Before I start boring you to death, just a word to say that Search Me is back. I will try to update it regularly from now on whilst trying to coax Betty back to do a few posts. She's got so much into the Atwood that her hair's turned all long and grey this week and she's started knitting me an itchy jumper which I don't want. This reading isn't good for us. We need to be at the coalface of blogging, continually failing to get shortlisted for Post Of The Week.
Ah, the football...
In the olden days there was Match of the Day on BBC and The Big Match on ITV. I'd avidly watch both these highlights of Saturday's matches. I knew every player in every team. I even quite liked some teams other than West Ham. I liked Burnley as they played in claret and blue. I liked Stoke City because we had a classic League Cup Final against them when Bobby had to go in goal. I liked Tottenham Hotspur because Martin went there and they played entertaining football. I remember one match with Spurs I saw on The Big Match which was full of mud and rain and great football. I had two posters on my bedroom wall, one of West Ham, one of Spurs. We both played the game it was meant to be played. We were the entertainers.
I suppose I stopped watching the football highlights of matches not involving West Ham in 1982 when my dad had a phone call in the middle of Match of the Day from his secret fancy piece. All hell was let loose and I missed the rest of the football. Other teams didn't seem to matter anymore. I have only ever watched matches involving the Irons from then on.
Rupert Murdoch's Sky has, of course, revolutionised the way we watch football. There are highlights of all Premiership matches and several live ones. Yes, live ones! There is even a new viewer called the "neutral". You will often hear a Sky commentator say, "that was a great game for the neutral."
The neutral will watch any old shit, all two and a half hours of action and analysis of a match he is not emotionally involved in. Highlights I can understand, if you've got the time. But a neutral can watch and enjoy a whole game of football, dispassionately.
I've nothing against neutrals. They're decent men in the main. It's just not for me. I need the sweating, the shouting and the heart rumbles. I need to roar like a lion when my team scores. I need to shout obscenities at the referee and opposition players, manager and especially chairmen. Especially chairmen like Dave Whelan of Wigan.**
If I did all this at a live match I'd be banned. I wouldn't do it. In company, I'm a civilised member of society. At home, though, I am a beastial real man, an Iron John.
And it's all thanks to Rupert Murdoch.
** Admittedly I'm the same when I watch Later With Jools.
19 hours ago