As I get older and wiser, that’s more cynical and increasingly bitter in all honestly, I’ve attempted to constantly adapt to ensure that modern life doesn’t get the better of my sanity. Most of this involves turning down the noise, especially when it comes to social media platforms. I deleted Facebook for example but still needed it for Tinder (hope springs eternal), so I had to de-couple it and more recently for Airbnb where it won’t let me in to the website but thankfully the app still works on the Android. My main motivation for the Facebook deletion stemmed from the Tsunami of clumsy sheep-like poorly-intended morality and incessant re-sharing and re-posting of utter shite that I’d already read on the BBC Website. Once it was a place just to keep updated with friends all over the world now it’s become the place where friends love to force feed their other friends with all manner of inane tripe.
Ah, the BBC website. Once my go-to website of choice. Now it’s just an extension of Newsround with a dollop of Fisher Price thrown in for good measure. Shit news broken down and dumbed down into bite size pieces for the increasingly frustrated (or at the least, like me, I hope they fucking are) masses. Someone at the Beeb, who may have worked at ITV, has made the decision that we need to have every little piece news explained to us in such a moronically simple way. Oh, and that we need to see Ed Sheeran’s smug irritant face on it what seems like every bastard day.
There are bastions of decency in an ever moronic world. The Guardian Sport Twitter feed is decent but only if you promise yourself never ever to read anything penned by Barney Ronay and that you can control your cringeworthy flinches when you see an article headline of “5 things we learned about….”. David Squires regular offerings are fantastic, the recent Arsène Wenger strip was beyond comparison, in a different stratosphere even. Crap 90s Football on Twitter reminds of my halcyon days enjoying the never-ending shiteness of Lower league football. If you can stand it there’s even a wonderful clip lasting a full twelve and a half minutes on YouTube of my beloved Torquay losing 8-4 to Walsall in the FA Cup in 1995 with Torquay actually hitting the post at 4-4 before the shambolic defending level hit Def Con 1 in extra time. Football isn’t supposed to about quality and product. It’s supposed to make you smile. Brutalist Football is also a wonderful twitter feed to follow, but these feeds in general are becoming the proverbial needle in a haystack.
Ok, so you can choose what and who to follow and in theory this should mean a tailored feed. No noise. But no it doesn’t, Twitter shoves in sponsored content and then you’re at the mercy of seeing retweets, what other people like and then in notifications there’s a handy “in case you missed it” feature, handily designed to not let you ignore something you’ve already tried to ignore. There there’s the pitfall of trends. Prepare to lose your sanity if you click on those. It’s got to the stage where I wonder if Twitter would be better served renaming itself to “Smug Cunts and GIFs”. As if Eddie Murphy nodding repetitively could ever really explain the intricacies of the annual drawing of Conference North/South battlelines.
Today Twitter got another full work over. I’d already deleted hundreds of people and clubs who I follow. I could be going completely insane but I swear that the amount of shite people are retweeting has multiplied by an absolute ton in the last 2 years. I unfollowed one fellow football photographer whose photos I still love to see, but in the end the amount of tweets outweighed the number of photos in a given period. The day after I got a message through demanding to know why I unfollowed him. “You’ve answered your own question there, buddy” I said to myself. The self-important twat. But thanks to lifehacker I’ve also found a way to stop seeing retweets. It cost me a few minutes but now my feed is retweet free, save a few followers who never abuse this function. The only thing left to do now is to find a fix to stop seeing what my followers have liked on twitter.
So onto the football commentary. Lordy. What on earth is going on with that? I still get the hairs on the back of my neck tingling when I hear Barry Davies’ voice commentating on England v Poland in 1986 or in all his matches at Italia 90. No co-commentators back then, no endless waffle. Now it’s just a white noise of a researched waffle, soundbites and a repetition of both until viewers are bleeding from the ears. Clive Tyldesley on Saturday told us that not only was Luis Suarez born in the same town as Edinson Cavani but also they’ve played together for Uruguay for 12 years. Fact. Not a bad one. But when the goal came it was “That’s a goal, 12 years in the making”. Yawn. Then “that night in Barcelona” Clive proceed to mention 3 other variations of the 12 year collective national playing career. Cue more yawning. When Cavani was substituted I turned to my mate Andy and said “Do you know what Andy? Suarez could really do with a new strike partner who he’s played with for 12 years couldn’t he?”. As he limped off arm in arm with Cristiano Ronaldo it was the cue for a load of deluded knobbers in the stands to take photos thinking it was one of those media friendly wankfest moments when the “true sportsmanship” comes shining through, even though Ronaldo was trying to get Cavani off the field as quickly as possible. What bollocks. “Less is more” would be a good mantra for football commentators, but that’s for a utopian dreamworld. Barry Davies might’ve mentioned it once. But no more than once. On a separate note I was pleased to hear that the first Uruguayan goal also prompted the first mention of a “whipped cross” from Glenn Hoddle, who likes a whipped cross more than most. I wonder why 😉
When it comes to modern football commentary there’s only a very brutal analogue solution which just involves me twisting the volume knob to zero on my Cambridge Audio Amp, it’s quite a satisfying event anyway, muting shite football commentary is a next level bonus. I’m pretty sure there used to be more options though. I seem to remember the Beeb trialled Radio 5 Live commentary on the Red Button, which was some relief. Then somebody trialled the concept of fans commentary which is a flawed concept as horrific as James Corden and Paul McCartney in the same car getting all emotional about some low level whimsical bollocks. I think we now need an option to be able used to hear the crowd noise and nothing else. I think there also need to be a ban on co-commentators. I think if Commentators are forced to work on their own again the level of bollocks spoken would be a fraction of what it is now.
I know what you’re thinking and I know that there’s going to be a few people who will disagree with what I’ve said above but I’m now 43. I’ve endured Torquay United for 38 years. My dream place to live would be the Outer Hebrides instead of London, even though the fear (and no little intrigue) of opening up Tinder in Tesco Car Park in Stornaway again might deter me. Put it this way. I’m a big man but the first 4 I swiped left on looked like they could snap me like a dry twig on a sunny day. My idea of enjoyment at football is to watch a game somewhere up north watched by 8 blokes and 3 dogs. I’m not a people person. I just want to be left alone to enjoy the game in it’s most simple form. It’s not too much to ask, is it?