Stan Hey: Savage throws up dog's dinner
View from the sofa
Sunday 15 May 2011
The marginalisation of the FA Cup may have reached new levels of exclusion yesterday but broadcaster ESPN decided to return to old ways via the new. Having bought up the failed Setanta to set up a UK outpost and convert it to their house style, the American outfit – Disney owned – dedicated 12 hours to our neglected national institution.
Starting at 8am with Breakfast at Wembley – "we'll make your sausage sizzle" announced one host, setting a tone – ESPN tried to mix the nostalgic elements of old ITV coverage with the slick, American outside broadcast. Cameras never stopped moving. Everybody had a headset. And every item seemed to have a predetermined time limit.
Robbie Savage, last seen in his vest and underpants after his retirement match, turned up only marginally more dressed, in scarf and faded jeans. Part-host/part-celebrity, at least in his own mind, Savage was involved in some guff on corporate feeding and then torpedoed an item on Stoke and Manchester ales by announcing that he didn't drink beer. Savage's dozy contribution was matched by the hapless lad assigned to the Stoke hotel but who was restricted to the main road a mile away.
A later sequence, borrowed from the parent company, involved two broadcasters sitting pitch-side behind a white desk akin to Liberace's piano, speeding through stats.
Archive fillers followed but soon we were back pitch-side where the Liberace desk was now manned by host Ray Stubbs, with unemployed managers Sam Allardyce and Kevin Keegan, Franck Leboeuf (why?), and Savage re-dressed in a Liberace suit. "Looks like your 70s haircut Kev," quipped Savage as bearskin-clad Coldstream Guards marched past.
Eventually the match commentary took over. "Balotelli's down, what happened?" screamed Jon Champion in rare drama. "Didn't see anything," Chris Waddle replied helpfully. After nine hours, I had – an American burger with too much English cheese.
Latest in Sport
A tight game could be in prospect here. Northampton have been keeping things very tight of late and ...
by Gareth Purnell
18 May 2013 02:01 AM
I can’t ever watch games of football or rugby without wistfully wondering what it must be like to be...
by Martin Ayres
16 May 2013 05:10 PM
Since PSG’s exit to Barcelona in the Uefa Champions League quarter-final in April, PSG have been sur...
by Matthew Riding
15 May 2013 02:37 PM
Aleksandar Kolarov accused of abusing Manchester City fans in ugly end to season
The Last Word: As David Beckham bows out, spare a thought for the ordinary players facing a crueller end
Arsene Wenger says Arsenal 'need stability and to strengthen in the summer' after qualifying for Champions League
Sam Wallace: The second coming of Jose Mourinho at Chelsea will be a reunion that can only end in tears
James Lawton: When will Arsène Wenger's Arsenal enter the Champions League as anything but a disposable asset?
- 1 Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
- 2 British business: We need to stay in the European Union - or risk losing up to £92bn a year
- 3 The moral case on tax avoidance is overwhelming - and we all know Google wants to do the right thing
- 4 Sam Wallace: The second coming of Jose Mourinho at Chelsea will be a reunion that can only end in tears
- 5 It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.