fab 5 (why can’t we love and appreciate them all?), the retirement of AB De Villiers, news filled with COVID-19 statistics and news, mental health crisis, and worldwide lockdowns, the #DenlyMemeTeam has been a revelation.
Regardless of the context, their immediate defense of Denly in a humorous, meme-filled manner is one of the highlights of cricket twitter. Even to the extent that several cricketers, commentators, and the Lord himself has taken notice. Here is Joe Denly, approving their message. 😂😊
Speaking of cricket twitter, one side note. Sure statistics, away averages, and star value has some relevance, but should that be the be-all-end-all?
Sir Alastair Cook ended his career with an average of 45.35 and 33 hundreds, way short of fans’ predictions of catching up to Tendulkar. Does that matter though? Starring in an iconic overseas Ashes victory, having the honor of captaining England for a number of years, longevity of 161 Tests, 12-year Test career, and a 17-year First Class career—does none of that matter?
AB De Villiers, Hashim Amla, and Graeme Smith all fell agonizingly short of the 10,000 run mark in both formats, but sometimes it feels these numbers matter more to the fans than the players themselves.
Let us just enjoy each and every moment—the on-drives, diving catches, sportsmanship moments, exhilarating tied Super Overs, and most importantly—the joy on players’ faces upon a victory. Because that is what matters.
Also Joe Denly is not a tennis player.
Just some food for thought. Sorry, had to get all that out of the way.
Rant #2: A Note On Yesterday’s Incident
I thought I was done with the rants, but yesterday was a dark day in America’s 244 year-old history.
Violent ‘protestors’ stormed the Capitol, interrupting the Electoral College Certification of the U.S. Presidential Election. This resulted in broken windows, a loss of life, vandalism, lockdown, and a threat to American democracy. ‘Insurrection’ & ‘mob rule’—just some of the terms used to describe this.
Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer exclaimed that just like the Pearl Harbor attacks on December 8th, 1941, January 6th, 2021 will be regarded as “Day of Infamy.”
Disagreements are fine and actually necessary for common discourse. Let us talk to each other and get over our differences to find some common ground. Democracy has no place for violence.
As Joe Biden summed it up yesterday, “Enough is enough is enough.”