Monday, February 7

Lord, I've tried the best I can.
I've asked everybody in Kazakhstan .
But I still don't understand.
Why ITV continue to employ Clive Allen as a pundit...he's even worse than the dynamic duo of John Barnes and Pat Nevin on Channel Five....and that's bad....very bad....

I stayed up late last night to watch the Superbowl and it was a really good, tight match. Pity about McCartney at half time, but thankfully I missed most of that. I watched the first half on Sky Sports, who as always provided excellent coverage. For the second half I was faced with the choice of gradually falling asleep in an uncomfortable position on the sofa, or watching it in bed on the TV in my room.....on the dreaded ITV.

Eventually I bit the bullet and pressed 3 on the remote, unprepared for the scene I would face - Gaby Logan discussing American Football with former England Rugby Captain Martin Johnson and ex-Tottenham footballer and Premiership 'pundit' Clive Allen. What on earth was going through the mind of ITV's Head of Sport when he came up with that lineup to cover the biggest annual sporting event in the world.

To be fair to Johnson, he did seem to have quite a good knowledge of the game offered up some good technical and tactical analysis. But unfortunately Logan and particuarly Allen were completely useless. Who knows what the third guest, an ex-American Football player made of it all.

The thing I couldn't understand was that ITV had Gary Imlach (a Gridiron expert with years of broadcasting experience) at the game, yet they still insisted on cutting back to inane, shallow discussion in the London studio.

Gabby: "So Clive, what do Philadelphia have to do to get back into the game?"
Clive: "They need to pass and move better Gabby, pass and move. The Eagles quarterback (pauses to look at his piece of paper) McNabb hasn't been releasing the ball well"

Did he actually think he was still talking about Spurs on The Premiership? How on earth Allen has managed to forge a semblance of a media career is beyond me. He manages to make the rest of ITV's collection of gormless pundits (McCoist, Townsend, Earle et al) look positively erudite and articulate in comparison to his dreary ramblings and terrible attempts at humour.

Maybe ITV simply couldn't find anybody else on their payroll who was prepared to stay up to some ridiculous hour of morning talking about a sport that they didn't understand. Even Paul Ross must have turned them down. But none of this stopped Allen the 'poacher turned pundit'.

As the game continued, Logan seemed to finally (after several years) realise he was a useless waste of space and simply stopped asking him questions.

We can only hope that ITV never repeat this shameful exercise in covering the biggest sporting event in the world, ever, ever again. Though they have the rights for another two years. Although at least they didn't have John Barnes, who 'memorably' provided in at the game analysis of Channel Five a couple of years ago....

I've been to Kent, Gwent and Senegal.
I've even been to look for Jim Rosenthal.
I Found him on his knees at the Wailing Wall crying;
"Gabby Logan, anchorwoman?"*
*Apologies to Half Man Half Biscuit