Day: September 2, 2007

My Afternoon With Sky Sports

I have to say that, on Saturday afternoons, I usually have better things to do. If I’m not at a match, I’ll be found in a pub, or out shopping in Brighton somewhere. Saturday afternoons aren’t much of a time for sitting around doing nothing, in my household. This week, however, was different. Hamstrung by the cost of a holiday, though, I had to eschew the joys of the FA Cup Preliminary Round yesterday and opted instead to spend the afternoon in the surreal company of Jeff Stelling and Sky’s “Soccer Saturday”. It’s not, I have to say, a completely satisfactory arrangement. I don’t like the creeping feeling that you get watching it, that something of critical importance is going on elsewhere, and the sense of helplessness that comes with it. I’m not amused by the fact that I am sitting at home, watching men watch football matches and telling me what is happening. It strikes me that this is a pretty neat metaphor for the modern game – this week, I can’t afford to go to a match, so I am reduced to the people that broadcast it telling me what is happening. Stelling, the host, is pretty difficult to fault. The words “consummate professional” spring immediately to mind. He growls like a recently awoken tiger and purrs like a contented walrus. He is enjoying his job, and...

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