The comments for which Sky football pundit Andy Gray has been sacked from his £1.7m job (surely some mistake?), were not only ill-advised from a sexism point of view, but also for being one of the most hackneyed football clichés ever, alongside “sick as a parrot” and “over the moon”. The offside law is only even slightly complex because the rules keep changing, and comments about women’s ability to understand them are a generation out of date.
Still, clichés are still a massive part of a football commentator’s weaponry, so here are some that you will hear in every Match of the Day, along with explanations: Read more…
The first in an ever-expanding list of things that are beginning to annoy the hell out of me…
Things people say:
- “Life isn’t fair, get used to it.”
Well, it won’t be so long as people excuse injustice by saying it’s an unavoidable fact of life. Injustice is one of the three things that should never be accepted, the other two being a reverse charge phone call from the International Space Station and an invitation to a pool party at Michael Barrymore’s house.
- “There’s no smoke without fire”
If I started a random and totally unfounded rumour about someone – that the Dalai Lama was riding in the 4:15 at Haydock for example – does the very utterance of the suggestion make it a fact? No, of course it doesn’t. It’s a vain attempt to justify petty minded gossip-mongering, something that the man formerly known as Lhamo Döndrub would have disapproved of. Probably.
And for the record, it’s not an onerous task to make smoke without fire, as my feeble attempts to make toast for my children will attest.
- “I’m not being funny, but…”
No, you’re not, you’re being irritating. Stop it.
- “This’ll make you laugh” (aka “You’ll like this” and “You’ll never guess what just happened”)
Almost always precedes the most tedious and unfunny series of events that couldn’t be turned into something amusing even by the world’s greatest comedian. Or Les Dennis.
One of my friends on Facebook (well, I say ‘friend’, but when we knew each other we never really got past the “Alright?” stage of conversation) has joined a group called “I WILL hang my England Flag where ever I want & I’ll hang it with Pride!”
I couldn’t be bothered scrolling through the hundreds of posts to find the root cause of this group of like-minded
bigots contributors, but I gather that a tabloid (probably the Mail or Express, possibly both) has published a story about how someone ‘patriotic’ has been told to stop offending neighbouring Sikhs with their public display of the George Cross in the run up to the World Cup. The fact that this almost certainly never happened and was made up to whip a certain demographic into a frothy-mouthed and jingoistic frenzy is largely irrelevant.
Most of the comments are, perhaps unsurprisingly, very badly written with their authors employing a host of techniques such as bad spelling, atrocious grammar and A LOT OF CAPITALS.
So far, so BNP, but among the complaints about turbans and vales (sic) someone has actually used, without so much as a hint of irony, the hackneyed cliché “I’m not racist but” and then followed it with an extremely racist comment. “I’m not racist but” is as clear an indicator of a racist as “I’m a realist” is of a cynic and “I’m Ashley Cole” is of an adulterous goon. If you genuinely aren’t racist then don’t qualify it, just say “I’m not racist. Period.” Or, better still, say nothing and everyone will just assume you’re not.