Saturday, November 17, 2007

Breaking down the build-up

Today is a day of some significance in European football.
It's the kind of day when Five Live and Sky Sports promise "we'll bring you all the build-up".
This phrase amuses me, suggesting as it does that the build-up is something that takes place and requires close watching rather than merely the thing that TV and radio uses to fill up the many hours during which nothing whatsoever is taking place.
Just as the amount of sport has increased so has the amount of time that broadcasters devote to getting us to feel tense about it. And when, as surely it will, it all comes crashing down, they will be the the first to say "are we getting this whole thing out of proportion"?


  1. There's even less variation in football punditry than in an Eastenders script. You can predict the ending of each sentence after the first three or four words.
    The only thing you need to judge is whether the pundit will plump for the upbeat view or the downbeat view.

    Upbeat: "They've lost heavily in the previous two matches, so they'll be hungry for victory today and looking to avenge defeat".

    Downbeat: "They've lost heavily in the previous two matches, so their morale will be low and there could well be tension in their play."

    It's so empty, dull and pointless that we might just as well have weather pundits. Or Lottery Focus.

  2. Anonymous8:05 pm

    It must have been very amusing in newspaper offices last night as "McClaren must go" pieces were spiked. McClaren must have been laughing his head off, especially as many of his detractors would have advocated hiring Gus Hiddink, whose team failed so dismally in Israel.

    And only three weeks after dumping all the "Lewis Hamilton - World Champion" articles!

  3. Anonymous10:56 am

    I may be a weird-one, but with England I actually prefer the build-up and post-match analysis to the game itself. I dislike most of the England players and the manager. I have mixed feelings about them qualifying mainly because I will miss the build-up and 'chat'. The latter is especially good when the team have failed in some way.