Best blog of the year – BBC Sport Top Trumps

by Mystical Mike

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Fed up with the brain-dead, sound bite-honking dullards at the forefront of BBC Sport? Then why not turn them into a card game?

BBC Sport. Let’s face it, it’s basically dead. Once an opulent Roman empire of punditry – with Des Lynam as its silver-dusted Caesar – in the past ten years it has crumbled. It’s been painful – literally – to watch; like observing the decline of an elderly relative as they turn from thrice-weekly golfer to mentally vacant bumbler.

Where before we had the casual you’ve-just-caught-me-lounging-on-my-yacht flair of Des and the Thermos-clutching eagerness of Motty, we’re now left with an army of dead-eyed morons droning on about zonal marking.

It’s getting worse, too. Especially since they’ve injected the whole mush with Colin Murray – a man scraped from the very bottom of the DNA barrel – and spread him thinly across their entire sports broadcasting remit. Seriously, we know there’s a recession on, but you must be able to afford one more presenter? We could all chip in an extra quid on the licence fee and get someone better to do the darts, couldn’t we? And by “better” I do mean literally anybody. Even-Tony-Adams anybody.

Occasionally, when things get really bad, the BBC even see fit to shove the cro-magnon regression that is Martin Keown under the lights. Gently, he begins to melt. It’s quite captivating, in its own way, but it’s not really why we tuned in. We wanted to see the Arsenal vs. Man City highlights.

So, how to combat this depressing disintegration of a once-solid bastion of British broadcasting?

By making a card game, of course! If it goes well we can even expand it into a computer game for the Nintendo Wii where you can club Steve Claridge with a baseball bat every time he makes that weird throat noise that sounds like he’s gargling with his own testicles.

Here’s a selection of Dexy’s Den BBC Sport Top Trumps:

Garth Crooks

Long-serving nincompoop Crooksy is to incisive questioning what Josef Fritzl is to childcare. Likely to interrogate a player after a match with a series of anemic platitudes and flagrant arselicking. Interviewees and co-presenters should watch out for his jabbing thumb, which pops out at random intervals while he’s speaking, like he’s fencing some sort of imaginary pixie.

Robbie Savage

Sav loves “banter” – a colloquialism in football circles that includes the following ripostes to light-hearted insults: “You wish!”, “Ten years ago, maybe!”, “At least I’ve actually got some! (hair)” and/or “I don’t think my missus would be too happy about it!” followed by disproportionately loud laughter. Twitter account indicates minimal grasp of English/reality.

Steve Claridge

Were it not for the annoyingness of his voice – it lurches from hoover-like drone to strangulated burble in an instant, – the wibbling drivel that drools from his beak, or the hypnotic V of hedgehog hair that bristles just above those dead, dead eyes, Steve Claridge would actually be a reasonable pundit. Yes, that’s a backhanded compliment.

Mark Lawrenson

The General Custer of the BBC Sport Little Bighorn. During commentary, has perfected the art of the off-mic laugh – a sort of scornful goose-honk deployed in the aftermath of a rubbish joke by the commentator. This, coupled with the roadkill hairstyle and delicious delivery of the word “moment” – listen carefully and he adds an extra “eur” in the middle of it; e.g. “They’re in tremendous form at the moeurment, Gary” – make Lawro a rare chink of light in this world of darkness.

Alan Hansen

Once considered the champion of anti-football; a man with all the charisma of a serial killer who, rather than praise Leo Messi’s vision during his 3 and a half minute solo run where he nutmegs everyone twice and deliberately volleys the ball against the crossbar just so he can knock the rebound into the onion bag with his arse, would prefer to criticise the left-back’s positional naivety, Hansen has actually eked out his own dour crevice of respect. Either that or everyone around him is so unutterably bobbins that he looks good. We can’t decide.

Lee Dixon

Pretty alright, really. Hasn’t done anything as interesting as this in a while though:


Gary Lineker

Alan Partridge + Too Long On The Sunbed + Too Many Crisps = Gary Lineker.

Mark Bright

Without a doubt, the worst card in the pack. This pundit’s stupefying dim-ness is only overshadowed by the cruel irony that his surname is Bright. Once exclaimed that Everton’s second goal was “virtually similar” to their first, a contortion of the English language that pushed the boundaries of conventional gibberish. Also, the bit of text that flashes up when he’s on screen tends to bear deeply underwhelming career highlights like, “MARK BRIGHT: 1993 League Cup Finalist”. Basically, he’s a human “meh”.

Alan Green

Partisan, ref-hating and often blinded by his Liverpool scarf flapping across his face during commentary, we should be thankful Greeny isn’t on telly; as there’s an outrageous outcrop of wire brush hair sprouting from each nostril that is quite frankly nauseating. Our licence fee ensures that this man commentates on more Premier League, European and International football matches than any other football commentator on the network. So how does he repay us? By moaning. Constantly. Ooh, there aren’t any goals. Ooh, there’s a draft in the gantry. Ooh, my tea’s too hot. GET A GRIP, YOU BERK.

Alan Shearer

So dull that he’s disappearing a la that picture in Back To The Future.

So there you have it, those long car journeys will never be the same again. In fact, with a pack of Dexy’s Den BBC Sport Top Trumps in your napsack, they’ll seem even longer, like you’ve been cornered by Gary Pallister at a party and he’s telling you all about his loft conversion. Still, beats watching the Grands Prix.

Thanks to JJ Dunning

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  • Ted Danson

    I thought this was very funny! I agree about the Lineker-Partridge comparison. If anything, during the Olympics Lineker seemed even more sinister than Partridge at his worst!

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