Monday, March 27, 2006

"Press the Red Button To Mute Andy Gray"


In yesterday's Observer there was a brief mention of the success of a recent experiment in the U.S.A. to broadcast an American football match with no commentary, and also of the ratings boost which the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation received when its announcers went on strike last year.

In conversation with a close TSA consigliere last night, the possibilities of this development were excitedly expanded on. Given that modern sports commentators (in particular, but not exclusively, those assigned to football) seem to exist to provide a service to the viewer ranging from the statement of the bleeding obvious, to downright irritation bordering on fury, we contemplated the utopian time - surely close at hand in these interactive days - when viewers can elect to mute all commentary and enjoy the match as nature intended, with only the roar of the crowd and the peep of the referees whistle as accompaniment.

Never again would we be burdened by Motty's belief that his upcoming pointless statistic should be accorded the lead-in of "interestingly enough". No more would our Sunday afternoon slumber be disturbed by the lupine growl of Andy Gray, howling "OPEN THE TOP DRAWER, TAKE THAT GOAL, AND PUT IT IN - THAT'S HOW GOOD THAT WAS!!". We would be spared the unfortunate sound of a bewildered Jimmy Magee trying to pronounce the name of Arsenal's latest wonderkid from the Ivory Coast. We could live out our days in the contentment brought about by never again having to hear Clive Tyldesley refer to "that night in Barcelona" every time a team requires two goals in injury time.

Of course the "Colemanballs" industry, which has spread from Private Eye to the pages of just about every football website and 'offbeat' sports column, would not appreciate such a development and for all his faults, no-one would like to see John Motson standing with a placard outside Broadcasting House, yelling "Scab, Scab, Scab!" as Garth Crooks is bundled inside by police escort under a hail of angrily flung microphones....

On second thoughts....

5 Comments:

Blogger Karlos said...

The BBC's digital service has already got a brilliant service in place for FA Cup games that allows you to select Motson's commentary, Radio 5 Live's Commentary or none at all. Not sure if you can do the same on Sky yet but I've watched a good few games on the beeb without the commentary or with the 5 live commentary instead.

The only thing closely comparable to listening to the annoying ramblings of David Pleat or Trevor Francis is listening to those two random joe fanzone lads on sky. Get rid of commentary altogether I say! :))

6:03 p.m.  
Blogger EdwardUrsus said...

I'm 100% behind this idea, although you didn't mention Scotland the chance to hear the crowd without the inane ramblings of the bunch of semi trained chimps that pretend to be serious sports journalists is an idea whose time is long overdue.

2:15 a.m.  
Blogger Tommy77 said...

karlos - thanks was not aware of this on the beebs digital service. As for sky, you have the choice of the irritating professional commentators, or the even more irritating amateur ones. Great thanks Rupert!

EdwardUrsus - a world without Jock "what is Lennon playing at?" Broon and Mark "just two big men coming together" Hateley would be a blissful one indeed.

9:37 a.m.  
Blogger Kieran said...

Is there anyway digital technology can permanently mute Clive Tyldsley?

1:15 p.m.  
Blogger noel90 said...

Edward-

the voice of commonsense once again.

well said my friend.

noel.

6:55 p.m.  

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