Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Keano takes the pundits over his knee

The other Keano, the one who's not playing anymore.

Roy Keane was invited onto ITV a little while ago to act as the colour guy for Celtic v Man U, but he responded by saying he'd rather be at the dentist*.

The angriest of the angry Irishmen has a poor history with television. It was an appearance on MUTV's (Manchested United's special channel, much like Leafs TV or one of those) which ended his 12 year stay at United. He has often vocally criticized the way matches are called, and has more than once admitted to turning the TV to mute when watching football.

All this reminds me of one of my biggest gripes when watching matches - commentators who can't decide who they're broadcasting to. I understand it's difficult to toe the line between good analysis and teaching analysis, but they need to figure it out.

It's especially bad in Canada, where we're subjected to some of the worst football analysis in the world. Honestly, I've heard more insightful comments watching football in India than the crap on Fox Sports World Canada, The Score, TSN or Sportsnet.

Don't get me wrong, I'm more than happy that I can finally watch football on TV rather than counting on internet streaming, but I'm finding myself switching the channel at halftime and watching the games on mute with music playing so that I'm not subjected to the stream of shite pouring from the speakers.

The halftime analysis from supposed experts is probably my biggest problem. I respect Craig Forrest as much as the next guy, but he's out there without a raft at halftime. Except for that English fella (apologies, his name escapes me at the moment) who did EURO, Gerry Dobson and his crew are the most useless providers of analysis and football news ever. It's painful to listen to them try to break down a half and set us up for the second half. The story is the same on the Score, when I'm watching the Footy Show or when they have live broadcasts.

Again, I'm more than happy that we're finally getting matches here, and it's absolutely a step in the right direction. But football is easily, along with hockey, the most popular sport among youth in this country. Kids understand what's going on and, for the most part, their parents do too. We can start to step into the next level of match analysis, people typically aren't learning the game anymore. People know it, people know good football, and the halftime analysis has no business explaining the offside rule or what constitutes a penalty. Discussing and arguing whether something is a penalty is fine, explaining the rule is dumb and unnecessary.

If anything, the poor quality of football analysis in this country is turning people off watching it, it's irritating to know the game and have to listen to that drivel. Craig Forrest and the other guy who's name I can't remember seem to actively try to up the level**, but they're constantly kicked down by their co-hosts, and the Footy Show is dominated by people who shouldn't be analyzing football. Honestly, that fella who looks like a fridge has never, in any of the episodes I've watched, said a helpful or analytical comment. He has a habit of summing up what happened, and pretending that he's analyzing.

Any road, let this article act as a public service announcement for channels who broadcast football: we understand what's happening, you seem to understand as well, please bring your programs up to our standards. Thank you.

* I know dentists, I am friends with dentists, but in the chair you guys are bastards.
** Although, Craig, really, we understand you played in the Premier league. Your anecdotes are nice, but you don't have to remind us every week that you played.

1 comment:

Andrew Bucholtz said...

Disagree. I quite enjoy Dobson and Forrest on Sportsnet, and The Footy Show has good stuff from time to time too. Yeah, it's not usually full of detailed technical insight, but you can give good insight into a match without being overly technical and losing a good amount of your audience in the process. Everyone wants something different from their announcers/commentators, and that's fine, but it doesn't make Gerry Dobson or James Sharman bad commentators just because they aren't giving the kind of commentary you're looking for. To each their own: why dump all over something just because it's not your style?

P.S. I believe you mean Dick Howard by "that English gentleman", and yeah, I quite like him as well.

P.P.S. I agree with Roy Keane on many things, but the media is not one of them.