In the wake of the removal of Andy Gray & Richard Keys from our television screens, Scheidt’s Footballing Miscellany‘s very own Adam Clery asks if these five things could give sexism a run for its money…
The Term ‘Banter’
Whilst I’m as pleased as anyone to see words like ‘austerity’, ‘wedding’ and ‘Littlejohn’ given some time off from our collective conciseness, the recent Keys/Gray debacle has seen wave after wave of social and sporting commentator batter my ears and eyes with “the other B-word”. It’s not the word itself that I object to, it’s more the fact that over the last decade use of the term has become an excuse for the world’s bell-ends to play silly buggers and laugh it off. How many times has some reprehensible prick draped one are around your shoulder whilst spiting that “banter” is his excuse for hit shit craic? Correct, too many! And thus the word is now ruined. Retire it please.
Andy Gray’s Face
Y’know what, it’s not the fact that it’s a smug, preening cross between a testicle and Krang from Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles, Andy Gray’s face annoyed me because seeing would stir up the same impotent cocktail of apathy and despair every single time it was on screen. Whether it was Monday Night Football or The Last Word, seeing his mush on my tellybox told me that I was about to be treated to another thirty minutes of the bland, inane and pointless hot-air that’s somehow managed to make the Sky Sports balloon ascend right into the stratosphere of sports coverage. I would turn over, but that would have robbed me of my right to get angry at the television and that’s pretty much the only joy left in my life, k?
ZOMG! Telly-man done said something controversial! Let’s get 24 hour rolling news coverage on it, that’s not at all boring. I’m not going to get into my opinion on the whole incident but the more I think about it, the more I think The Sun’s front page (you know, the one with a picture of Sian Massey off her face whilst on holiday, almost looking up her skirt and with the caption “Get Them Off”) was just as, if not more, degrading to the poor girl than two burkes saying she wasn’t going to be any good at her job. Then of course there’s the collective gasps of shock and outrage when, brace yourself, a twenty-something playboy footballer is less than faithful to his brain-dead model girlfriend… again.
In this day and age of Facebook groups, e-petitions (Surely not our quest to get ourselves on Sky Sports?! – Ed.) and message boards it’s becoming easier and easier for dim-witted willies to project their bum-pesto at the rest of the world, usually in the immediate aftermath of something vaguely controversial happening. The amount of people clamouring for the blood of two football pundits, figuratively and literally, has actually taken my breath away. Not, as I would have preferred, like the scene from Top Gun with all the belly licking and rude stuff but with me losing what little faith I had left in humanity. A proportionate reaction to Grey’s “sexist behaviour” is to sit there, tut and call him a ballbag, the world doesn’t need another slack-tivist.
Do you really need me to elaborate on this one? The dramatic music, the slow motion replays, Jamie Redkanpp’s crotch, Soccer AM, fan soundbites, Premier League The Movie, Sky Sports News and it’s refusal to acknowledge that Formula 1 exists, employing Graeme Souness, not employing James Richardson, still showing the Keegan “love it” clip four times a year, The Last Word, info-graphing everything, the subscription cost and the fact that you’re putting money directly into Rupert Murdoch’s deep, silky pockets. Take your pick.