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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Take your P.A. music and shove it

We were at Twickenham yesterday. When Chris Ashton swallow dived over for his fourth try music once again barked through the P.A.. My son, who's twenty-three, turned to me wearily and said "I don't need Mark Ronson to tell me to celebrate".

I'd like to introduce him to the misguided soul who's responsible for tarting up the basic Twickenham experience - 30 players, 80,000 souls, the smell of mud and Guinness and, in yesterday's case, sunshine - in the mistaken belief that he's somehow making the game more appealing to the young. There were lots of young people there yesterday - university students with prematurely flattened noses, small children with their Italian dads, teenage girls on a spree, young Milanese wearing gladiator's helmets - and from what I could observe they weren't remotely impressed by the fact that one Lee Mead sang "Jerusalem", that flame shot out of some barrels when the England team came out or that paratroopers abseiled from the roof of the stand with the match ball.

I'm sick of saying it. Anyone who thinks that major sporting occasions need to be made more exciting should be disqualified from having anything to do with major sporting occasions. But I'm just a carping old git. Instead it's about time the young people they purport to be appealing to marched on the offices of these people behind a banner reading "Take your fatuous notions of excitement, your celebrities who wouldn't be recognised if they were busking on Twickenham railway station, your preposterous pyrotechnics that render the field of play invisible, your utterly, utterly pointless P.A. music that the crowd always drowns out anyway and give us instead either a military band or a male voice choir. We are the crowd and we provide the excitement. You don't. Butt out."