Sport on TV: Footballers show again all that glitters is not gold

It's time for the last event in the emotional gymnastics, when you realise you're no longer feeling anxious about a whole range of obscure sports you won't think about for another four years. Apart, that is, from the few who will jump off the couch, vault on to the sideboard and execute an effortless double pike out of the back door in order to begin realising their dreams for 2012.

Once the 300 hours of dressage finally shuffled off – albeit in a composed, rhythmic fashion – it has been compulsive viewing, from Bryony Shaw's deranged squealing and Aaron Cook's tears of rage to Tim Brabants' arms and, of course, Usain Bolt's legs.

And the recipient of the Dame Kelly Award for sheer gobsmackery, inaugurated in Athens four years ago, goes to Christine Ohuruogu. With her legions of doubters scraping their jaws off the track, the linguistics graduate was literally lost for words: now that was pure TV gold. There were so many things she could have said.

As our thoughts turn to London 2012 and the humble souls who will allow our spirits to soar once more, compare and contrast to the launch of another new era – and, inevitably, our spoilt-rotten footballers. On Wednesday Setanta bit off its first unpalatable chunk of live England coverage with the friendly against the Czechs, their last match before Capello's World Cup campaign begins.

England were appalling, Heskey was back again, David James is still bonkers, Frank Lampard was anonymous and booed off the pitch. Plus ça change, as the Italians say. Oh, and a senior FA official was sacked. That just about completes the set. John Champion asked, "What must Steve McClaren be thinking, sitting at home?" Perhaps "Thank God I haven't got Setanta".

And where was Des Lynam, Setanta's erstwhile advertising front-man, just to sweeten the pill a little? We could have done with that old twinkling eye, but if his utterly humourless impersonations of Magnus Magnusson on 'Sport Mastermind' are anything to go by, he seems to have given up playing the part of mother, brother or lover to the England football fan.

Meanwhile we were told that David Beckham was off to Beijing the next day to attend the closing ceremony. Perhaps he can bring back some inspiration from our underpaid, overreaching heroes.

The BBC was outstanding at the Olympics, but the timing of their sitcom 'The Cup' (BBC1, Thursday) was way off the pace given the FA's new Respect campaign towards referees.

The appalling attitude of mums and dads – let's call them "MADs" – towards officials in junior football is something that needs to be celebrated about as much as a comedy about racist hooligans in the build-up to a football tournament in Africa. Watch this space.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Recruitment Genius: B2B Media Sales Professional - Work From Home

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Enjoying rapid growth we contin...

Recruitment Genius: B2B Media Sales Professional - Work From Home

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Enjoying rapid growth we contin...

Recruitment Genius: B2B Media Sales Professional - Work From Home

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Enjoying rapid growth we contin...

Recruitment Genius: B2B Media Sales Professional - Work From Home

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Enjoying rapid growth we contin...

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most