Tuesday, April 14, 2009


My bon mot

Adam Curtis did a brilliant piece on Charlie Brooker's Newswipe on BBC4 last week about "Oh Dearism", the trend for television news to show shocking events about which we can do nothing but feel helpless and sad, and to which the only possible reaction is "Oh dear".

I wonder if anybody in BBC Sport saw it. I only ask because Saturday's Football Focus and Match Of The Day used the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster to indulge in the kind of crass grief tourism that has become a media staple since Princess Diana's death. "A football match seems so unimportant in these situations," intoned a sombre Ray Stubbs on Match Of The Day. Had he followed his remark by saying, "So here instead is a short film," the cliché might have made some sense. But obviously we did not want to miss Torres's brilliant strike against Blackburn, or the seven-goal thriller at Stamford Bridge, so the show continued, but sans the theme tune at the end, and with the requisite Hillsborough chit chat between Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrenson after the Liverpool highlights.

Mix and Match of the Day turns tragedy to cliche
The Grauniad, April 13th


From the comments on above post:

13 Apr 09, 11:57am (about 4 hours ago)

It was mawkish in some aspects, but you have to give Hansen his obviously sincere and heartfelt due.

Recommend? (1)

13 Apr 09, 12:05pm (about 4 hours ago)

I found Alan Hansen's bit on Football Focus the most fulsome of the lot: artistic, looping camera pan round him in the cathedral before he delivers sententious punchline. I thought it was gratuitously over-engineered and lacking in humility.

Most worthwhile comment came from Steve Claridge on final score, along the lines of "Yes, we got all-seater stadia, but we'd rather not have paid such a high price for them," which added a bit of perspective to the bon Motson on the subject.

Additional kudos to Claridge for managing to fit a word in edgewise while Garth Crooks's big self-important mouth is flapping like a barn door in a gale.

Recommend? (3)


I was quite pleased with "bon Motson" (derived from a bon mot delivered by ubiquitous football commentator John Motson) although a search on Google informed me that I can't claim to be the inventor of the term.

I was also happy to seize my opportunity to have a dig at Garth Crooks, a man who, I am confident, has never carried an argument by any means other than talking louder than everyone else.

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Dan, are there any football pundits you think are actually worth listening to in the U.K.?

If I can now proceed with answering my own question, I always listen when I catch Gabriele Marcotti on BBC 5 Live Football Daily. Caveat is that he`s only on once a month or so. Not only is he pretty keen, but allegedly he speaks Japanese due to a stint in Tokyo as a kid.
Quite enjoy the Guardian football weekly, although it's hardly serious punditry.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/series/footballweeklyIt's on for about 40 minutes, twice a week. I've all but given up on the Beeb- ITV is probably even worse.
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