World cup media monitor – part 1

Last man back June 12, 2010 12

I watched the opening game of the World Cup on ITV yesterday. I had started on RTE but when the commentary is about two seconds ahead of the picture it gets tiresome very quickly. Not as tiresome as the vuvuzelas, but still.

Master of pomp and bluster for the day was Peter Drury, ably supported by Jim Beglin. The highlight, and by highlight I clearly mean lowlight, of their commentary came a few short minutes after South Africa’s wonderful opener. We had gone beyond Drury’s toe-curling shriek of ‘Bafana! Bafana!’ and the stomach churning ‘A goal for all Africa!”, when inset footage showed a group of people watching the game and their reaction to the goal.

Drury explained how ramshackle and downtrodden these people were.

“They only got electricity last week”, he said, as we watched them watch the game projected onto a big screen.

“That’s not even a TV!”, chimed Beglin, “that’s a sheet!”

Drury, the raw emotion of first world privilege barely under control, managed to exclaim, “Football is for people”, before getting on with the live coverage of the game.

“Football is for people”. Amazing insight. Will there be a more banal piece of commentary between now and the end of the World Cup? There certainly won’t be a more patronising one, that’s for sure.

And if you hear anything from ITV, BBC, RTE or wherever you have to live, please get in touch and let us know. There’s a whole world of terrible commentary out there, it would be wrong not to share it with fellow football fans.


  1. Charmaine Amunrud July 17, 2010 at 5:51 am -

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  2. Joel June 19, 2010 at 6:51 pm -

    Good to hear peter drury still reminding us that a goal by an African team (this time Cameroon) is ‘a goal for Africa’. Vom, again.

  3. Last man back June 18, 2010 at 10:04 am -

    You can almost hear Drury thinking about he’s going to get himself into famous quotation books. He’s so bombastic even Shaggy can’t keep up.

  4. Mike D. June 18, 2010 at 4:53 am -

    Why are you hassling Drury for his commentary. In my opinion that will go down as one of the most memorable and fitting calls in the history of sport.

    “Goal for South Africa! Goal for ALL Africa!”

    Nothing sums up the opening game of a first World Cup on African soil better, especially when South Africans had all been proclaiming that they will support any African side left in the tournament… there is a spirit of togetherness and unity in the dark continent that many in the rest of the world sorely lack.

  5. Saketh June 12, 2010 at 8:56 pm -

    I don’t remember where or when.. but it was an EPL match, and some guy had just scored a scorcher from outside the box.

    One of the commentators shrieked, “That ball was hit with so much force, it bounced back off the net!!”


  6. Last man back June 12, 2010 at 12:40 pm -

    Alan, hah, a ruthless way to deal with dissent. Even from foreigners.

    fsports – what does that even mean?!

  7. foreignsports June 12, 2010 at 12:38 pm -

    Yesterday’s finest bit of commentary was Mark Lawrenson marveling at the size of Abou Diaby, saying, “He’s like a moveable wardrobe!”.

  8. Alan Forde June 12, 2010 at 11:41 am -

    All time classic has to be Philip greene commentating on a 1974 world cup qualifier between Ireland and the USSR from Kiev. After one of the DynamoKiev/USSR players missed a sitter PG opined that the player might be on his way to siberia after the match. The KGB, who monitored ALL broadcasts in and out of the sov union were not impressed and cut the broadcast for the remainder of the game. Ireland lost 2-1 if anyones interested.

  9. Last man back June 12, 2010 at 10:33 am -

    Is that the famous singing commentator from here – ?

    Drury made my toes curl.

  10. Ffnordd June 12, 2010 at 10:20 am -

    Also, I thought Drury was going to break into a chorus of “Free Nelson Mandela” or start reciting “Invictus” after his Bafana Bafana rant.

  11. Ffnordd June 12, 2010 at 10:18 am -

    Oddest thing on Univision (Mexican TV) – the announcer sings “Tshabalala!” (to the tune of the “Sha-La-La-La” at the start of Duran Duran’s “The Reflex”) at various points during the match.

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