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.
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!
- You: Wigan Athletic 3-2 West Ham United | Premier League match report (guardian.co.uk)
- Premier League Sunday, Gameweek 37: Open Thread (epltalk.com)
- West Ham United Relegated After 3-2 Loss At Wigan Athletic (sbnation.com)
- Premier League preview: Wigan v West Ham (footballfancast.com)
- West Ham relegated from Premier League (theglobeandmail.com)
- Wigan v West Ham (news.bbc.co.uk)
- West Ham relegated after defeat (news.bbc.co.uk)
- Wigan Athletic aiming to punch above their weight against traditional heavyweights West Ham (telegraph.co.uk)
- Squad sheets: Wigan Athletic v West Ham United (guardian.co.uk)
- Wigan Athletic v West Ham United: match preview (telegraph.co.uk)
- Late Wigan winner sees Hammers relegated (independent.co.uk)
- West Ham United: Do the Hammers Deserve Relegation? (bleacherreport.com)
- Wigan Athletic: Caldwell can take the pressure (clubcall.com)
- Grant optimistic with Wigan in sights (footballfancast.com)
- West Ham out of the Premiership after loss to Wigan (cbc.ca)
- Wigan Athletic: Latics wait on midfield star (clubcall.com)