Thursday, 7 February 2013


I WAS watching Match of the Day there on account of loving football and hating Gary Lineker, the perfect mix of emotions.
Or I should say, so I’m watching Match of the Day. That way those footballers who can read will be the only people who understand I am talking about the past while suggesting it is still in the present.

All footballers, from the Premier League to Sunday five-a-side drunks, think it is appropriate to get all messed up with tenses and no one corrects them.

Why is it they feel it’s acceptable to the masses for them to be majestic with their feet, or apparently mercurial if they’re occasionally shit, but woefully inadequate with their mouths?

Anyone who reads these missives will know that I am no grammatical guru. But good Lord, enough.

It's like Damon Runyon has written their scripts after a particularly heavy night on the absinthe.

My problem is that I correct them as they are being interviewed on MotD. Sometimes out loud. I can’t help it.

It’s like muttering “fewer” when someone uses less incorrectly or rubbing out rogue apostrophes on signs.

After about half an hour I normally have a headache and my teeth are somehow numb.

So I pictured myself applying to be a sports reporter and becoming the voice that introduces the luminaries.

I could be the one that asks those insightful questions along the lines of, so was that 6-0 win a good result or do you think five of their team unexpectedly being struck down with Black Death after 15 minutes was a turning point?

I pictured myself chatting to Premier League stars and having a whole new strategy that involved some nasty aversion therapy to tense destruction.

“Great goal Crispen, talk me through it as presumably the producer believes no one has been watching the previous highlights and we were hoping your extraordinary descriptive powers could replace the 300 cameras that have gathered footage of it.”

“Errrrrrrrrrrrm, ok. So I’m in the box and...”

I slap him hard across the face.

“No you’re not Crispen. I warned you about this. You’re here in the tunnel being interviewed by me. Try again.”

“What, right ok. So I erm was in the box and Charlie has done a lovely 40 yard pass...”

I kick him in the shins to show my disapproval at the sloppiness of the sentence.

“ So I turn...”


“Turned turned, sorry. And I’m face to face with the ‘keeper...


“You’re face to reddening face with me Crispen.”

It is at this point he starts to cry and says: “I was crying because you keep hitting me.”

I set fire to his hair and walk off to meet the producer who has been shouting in my ear for a while now.

“I am not sure it’s working out Rant,” I imagine he mutters.

“What’s the problem?”

“Well, I’m sitting here watching the interview...”


“No you’re not. You are sitting here firing me.”

And that is how my sports reporting career will likely come to an end.

It’s not difficult to understand tenses really. If it happened before the moment you are in then it’s past, if your doing it right now then it’s the present, and if it’s going to happen later then it’s the future.

It was not that difficult is it?

Oh and players, please stop saying it was a team performance after you scored 5 goals. It wsn't. Some PR arse in the background grinning with corporate smugness at the message being delivered. He or she are on my list.

How about interviewing a team that lost 6-0 and the player saying: "Yeah it was a team performance. We were collectively pish. I think the keeper was a shambles and it got worse the further up the pitch you went. If you're going to blame anyone, blame the players, the manager and the ludicrous structures we have in place here."

There  I am back.

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