‘Hurrah’ and ‘Woot’ are the cries from the armchair fan of Fulham! Our next two league fixtures are being shown live on the tellybox. There’ll be no need to fiddle about on the internet finding a dodgy-bodski feed from China, or the hassle of having to leave the house, travel to the stadium and interact with real live actual people. Instead we can sit at home and watch Sky and ESPN’s excellent coverage while drinking a lovely cup of tea and eating biscuits. The only problem is; football coverage on the telly is rubbish.
This weekend just gone, due to the lack of proper football (and by that I mean Fulham) I resorted to watching the FA Cup games. We all know that ITV struggle to a decent job with presenting football well, especially since deciding the average football fan in the UK wants nothing more than to see Adrian Chiles before, during and after EVERY game. Not happy with that they’ve teamed him up with a dull as ditchwater panel. So dull in fact you could see that Strachan had brought a book with him to read during the Stoke ‘Stam game on Sunday. ESPN aren’t much better, awkwardly perching on the edge of a pitch to do their half time shtick. And let’s not even start on the things I’d like to do to Ian, Keef and Andy with their ruddy bloody sponsorship of the cup. I’ve purposely stopped giving an inch on the road to anybody driving a Kia solely down to these adverts.
But how can it possibly be improved? Especially as when members of the panel make points they believe in they suddenly get every manager in the Premier League on their back saying they don’t know what they’re on about (See: Danny Murphy). Well, Mr Murdoch, put me in charge of Sky Sports for next season and I’ll show you how it should be done.
First: In adverts, films and on telly whenever people are shown watching football it has their total and utter attention, there eyes will not leave that pitch, and they’re all having a right royal time. We all know this isn’t the case. Usually football is a pantomime of heartbreak and disappointment, wiping smiles of faces and bringing a tear to the eye. And while we’re at the game we spend a lot of the time bantering with our neighbours and laughing at people who sit around us (such as spending most of the Bolton cup game being enthralled by a spider climbing all over the man in front of me’s head) or if you’re me, having the man behind you at Eastlands subject you to unfunny comments all game which only he found hilarious and laughed at continuously like Dr Hibburt off of the Simpsons. This kinda stuff should all be shown more. Cut away when the game gets boring to show a man who’s clearly wearing a wig. Get the commentators to reminisce about the time they saw their mate get smacked in the face by a misplaced shot while he was eating his hot dog. Instead of repetitive replays of goals let’s see replays of a fat man attempting to catch the ball when it went out, but falling over instead. And don’t cut away and play the moral superior when there’s a streaker. “And some idiots come onto the pitch, We wont give him the coverage he’s after” the commentator will say. You lie Clive Tyldesley, we all want to see it. Just show it.
Since the loose cannon that was Ron Atkinson was sent packing and Andy Gray also got his P45 for being sexy, commentary has become even more boring. Our Cookie had a crack and was pretty insipid. Andy Townsend hasn’t been the same since he was forcibly evicted from his tactic truck. The only one who’s shown promise is Big Sam. Though, if he could make his comments a bit more like his Twitter feed it’d make the games a whole pile more interesting…
I’m not sure what qualifies an ex-player or manager to be part of an expert panel, but I can’t remember the last time one of them said something genuinely interesting that I hadn’t noticed myself. Even my friend, who only has three phrases in relation to football: Wing It!” “Skin Him!” and the more obscure “When an Inspector calls!”, gives more of an insight than most of the tools currently employed (See: Garth Crooks).
The best part of Sky’s coverage at the moment is Martin Tyler. As the teams run out, before they cut to a break he’s guaranteed to inform us that:
“It’s Wigan versus Hull. It’s a massive game. AND. IT’S. LIVE!”
It’s brilliant! Live league football coverage stopped being something special years ago and even though Sky broadcast around seventeen thousand games live each week and this game is clearly going to be dross, he still gives the impression that he’s never looked forward to anything more in his life – and you’re a fool if you don’t feel the same! Let’s have more over blown excitement over nothing. I love it.
The presentation teams take it all too seriously too. As we all know, football is quite boring in reality. So it needs livening up. All the talk in the studio before the game is mind numbingly tedious at best. Let’s shake it up. If we must be subjected to Jamie ‘Redders’ Redknapp let’s at least put him to good use. Every time he uses his favourite word ‘literally’, let SOMEBODY literally poke him with a sharp stick. That’d soon stop ludicrous talk of “Arsenal being literally passed to death by Barcelona” quickly.
Or lets just cut the halftime analysis altogether. I quite enjoyed watching the big racing balls during half time at Blackpool earlier this season. We could show that. Or just as in the old days when the television companies had nothing worthwhile broadcasting, they simply shut down. Why not save paying Ben Sheppard the big bucks he’s inevitably on and just turn the transmitter off for ten minutes. Or fill the time with pictures of people pelting fruit and office stationary at Ian, Keef and Andy instead.
That Mr Murdoch, is why you should make me controller of Sky Sports this instant.
Unless anybody else has any other good ideas?