The TV game requires skill

2010-06-25 12:28

By the time the World

Cup ends, those who aren’t really into the game will have had enough. For those

of us who love “the beautiful game”, July and August are going to be slow as we

wait for the English Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and the PSL to begin. The

World Cup has been the highest form of soccer gluttony.

A wonderful feature of the tournament in South Africa has been the

wealth of former ­players, coaches, commentators and journalists who have

­descended on the country in ­different capacities.

They have either set up shop in the studios of the SABC and

SuperSport or are here for ­various broadcasters such as CNN, Sky, ESPN and


Before, ­during and after games, they share their thoughts, give

insight and generally unpack the games we are watching with much aplomb.

Some are awesome, giving ­perspectives and explaining ­elements of

the game that we mere mortals have not quite grasped, but others are not so

­awesome. It is said that those who can’t do, teach. Well, those who can do,

can’t always teach or comment.

We don’t all have television presenting and ­interviewing skills.

They require the ability to take what you see and feel and communicate them in

ways that others are able to ­understand.

Papi Khomane has been used for PSL games to interview ­players and

coaches after ­matches. A competent football player, he is no interviewer.

­Doctor Khumalo was a genius as a player, but he is no analyst.

Edgar Davids, with his ­trademark glasses, was a key ­midfielder

with passion, ­commitment and determination, but he mumbles his way through most

half-time chats.

While I may be accused of ­being a couch ­coach, all those years of

observing and absorbing must have had an impact. I ­reckon there are average

football lovers who have greater ­understanding and awareness than a lot of

these “experts”.

Finding a balance between presentation and communication is key in

the television game, and they are mutually dependent. If you can’t present, you

can’t ­communicate.

I think these guys should go through auditions first to see whether

their understanding of the game translates on camera.

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