Saturday, November 12, 2005


Sweet Jesus, Graeme, What The Hell Are You Wittering About?

I've sort of done all this before, when I wrote this post about which in-game summarisers on British TV are the best, but today's game has forced me to return to the issue.

Anyone who listens to football at all on the radio already knows that Graeme Le Saux has become the de facto in-studio summariser during Sunday's 'Sport On Five' - when an in-studio summariser can be used because essentially he gets paid to sit there watching the game on Sky, which can't be done on Saturday thanks to the 3pm footie embargo - and he has now started to creep into in-game summarising, replacing Mark Lawrenson today as the caller in an England game. Blimey. He must know his stuff then, mustn't he?

Well, maybe. He knows a thing or two, or seems to, but he has got to - and I mean got to - get out of the habit of stating the absolutely bleeding obvious. This is known in football as 'Pleat's disease', after former Tottenham manager and erstwhile Five Live summariser David Pleat, who had a habit of making statements of the order of 'the second half is starting, there's forty-five minutes left', in the apparent belief that the listener needed these things explaining.

Le Saux also needs to learn to sop speaking Footiespeak, that horrible language that only occurs in football punditry - 'he'll stand up and be counted', 'the crowd was like a twelth man today', 'he's stand by you in the trenches', and 'all I want to do is play football' being examples of the genre.

Today, he uttered one of the all-time terrible footiespeak lines. Towards the end, while Argentina were still leading 2-1, but not long before England equalised, he stated;

'This has been a competetive game, in every meaning of the word.'

What? How many meanings of the word are there? Well, don't tell me, I can look it up, and it turns out there are three meanings to the word 'competetive', and two of them don't make sense in the context.

This blunder caused me and my mate to play a rather amusing game. Whenever Le Saux stated anything we would add 'in every meaning of the word' to the end of it, with what I regard as mildly amusing results:

'Crouch has been dispossessed' - in every meaning of the word.
'Argentina are deflated' - in every meaning of the word.

And so on. Other people may not regard this as a high watermark in the history of humour, but I'm afraid they're wrong.

Graeme, you could be a good summariser one day, but you need to learn that footiespeak bites - in every sense of the word.

In Hockey:
He was body every sense of the word!

He hit a every sense of the word

Figure skating:
She did a perfect every sense of the word!

Tee hee.
Like your comments on Graeme Le Saux. Why don't you check out my online Clown Supplies Store... only joking! (but how do you get rid of those things?)

Anyway, totally agree with what you were saying about Le Saux. I posted something on my blog a couple of days ago that was along the same lines.

BBC coverage is getting increasingly bland isnt it? Shearer isn't much better and Linekar is getting better but he's not as good as Des used to be. For England games it should be Motty and Lawro, Gary, Hansen and Wright (yeah, i know but he is good value).

Anyway, like the post.

On a similar note, did you see Sunday Grandstand yesterday? It was the inaugral GP Masters Grand Prix, where former champions like Mansell and Fittipaldi raced at the age of 50-something. It featured Fleetwood Mac's The Chain as the theme tune. It also marked the return of that much-loved old duffer - Murray Walker.

He only managed one Murray-ism as far as I can remember:

'Mansell knows now that he only has two laps remaining - this one, and the one after it!'

Sheer class. Lawro, Le Saux et al... watch and learn.
SafeT - Those are excellent! Take three points. They're being added to the dossier.

Armchair - BBC coverage is fairly terrible really. Since, like you, I don't have Sky, I have to live with it as well, and I'm finding it increasingly infuriating. Does Alan Hanson have to be such a cock to Adtian Chiles all the time? Does Graeme Le Saux realise I have watched a game of football before? Does Gordon Strachan know that nobody can understand him?

Paul - No, I missed that. I'm a bit annoyed I missed it, but I had to be working at the time. Who won?

Murray is still the king. My aunt and uncle met him once, and I'm so envious. That was a man who knew his stuff, and was funny to boot. If only football had anyone half as good.
Mansell won, leading from start to finish. It was a bit like old times really. Astonishingly, they were all in the same specification cars, but Mansell and Fittipaldi finished 22 seconds ahead of the rest of the field over a 30 lap race.

I was given Murray's autobiography for Christmas a few years back and was expecting it to be dull, but it's an excellent read, spanning his time in the army during WW2, his marketing career and his professional commentating career. I recommend it.
Yeah, I read it too, and I did thoroughly enjoy it. I'd repeat that recommendation.
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