The Loneliest Jukebox

Graham Barnfield's weblog, being gradually replaced by his Twitter feed -

Graham Author Page

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Talking Balls

So farewell then Euro 2004. Few expected Greece’s triumph, and the emergence of Theo Zagorakis as one of the players of the tournament rubs more salt in the wounds of post-Martin O’Neill Leicester City.

As for England’s exit, it’s time to put things in perspective. No matter where the fans want the side to end up i.e. where Zagorakis and his compatriots are now, the truth is that England are a team who might just trouble medium-size opponents in a quarter final. The ‘30 years of hurt’ in the 1996 Three Lions song have been made worse by the one-off World Cup win of 1966, which raised expectations unrealistically high.

Meanwhile David Beckham’s star continues to wane. Julie Burchill’s breathless hagiography shows him playing a ‘long, slow game, and rather than aim to have his image plastered over every lollipop, scrunchy and disposable camera, he has chosen his deals with deliberation and discretion’ (2002, p.73). Yet to observers of the ad breaks during the tournament, a digitally enhanced Beckham played out of his socks promoting multiple products. A shame he’s not as good in real life.

All the complaints about Beckham’s new-fangled branding exercise does not mean a return to 1970s-style football culture is on the cards. A correspondent recounts Steve Kember's testimonial the other night, where "the MC was ... Alan Birchenall (aka 'the Birch'), doing his usual thing, taking the piss and doing a running commentary on the game.

He also contributed an article to the programme about his longstanding
friendsip with Kember - referred to throughout as 'The Gypo'.

(Ian 'Taff' Evans also contributed a story about the day SK received a severe kick in the "orchestra stalls", and they blew up to the size of melons...)

Great days..."

Reference: Julie Burchill, Burchill on Beckham (London: Yellow Jersey Press, 2002). Click here to buy this book

Thanks to Ed Barrett


Post a Comment

<< Home