Eddie's Football Blog

A bizarre look at the world of football, since 2008

Posts Tagged ‘ITV’

EXCLUSIVE: Champions League Final was actually just an online game of Fifa 11

Posted by eddiev18 on May 31, 2011

Messi: Controlled by Japanese teenager

Football fans all over the United Kingdom today woke up to the news that Saturday night’s Champions League Final was actually just a live game of Fifa 11 between a Japanese teenager and a 69 year old alcoholic pensioner.

Milllions of viewers tuned in to watch what they thought was a masterclass from Pep Guardiola’s men, only to realise later that they had actually just witnessed 14 year old Yoshio Takanawa wiping the floor of Maureen Turner from Aberdeen on Xbox Live.

United fan Kevin Wilmott was one of the few viewers who spotted the mix-up: “We all know how good Barcelona are, but that was just too fucking easy. In the second half I remember saying to my mate that it was like watching some Japanese whizz-kid play my granny at FIFA. It turns out I was pretty much bang on.

“What gave it away though, was a manouvre from Messi on 65 minutes that can only be achieved via the combo ‘b + ^ + L + select’. Human beings simply cannot phisically do that, and then follow it by beating four defenders – it was clearly a game of FIFA.”

Mrs Turner wasn’t too bothered by the defeat, and admits that she’s not much of a gamer: “My grandson Charlie was playing on his computer thingy, and I asked him if I could have a go. I chose Manchester United because David Beckham plays for them, doesn’t he? He’s a charming fellow.

“Anyway, I didn’t do very well. You see, I’d already had a few whiskeys and kept pressing pass when I meant to press shoot. Actually, now I remember it, we only scored our goal when I went for a refill and gave the controller back to Charlie.”

An ITV spokesman admitted that someone must have plugged in the wrong live output feed but – whilst they were sorry – the actual final (which Barcelona scraped 1-0) was nowhere near as exciting.

“Look, whether it’s the patronising tones of Jim Beglin, the employment of Andy Townsend, or simply the way we cut to an advert just before your team scores an important goal, ITV is renown for screwing up your enjoyment of important football matches.

“You’re just going to have to get used to it, ok?

“Plus, our mistake on Saturday resulted in millions of people witnessing the sort performance that a team of humans could only dream of relpicating. Yoshio was magnificent.

“Ok, I accept that dismantling a team controlled by a 69 year old Scottish drunk was never going to be much of a challenge, but you simply have to applaud the skill with which it was done.”

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The (English) Commentator’s Curse

Posted by eddiev18 on September 6, 2009

Lawrenson. Dick.

Lawrenson. Dick.

“We’re the best in the world! We’ve beaten England 2-1 at football! This is truuuuly incredible! We’ve beaten England, England the fighters’ birthplace: Lord Nelson, Lord Beaverbrook, Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Anthony Eden, Clement Attlee, Henry Cooper, Lady Diana – we’ve beaten you all. Maggie Thatcher, can you hear me? Maggie Thatcher, I have a message for you in the middle of your campaign… Maggie Thatcher, as you say in your language in the boxing bars around Madison Square Garden: Your boys took a hell of a beating!”Bjørge Lillelien (Norwegian commentator), Norway vs England, World Cup Qualifier 1981.

Ok, so there’s that, and then there’s:

“What a hit. Take a bow son”Andy Gray, Sky Sports co-commentator, after every goal scored from outside the penalty box.

And there in lies the problem, English football commentary has decayed. Gone are the days of Stuart Hall eulogising about ‘a match of titanic proportions about to take place at the colusseum’ with ‘the gladatorial figure of Owen’ looking to slay the Italian beast, when simply tasked with introducing an England vs Italy game. Nowadays you are most likely to hear some washed up ex-pro using a co-commentator’s job to try to showpiece his knowledge of the game, in a desperate attempt to convince viewers that he knows what he’s talking about. Trouble is Warren Barton, we don’t care, and we don’t want to hear you. As for an article I recently read, claiming that Mark Lawrenson was John Motson’s ‘funny side-kick’. No. Stop it. Never write that.

It also annoys me that when Sky Sports commentators are talked about, the first name that comes to everyone’s mind is Gray, who is always the co-commentator. In my mind, the reason for this is that the guys actually doing the commentating aren’t the personalities they should be. The lack of eccentric, enthusiastic shouty-blokes is evident. The closest we get to eccentric is John Motson, but he is slowly losing his marbles, and has essentially become a parody of himself. Stuart Hall is another eccentric, and also wonderfully descriptive, but has been criminally under-used by the BBC.

As for shouty-blokes, it’s a crime that Jonathan Pearce decided to ditch the radio for television. Pearce had to dumb himself down for TV, and it’s only the viewer/listener’s loss. I used to love muting the TV and tuning into Capital Gold on the radio, to hear the over-exciteable Pearce screaming with excitment when England got a throw-in in a promising position. His goal celebrations weren’t bad either… “and there was Teddy, ever so steady, and he’ll celebrate tonight with a glass of sherry!” I like that. You don’t get much rhyming anymore, and it’s certainly better than “get in there you beauty”, which could be mustered by any old drunk in the pub.

I understand that the English way is to be more reserved, with the occasional hint of sarcasm for humour. I have time for that too. For example, Motson proclaiming that England’s 5-1 win in Munich was their ‘best result against the Germans since the war’ was fantastic. However, when it’s 0-0, England v Uzbekistan, on a damp Saturday afternoon in November, the commentator has to take some form of resposability for whipping up the atmosphere. You can be damn certain that the 30,000 ‘corporate spectators’ at Wembley won’t be creating it. Turning to Joe Royale to ask ‘So Joe, after 30 minutes, have you seen any evidence of threat from this Uzbeki team?’ is not interesting, and his response is undoubtedly going to be about as exciting as watching Gordon Brown tweeze the grey hairs out of his nostril.

The reason for this rant? Jealousy. The source of this jealousy? I have just watched the following clip of yesterday’s Mexico vs Costa Rica game. I want what Mexico have.

Get rid of Martin Tyler, and get me a shouty Spanish bloke. Problem solved.

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