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.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Sport
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
i100
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
News
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
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

Head of Marketing - London

£60000 - £85000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Interim Head of Marketing / Marketin...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Digital Project Manager

£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: A Digital Project Manager is needed to join an exciti...

Paid Search Analyst / PPC Analyst

£24 - 28k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Paid Search Analyst / PPC...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam