Just watched the Wigan West Ham game on radio

BBC Radio 5 Live badge (1995)

Image by radiothings.com via Flickr

Well it felt like watching so enthralled were we by the breathless commentary. I’d like to take my hats off to the commentators who, as usual on Radio 5 live, were immense. Ian Dennis and Asa Bruce-Ball I am told (Five Live Breakfast aslo picked up on this). Phil McNulty’s written commentary is also excellent.

Anyway this is not about Phil or Avram or Brady or Gold but about radio itself – this forgotten medium that brings football back to the fans.

I once asked my Professor at college what he had against Film. He aid he didn’t like to be told how to react to things , he liked the freedom that theatre or radio gave him to chose how to engage with the action – a freedom he felt denied by television and film whose choice of camera and angle sucked her into torpor.

There’s a lot of talk about giving football back to the fans at the moment – what with the FA cup being dissed by the Premier League and clubs like West Ham…there I go – stop it Henry.

Where I think most people lost football was when they delegated responsibility for watching the game (let alone playing it) to a TV Director and his camera team. The more cameras at a game, we are told the closer the approximation to watching the game live. Nonsense, increasing the number of cameras simply refines the delegation, makes us even lazier in our engagement with the real action.

If I want to follow my team, I get in a car, or on a coach or train and I go to a match. If I can’t go , I make sure I am close to my twitter feed for the duration of the match to get match updates from my trusted sources. After the game I will read a match report on the BBC website and catch up on highlights on the BBC i-player. At no point is my experience enhanced one iota by Sky or the Premier League.

As my son put it to me this afternoon

Watching a Premier League Game is a marketing not a football experience.

Radio is a medium that gives football back to the fan – or more particularly the fan’s imagination. I can listen to some Yeovil games on BBC Radio Somerset and I love to. I can listen to games like the Wigan West Ham game this afternoon and love to. I can even listen to a Premier League game and love it because I am engaging in a conversation with myself, the commentator, the crowd and the players. That game is being played out in my imagination – that is the real “theatre of dreams” – and very watchable theatre it is too!

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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1 Response to Just watched the Wigan West Ham game on radio

  1. Pingback: Just watched the Wigan West Ham game on radio « wiya111

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