Friday, February 16, 2007

Ten things I never want to see again - MouthoftheMersey

Sport is a cruel mistress – just when you’re ready to chuck it (say after another half-time summary from Shearer and Wright), along comes Roger Federer, like a lover with a Agent Provocateur bag in hand a funny look in their eye, and you’re right back where you started, trying to keep your heart inside your rib cage. But though we love sport warts n’all, how might a little corrective surgery improve its fading looks?

Here’s ten things to be nipped and tucked away from sight.

  1. Formula One grids with cars lined up in team order. It’s the drivers we want to see competing, not techies with telemetry print-outs and team anoraks.
  1. Grabbing a flag from the crowd and waving it on a lap of honour. Poignant at first, now clichéd and occasionally jingoistic. The Olympics ought to celebrate the Family of Man not a country’s sports budget.
  1. Any pundit with more than three year’s service should be pensioned off – we can only hear so much, then the teeth grate. Hansen and Lawro tell us nothing that they haven’t bored on about ad nauseum for years. Charlton can’t defend - who would have thought it?
  1. Commentators treating sport as a moral debate. Barry Davies and Alan Greene can turn a commentary into a Daily Mail editorial – they are not all good boys: get over it! And while you’re at it, what’s going on down there on the pitch?
  1. Yet more praising of Rugby players’ attitudes towards the referee. Yes they don’t do the dissent thing and yes Rooney and co should shut up, but I don’t call fisticuffs and worse with a referee trying unsuccessfully to separate the thugs, a fine example to our nation’s youth.
  1. WAGS. Let’s leave these cohabitees undermining national teams’ skills out of the sports pages – it’s not as if they are short of exposure elsewhere, even in the Guardian for heavens sake
  1. Big production adverts during international tournaments. I don’t want to see Beckham as a cowboy, nor Zidane playing football in a banlieu, nor Roberto Carlos doing anything except taking free kicks. They are bad actors in poorly scripted, overblown, 60 second melodramas which are destined to be forgotten the moment the real stuff starts again after half-time.
  1. Those beards Sir Alex Ferguson, Harry Redknapp and Big Sam send out to do the BBC interviews while they sulk in the corner about some slight or other three years ago. Grow up and speak to the people who support your team and pay your wages.
  1. Perimeter advertising hoardings that play a short animated film whilst we try to concentrate on the match. Who thinks those are a good idea, except for the Peter Kenyons of this world? Get rid of them now.
  1. Opening Ceremonies. They have as much in common with sport as the Eurovision Song Contest has in common with Slipknot. Say No! to singing kids. Say No! to traditional dancing in national costumes. Say No! to the poor sap reading the commentators’ guide as the BBC devote 25% of its annual live sports coverage to this tosh.

MouthoftheMersey February 13 2007


Anonymous said...

11. derivative fucking lists pieces.

laziest writing in the world.

Ebren said...

12. People criticising other's work under the title "ananomous".

If you're going to slag people off, have the balls to sign it.

Anonymous said...

ok. my name's SouthoftheJersey. or doesn't that count as a proper name, "ebren"?

Ebren said...

No, no - that's fine, it is pseudonyms' corner after all.

Enjoy the blog

andrewm said...

Controversy on the blog - I like it.

You aren't one of our old friends from the GU blog are you anonymous? Tell me why writing a list is lazy in comparison to other forms of sports journalism. How much effort does it take to write another piece about Chelsea for example?

Anyway, I liked it Mouth, and I especially agree with 8. You wouldn't get that from Rafa or Moyes now would you?

MouthoftheMersey said...

Lists are a cliche, but in a first goat this I wanted a structure on which to hang a few thoughts. Guilty.

Derivative, well possibly, but the blogs are a place to get away from tired consensus, so I tried not to be derivative.

Humour? Very, very hard to please more than a smallish subset of readers, so a high risk strategy if you want to impress a panel of Sean and pals. I wanted to get in the top three, but I wanted more to smile as I chased both ideas round the world of sport. It was fun for me: it won't be for everyome else.

Thanks for the shout on the other piece andrew.

MouthoftheMersey said...

goat = go at above.

MouthoftheMersey said...

goat = go at above.

Zephirine said...

Mouth, I write and edit for a living (though not in journalism and not about sport) so please take this as a friendly comment from a pro: I think you were trying a bit too hard in these two pieces. I've read better stuff from you on the blog - maybe when you try again you should just let your passion for sport come through and see what happens? Good Luck - Zeph

Zephirine said...

Sorry, was that really patronising? Wasn't meant that way!

MotM said...

Zeph - Point taken.

I'd suggest that I was looking for something beyond the OBO quip and the Blog para or two, and, though I enjoyed writing them (one draft, the read through, one correction 20 mins total) they did feel forced by the last couple of paras.

I'll reflect a little on that as writing about sport is fun, and even more fun if someone else gives up their time to read and comment.

HannibalBrooks said...

The introduction is very good, excellent in fact, but the list, apart from being a cliched format, as you admit, doesn't contain any stunningly original observations and I've read funnier and more well constructed turns of phrase by you MOTM on the blogs. If they had been up to scratch and you had enough words left for the absolutely necessary outro ... you would have stood a better chance than with the entertainment comparative article.

MotM said...

Interesting point on the outro - I leeft it out partly because I had to get on with some work, but mainly because I think a blog piece is unfinsihed to allow the bloggers to chime in.

Yes the observations aren't that original, but I tried to balance that with a harsher voice than the pros use.

Again thanks for reading and taking time to comment.

greengrass said...

you hit a few of my pet hates with your list, but I was surprised that "A Liverpool derby win" wasn't in there,

MotM said...

GG - Can't remember a Liverpool derby win. Is it bad?

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