Commentary is something that I think and talk about a lot. I host the EPL Talk podcast and whilst that isn’t live commentary, it does make you think about what you’re going to comment on: goals, incidents, opinions. There are 1,000 things that we could and should comment on. Potentially, 1,000 thoughts when it comes to helping someone understand a game. After all, that is what a commentator does; they synthesise the game to make it more enjoyable or easier to understand.
So, when I got the opportunity to commentate one of my favourite goals of all time I jumped at the chance. Even though I was painfully aware of how difficult commentary can actually be. As an official sponsor of Euro 2012, Coca-Cola is teaming up with talkSPORT to offer budding young sports reporters the chance to become the Coca-Cola Fan Reporter for this summer’s tournament. Not only that, but the winner will get a six-month paid internship at talkSPORT learning how to become a top sports reporter.
I am not one of these sports reporters, but you could be. How, you say? Well:
- Visit talksport.co.uk/coke
- Select your favourite goal of all time and video yourself commentating on it.
- They’re not looking for imitations of existing commentary; it’s time to be unique and offer the insight that you want to hear.
- Competition closes on Wednesday May 16th so get your Motty Jacket on and climb up to the gantry.
I have always been aware of how difficult it could be to commentate on a game. We all spend hours chatting or opining every day, so try speaking for 90 minutes. To get it right must be incredibly rewarding. Think of it this way, you are part of a special footballing moment, whether it be for one person or millions, possibly completing their memory of a game, or laying the foundations for an immortal player. Everyone knows: “Take a bow son” or “Remember the name…” even “GoooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAaaaaaaaal!” Okay…
So I sit in talkSPORT studios, not far from Southwark station. Lovely. Next to me, Teddy Sheringham, a United and Spurs legend. Smiling, in the handsome way that he does, Teddy nodded towards the screen and asked: “What goal have you picked then?” Why didn’t I know which goal I’d picked? I couldn’t pick one, because I thought it was a bit strange to commentate on a goal that had already happened a long time before today. I did pick one though, Heskey to make it England five, Germany one.
Teddy seemed happy with the pick, it wasn’t too much pressure and we all knew the outcome. Others had done preparation, and I mean preparation: unless you know the England squad from 2006 off the top of your head. I was starting to wish that I had done the same as Mr Sheringham sat, expectantly, next to me. Nevermind, I was here and ready to pretend to be a commentator.
As we pressed play, I tried to clear cliches and stock phrases out of my mind. Goodbye “Sensational”. Hello, intelligent comments.
No. I imagine that a similar look went across Teddy’s face at about 4.55pm on Sunday, May 13th. Of the three attempts, it would take some kind editing and some re-dubbing to make the piece broadcast worthy. I wasn’t the worst, frankly, I quite enjoyed it. Given the chance again I would do a little preparation and avoid alluding the England’s ultimate demise. What it did make me realise is that we might all be capable of commentary in some form or another, so if you are reading this and would never consider yourself as a commentator, well, you might be the perfect candidate.
I do have a copy of the attempts, I am aware that the internet holds these kinda things forever. Instead, why not take a look at Adrian Durham of talkSport trying his hand at it:
If you think that you can do better or have always been a closet-commentator then why not enter? talksport.co.uk/coke
Coca-Cola, official sponsor of the UEFA European Championships, is offering a lucky fan the chance to become a Fan Reporter at UEFA Euro 2012 as well as a six-month paid internship at talkSPORT learning how to become a top sports reporter. It’s all part of Coca-Cola’s goal to leave a positive legacy and create happier futures for young people. To take part in the competition visit talksport.co.uk/coke (closing date Wednesday May 16)