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Day: June 4, 2011

Why mess with nigh-on perfection? *glares at Sky Sports Test Cricket*

When it comes to watching sport on the tellybox I know what I am talking about. My life often revolves around what sport is on and I watch hours of sports each week even in the summer and when the winter comes then that number increases exponentially. Throughout all the fantastic and enjoyable commentry and presenting teams that I watch (BBC F1, ESPN College Gameday, ESPN/ABC College Football Primetime, NBC Sunday Night Football, #9 Cricket, ESPN PTI) one team sticks out from above the paraphit of these top notch teams is the Sky Sports Test Cricket team. Six men between them bring something different and as a mix they all just work well together.

Let’s look at them alphabetically (albeit with the main anchor first):

David Gower: The former Leicestershire, Hampshire and England left-hander did some anchor work with the BBC after he retired and moved to Sky Sports. He brings a very laid-back demeanour to the broadcast and anchors it both professionally but with a sense of enjoyment. Extremely knowledgeable about the sport and is quite brilliant at putting forward both sides of an arguement during analysis – certainly in a long rain-break analysis. First rate.

Michael Atherton: Former Lancashire and England opening batsman is without a doubt the best analyiser of the team. Athers also writes about cricket and won the Sports Journalist of the Year award last year, described by the judging panel as “a unanimous choice”, they praised the former England cricket captain for “tackling subjects way beyond cricket” and said “the brilliance of his writing shines.” Not afraid to say exactly what he thinks he also brings great gravitas to the position with a dry wit that you need when commentating on a five-day match.

Sir Ian Botham: The former Somerset, Durham and England all-rounder well known on the scene for being part of The Champagne Club in the England team of the 80s and early 90s (along with Gower and Mike Gatting) who loved to play cricket but also enjoyed having a good time. Brings an old school mentality to the broadcast but also very laid back.

Michael Holding: The fast-paced West Indian who loves his horses also brings great gravitas to the role. Knows exactly what he is talking about but isn’t afraid to go off-topic. His disgust and sebsequent rant about plastic bags in supermarkets was wonderful. Also purely on a simplistic issue his tone is very different and brings a good contrast to the broadcast.

Nasser Hussein: The former Essex and England middle-order batsman often plays the role of the whipping-boy in the broadcast but likes all his peers is extremely knowledgeable about the sport. His prowess running between the wicket was shall we say not first-rate. It may not have been as bad as Inzamam-ul-Haq’s but not far off.

David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd: The former Lancashire batsman and England coach very much brings the humour whilst not being over the top. His T20 commentries are second to none and he has been asked to call the final overs of both T20 World Cup’s so far by the international TV stations.

All six just work and mesh perfectly. You can sit and listen to all six quite happily. Sky Sports though have other cricket commentators who work on other games but Nick Knight seems to have been promoted for this series with Sri Lanka and for me it’s just not working. He tries too hard and doesn’t seem at ease. His voice grates and unlike Holding and Atherton when going into detailed analysis, Knight just doesn’t seem to be working. Maybe I should give him time and I’m probably being overly harsh but Sky Sports Test Cricket coverage is quite simply as close to perfection as it stands and the whole 2010/2011 Ashes Series (with Shane Warne as well) was just as good as it can get.

I shall leave you with this video of an amusing moment down under…you all know which one it is…

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Want a proper Watershed Middle England? Well learn to be a proactive and not a reactive parent

This isn’t going to be either pretty nor popular *puts on helmet* and I shall begin.

The shall we call it raunchy display by Christina Aguilera in The X Factor last year caused uproar. Well when I say uproar 4,500 complaints came in of an audience of 19.4million. Putting through the old calculator that means that 0.02% of people were outraged enough to write a letter, e-mail or pick up the phone. I remember someone telling me that night that within an hour of the show OfCom had received 16,000 phone calls complaining alone. Just another person lying to emphasise their point when the facts didn’t add up.

As for that display it wasn’t pornographic. I don’t remember seeing any tit. I have just reminded myself of it and really what is wrong with this:

I am stunned it even got that many complaints. What parents and well-meaning do-gooders don’t seem to realise is in the modern age sex and the whole situation around boys and girls moves a lot faster than it did in previous generations. People are having sex at a younger age and there are always stories in the newspapers about underage parents. If parents want to keep their children naive about the whole situation then it will take more than a watershed to do it but if they are so desperate then learn about the red off button and turn the damned TV off.

Spend more time with your children. If you don’t trust TV to bring up your kids then do it yourself. Most children have access to the internet and TV in their rooms these days so if you want to control what your child has access to then don’t give them this type of access. How many young kids have smart phones these days? More than you’d think I’d guess. How many kids have a computer with internet access in their room? More than you’d think I’d suggest. How many of these kids saw their parents up in arms over The X Factor display? Probably quite a lot.

Just doing my research I can see that the film Burlesque which the performance was from was rated as a 12A in the UK. That means to go to the film alone you have to be 12 or over but anyone under the age of 12 can go if accompanied by an adult. So why weren’t parents up in arms about that rating? If they weren’t (which they weren’t) then what is the difference between the cinema and the tellybox? Is it because one is in your home and one is not? Well no-one forces you to have a TV and nor does anyone force you to watch anything.

Now I’m no Rocket Scientist but even I can work out that a song from a movie called Burlesque by Christina Aguilera was going to be steamy. The X Factor did not hide away from what they were going to show so why didn’t concerned parents turn the TV off when this part of the show happened? It is not up to the TV companies to decide what is right or wrong it is up to the parents to decide how their offspring should be brought up.

A parent who can’t be bothered to monitor what their child is seeing or reading is not someone who has a leg to stand on when it comes to complaining about those things. If you care then be proactive and not reactive. You are the parent and it is your job to decide how to bring them up and it is not the state’s.

Remember there is always the off button…

For the record before anyone asks, No I don’t have any kids…

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.