Football commentators. Mostly they talk too much and just say things you can see for yourself anyway. Some get wildly over-excited (Pearce), some let their bias show (Tyldesley, Drury) and some are simply dreadful in every respect (Drury again). Some never really seem to know what’s going on, start talking, then often have to change what they were going to say (Motson).
Listening to Barry Davies’s one-off return to Match of the Day on the 50th anniversary show the other week made me realise once again that commentary can actually be entertaining, witty and meaningful. He’s different class to the rest of them is old Barry. How is it that someone who has not commentated for a decade can show up with no practice and put the rest of them to shame so easily? It’s like Bergkamp being picked for Holland in Euro 2016 and winning it for them. Maybe the fact there is so much football on these days means we are bound to end up scraping the talent barrel, as we seem to with some of the pundits too. And punditry is a job where it’s even more obvious than commentary when the ‘talent’ is adding nothing to the experience.
Not long after these thoughts crossed my mind the ever-entertaining Giles Smith touched on the same subjects in The Times. If I was at least 50 per cent funnier and had a job at The Times I could deputise when he goes on holiday. Anyway, Barry Davies: Good; Robbie Savage: Bad. I hope we can all agree on that.