I new it would happen eventually — I’m beginning to feel stuffed and overfaced by the orgy of sport on the telly this week. Having wall to wall World Cup and Wimbledon is like a diet of burgers and strawberries and cream. A nice enough idea, but you’ll be craving salad and Ryvita before too long.
And so it is with the footie. I switch on the matches almost by remote control (literally really) but my mind starts wandering and I suddenly remember other things I should be doing. Like worming the dog or reading my horoscope.
It doesn’t help when the games are so poor. I tuned into Brazil and Portugal last night, the match billed as the acme of the beautiful game, not the nadir of the 0-0 draw they delivered. I swear I heard the crowd chanting, “Barns-lee! It’s just like watching Barns-lee!”
I’ve developed a new technique for catching the best of the matches without it interfering with reading the paper or surfing web. I have the game on the telly in the dining room and also on the radio in the kitchen. Since the DAB is about five seconds ahead of the tv, I can get on with whatever I want to do until the voice of an excited commentator tells me it is time to catch the action.
Then there is the tennis. Pretty poor planning on someone’s part to let Wimbledon clash with the footie. I’m surprised that Robinson’s Barley Water didn’t lodge an official complaint. The only thing of any great interest was that “epic” 70-68 game final set by two blokes no-one has ever heard of, mainly because it pushed the bounds of tedium to its outermost limits.
What strikes me though is the way that the summer sport is almost ignored. England has beaten the Aussies twice in the last week and it has barely merited a mention. The nation that not long ago was glued to the box to watch the Ashes now couldn’t give a full toss.
As if that weren’t bad enough, the way cricket is treated in the radio sports bulletins is shameful. I can understand that the fate of Honduras in Group H takes precedence and that the cricket scores are relegated to the end. It’s just the way it’s reported:
“And now cricket. There were wins today for Lancashire, Essex, Hampshire and Somerset.”
And that’s it. No mention of who they were playing, the scores or even who won by how many runs or wickets. Can you imagine if they’d done the same for the World Cup yesterday? “There were wins for the Ivory Coast and Spain” and leaving it at that? No scores or scorers, no mention of draws, just who won?
I feel a letter of complaint coming on: “Dear BBC, why, oh why, oh why, oh why….”