Sunday, November 04, 2007

Everything I Know I Learned From The Back Page Of The Daily Record

I've certainly been known to make use of strained football metaphors before, but I've had a few days off work this week in which I've watched a few games, listened to a few radio phone-ins and read a few newspapers. In that time, I've come to realise just how much the British media's sport coverage resembles its current affairs output.

British readers will be familiar with the fads, manias and prejudices of the modern tabloid press, and may have noticed this long before - I was a bit taken aback.

Open the football pages of a random paper on any given day, and you'll likely find some variation on these themes...

The game's governing bodies - the FA in England and SFA in Scotland - well, they're hopelessly incompetent no-hopers whose greatest talent is awarding themselves pay rises.

As for the game itself, did you see England v Israel the other week? 3-0, what a performance. World beaters, I tell you, a purring engine of pure footballing skill - that team fear no-one, and they'll win the European Championships at a canter. The manager has finally come good, and I always knew he was the man for the job.

What's that? They lost in Moscow? Well, I always said they were a mincing gang of overpaid woofters who care more about their fancy cars than they do about rolling up their sleeves and getting stuck in. That manager needs shooting, he's a national embarrassment.

The Premiership? Don't talk to me about the Premiership - it's filled with work-shy foreign imports, who think they're entitled to come over here and pick up fat wage-packets for doing nothing. And the prices they charge you to get into games! Why, it's just a rip-off - go abroad and you'll get into a game there for a fiver.

And don't get me started on the foreigners - that UEFA and FIFA, they're nothing but a bunch of crooks, and our lads never get a fair chance against their biased refereeing. Why, just look at the play-acting and diving other countries get up to, they're nothing but a bunch of cheating bastards trying to con the referee-

-Ref! Penalty, ref! Yeah, okay, so there wasn't much contact and Michael Owen made a bit much of it, but that's the modern game isn't it? The referee's there to be played too.

But as I was saying, why is it only Britain that plays by the rules while everybody else cheats and do as they please?

Yes, the game was much better when I was a lad - they played for the shirt in them days, and it was two-bob to get in. Not like today, where it's all prawn sandwiches and over-privileged mercenaries on the make.

All in good fun, of course, but isn't it odd that our coverage of sport and politics are so similar?

Why, it's almost as if the newspapers have perfected a formula for keeping us all pissed off and resentful, yet ever-eager to fork over cash for more of the same.

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