Tricks n Sports
On a train journey to Wales, I popped into a station hotel’s bar. Just a quick quencher and some peanuts.
The telly was on. It was mid afternoon. A handful of lads – perhaps on a stag-do – were having a beer session. As well as a few couples and groups dotted around.
The telly was on. A big one. Loud too.
All present were facing the screen and paying it respectful reverence.
A professionally dressed presenter was full screen (except for the odd ticker tape and graphic or news flash, under him) all harmoniously keeping the viewer up to date with the very important news:
It was the sports score news – and it was live and exclusive. As events unfolded, “Yes: live and fully exclusive: Only here on Sky Sports. Some sport is occurring – and we; eight to twelve highly paid executive adult gentlemen; are excited to share it all with you …the points – pure and unadulterated – as they arrive. Yes live and exclusive. Via monitors that you’re not allowed to see because of viewing rights and the connotations thereafter concerning advertising revenue.”
But that doesn’t matter because it’s exhilaratingly riveting!
Yes various fading club-standard ex-pros are talking about goals. And my God they sound good. Like, really, ‘shit your pants’ exciting. Even the bloody tap-ins sound amazing! The individual commentators are virtually ejaculating as they arrive at the climax: of how: a leather bladder: was negotiated: around a lawn.
I can’t wait to actually assist those viewing stat’s by actually watching them, in actual pictures, and having an actual clue about what they were so excited about…
Anyhow there’s no time to waste. Elsewhere in the world there’s also some female sport being played too – would you believe it? Yes, so we’ll just nip over there to have a quick chat with the girls so we can tick the gender diversity box on our broadcasting permission slips. (Picked those up round Chequers the other week. A lot of the Establishment top brass were there. Terribly good pheasant, what? And the finance minister gave us such a good deal, what? Then we all withdrew to the C16th dungeon to play party games with Ken Clarke, some Canadian orphans and Ted Heath’s corpse.)
But back to the important stuff…
And so: in bars like this one: all over our great nation: lads: with pints: will raise a cheer: and listen intently: to the carousel of important sport scores: coming in live and exclusive.
“Let’s hope it all turns out ok at the end of the day Brian. When you look at it all ends up there was only going to be one winner and you have to question the tracking back and the defensive errors.”
“Wait! He’s just put a toe out and it’s went in!”
“Phenomenally exciting, yes. And thanks for these enormous broadcast quality headphones; I’m looking forward to listening to Cliff ‘The Kitty’ Richard with them later, obviously.”
Cut back to anchor-man Big Brother at the helm. He is harvesting all the team’s observations, to make it all neat and tidy, all packaged and pushed, without any dead airspace.
The acting deficiency, when they’ve been requested to talk through what happened, on a replay, for the second time, shows through entertainingly. But their enthusiasm for the sporting ‘end-product’ is expressed with commitment and gusto – like a parent explaining about a tranquillising injection for their child. The professionalism just can’t be questioned.
…Obviously there’s other stuff that happens on a weekend for men to get interested in, but not much compared to the furore in the box at Palace.