The inspiration for this post came about yesterday when I was chatting with a couple of my colleagues and we somehow got onto the subject of strange celebrity crushes. I admitted that as a boy, I had an unhealthy obsession with Susan Kennedy from the Australian soap opera Neighbours, while another co-worker stated that they still have a bit of a thing for BBC TV presenter Fiona Bruce. Finally, a female colleague piped up with the fact that when she was younger she had her entire bedroom covered with pictures of former Liverpool and England striker Michael Owen. Now I know as a man who was in love with a fictional character who was a good 30 years older than himself, I was on pretty thin ice by mocking her choice of childhood crush but Michael Owen, really?
The conversation then moved onto consider what an odd gentleman Mr. Owen is and invariably we found our way onto the subject of his many many gaffes as a football analyst for BT Sport. For some former athletes, you would think well, they aren't really cut out to work in media (as the above video suggests in the case of Owen) but hey, they might have some insight into the game that they played professionally for so many years. Unfortunately, for England's former centre-forward this doesn't appear to be the case as the list below demonstrates.
My Top 5 - Michael Owenisms
“That’s a fantastic penalty, but he’ll be gutted it went wide.”
Some sports commentators can be overly brutal in their assessment of a player's performance but not Michael Owen. Even when a professional footballer fails to hit a stationary target from 10 yards away, he sees the silver lining
"It’s hit the facial part of his head, there.”
Having a well-developed vocabulary is essential for any commentator, now if only there were a word in English for the facial part of the head.........
Perhaps we shouldn't laugh too much, it's entirely possible that Michael has taken one too many blows to the facial part of the head and as such is not capable of stringing together coherent sentences.
“Whichever team scores more goals usually wins.”
Usually? Ah no, I see! Michael thinks that the EPL has adopted the old schoolyard rule of "last goal wins".
“Do they deserve to win? No, Liverpool do. Which is why a draw is a fair result.”
No, don't read it again and think you've made a mistake in your comprehension of what's been said. To try and understand this kind of gibberish risks your own mental wellbeing.
“Footballers these days often have to use their feet.”
What wonderful insight into the game of football!
Of course, back in Michael's day they weren't called feet, they were just known as the footy part of the leg.
Michael now just needs to do us all a favour and cram his feet into his exceptionally silly mouth!
However, it would be unfair to single out just one man in this article and so to even things up, here is a list of other famous commentary fails.
The Sexual Innuendo
Perhaps it's the long days on tour sat out in the sun commentating on a game that at times can be about as stimulating as watching paint dry but cricket does have a habit of producing the odd gaffe and with so many potential double entendre you usually don't have to wait long! Who for example can forget the infamous quote “The Bowler's Holding, the Batsman's Willey” often attributed to the late great Brian Johnston. However, whereas Johnston was undoubtedly making a witty comment some other commentators just can't help but put their foot in it!
Former Pakistani cricketer turned commentator Ramiz Raja has developed a reputation over the years for the occasional brain fart live on air. Here's one of my favourites.
Here is another clip in which Ramiz decides to get a little bit feisty with his co-commentator Russel Arnold whom he describes as "being dumb" - oops!
However, not to be outdone, Sri Lankan Arnold decided to let this beauty go with mic in hand.
What you see in the changing room should really stay in the changing room Russel!
When it comes to crazy analogies and just downright over the top commentary there is really only one man that you need to listen to and that is Ray Hudson. I wonder if he prepares these in advance or whether they just come to him in the heat of the moment? The line between genius and madman has always been a fine one and I don't think there are many sports commentators out there who can mix analogies around wet dreams, Jessica Rabbit and electrocuting oneself with a hair dryer into their analysis of a football game.
It always pays to be watching the game in question
What a great job it must be to work as a sports commentator being paid to watch and analyse the sport that you love. As such, you would have thought that most who hold the position wouldn't have any problem with keeping up with the game that they were watching. However, there is a man some might say a legend within British sports commentary who seems to find the helter-skelter of live sporting events a little too much to cope with. If you were to look up the word "clueless" in the dictionary you'd surely find Chris Kamara's picture underneath it. He has been involved in countless "special" moments while working for Sky Sports but the incident below is perhaps the one that he is best known for.
I'm sure there are a load more examples from across the world and of course, the incidents I've chosen to blog about are from the sports that I am primarily interested.
Do you have any examples of boneheaded commentators that you'd like to share?
Leave me a comment below........