Gary Lineker ruined Match of the Day for me.

21 Apr

There’s something about diminishing returns that contrive to make an activity less than the sum of its parts.  Slush Puppies ultimately failed to satisfy because the first mouthful was always the best.  After that, it was a downhill slope as the flavoured slush got progressively less and less tasty until you were just left with crushed ice.  If there’s a reason why sex is so good (and I hear it is), it’s because it gets better and better as you go along.  Something would be lost if you hit the ground orgasming and things slowly petered out from there.  That wouldn’t be sex, that would a Spurs season.

And so it goes that Gary Linker has ruined Match of the Day for me.  I don’t mind that the producers purposefully set the running order so that the games run from best to worst.  Actually, that’s wrong, I do mind.  I’m pretty sure that if the people behind the cameras decided to mix it up a bit, no-one would really care and the viewing figures would still be pretty much the same.  It might even convince a few more people to stick around until the end if there was an outside chance that, actually, believe it or not, the Fulham v Wigan game is a zinger and that Dimitar Berbatov puts on a bit of a show.  But I don’t really mind that they don’t do this.

What I do mind, however, is how Gary fucking Linker makes it abundantly clear every interminable week that, yes, we put this one on last because it has no goals in it.  Because it’s a boring game and fuck all happens in it.  Thanks for hanging around to watch it.

Why Gary?  Why make the point so vividly?  Why make the point at all?  Until you started it, I wasn’t hawkishly rating each and every game for its entertainment value.  I was happy to let the schedule gently wash over me and enjoy the footballing high notes as and when they chose to sporadically arrive.  I didn’t, as it happens, need reminding that the objective enjoyment value was tending towards zero as the show went on.  Thanks for reminding me.

In no other medium do you have the master of ceremonies carefully warning the consumer that it’s going to start getting a bit shit from here on in.  Even at a Justin Bieber concert.  And it’s getting worse.  He did it with two games to go last week.  I had to sit through both remaining games safe in the knowledge that someone who has already been informed of the goings-on is of the view that not a great deal happens.

Well you know what, Gary?  Life is like that too.  The best bits have already happened for you.  There are no more world cups to play in.  No golden boots left to claim.  No more long coach journeys with Venables and no fumblings with Rory McGrath playing Guess the Sportsmen.  Soon the crisp adverts will dry up and a reformed Joey Barton will take your chair presenting MotD.  You’ll just be sat there, with the rest of us, watching Comrade Joseph gurn his way through the Saturday night ritual.  There’ll be a few Nietzsche quotes here, some crap puns there (and we know who to blame for starting those) and, of course, Joey will be on hand to point out that, yes, there was a reason why they put this game on last.  You get the programming you deserve, Gary Winston Lineker, you get the programming you deserve.

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“Next up is Stoke versus Wigan.”

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