Weekly football conversation since 2009, with Graham Sibley, Jan Bilton and Terry Duffelen. Listen on Apple, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn or your podcatcher of choice.

Pundit Misses Everything – Eight Times

Johnny remembers the days of ‘real’ commentating

Johnny Pundit: What was that I missed it
Johnny Pundit: What was that I missed it
Battenberg: Size of Holte End
Battenberg: Size of Holte End
Mavis: Suspicion of offside
Mavis: Suspicion of offside
Funny old thing, Football. For instance, commentating. You might think it's easy, but I can assure you it's not. I remember one match where I dropped the ball so completely listeners at home could hear the resulting 'THUNK'….
Toupee of cake crumbs
It was the 1968 clash between Villa and Man City. Twenty minutes in, and I was bored stupid. 'Neither side seem bothered in this encounter', I decided, before turning to ask Mavis, our angel of the tea trolley, for a top-up. 'Oooh look, Mr Pundit, Villa have scored. One lump or two?' I sighed. 'Good goal was it, Mavis?' 'Suspicion of offside, Mr P.' I duly reported this then settled down to another dire twenty minutes. After which I felt I deserved a slice of Battenberg, and gestured hopefully at Mavis, who trotted over. Just as she was cutting me a slice the size of the Holte End City equalised; before I could register this to the audience, Villa went straight up the field from the restart and scored again. '2-1', I noted indistinctly, lending my pal Fothergill from The Light Programme an instant toupee of cake crumbs.
Extraordinarily good Battenberg
By this time the BBC switchboard was beginning to receive complaints from listeners 'feeling rather left out of things'. They didn't know the half of it; Mavis' Battenberg really was extraordinarily good. I popped out for a quick pint of wallop with Fothergill at half time and blow me if the pesky ref didn't start the second half early! As we were returning from the bar, City scored again! Fothergill, being a bright chap, grabbed his microphone, pretended they'd just kicked off then proceeded to describe a goal we'd both completely missed. Being less sharp, and struggling with a little wind, I restricted my remarks to: 'Off again. 2-2 now.'
Ref blows up
Having missed exactly all of the goals so far, I fixed the game with a steely gaze, commentating on every blade of grass disturbed, every nudge of the ball. Unfortunately, nothing happened! With five minutes to go, and my bladder the size of The Dead Sea after copious amounts of tea, I elected to pop to the gents'. When I got back, play chuntered lamely on for another minute before the ref blew up. 'Well, that's that', I said, '2-2.' At which point Fothergill turned to me, shook his head grimly and scribbled a quick note. 'Apart from', I added, 'Villa's penalty; an overhead kick by City's centre half resulting in a fine goal; and the amazing solo efforts by Winkler and Davies resulting in a 5-3 victory for the home side. It all happened so fast that if you weren't paying attention at home, you'd have missed it.'

Mavis, any more of that tea?

Yours aye,
Johnny Pundit

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