June 16, 2024

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the future of televised soccerball in the United States of Kingdom: Friday Nite Footbawwwl™!

(Portable smoke machines kick into ‘Super Pink Floyd’ mode. Cut to studio exterior for commencement of a minute-long firework display complete with double dubstep and chip [s]hop soundtrack.)

The way forward is clearly the past – the 1980s, to be precise. Two presenters of a certain teatime word puzzle show screaming across the studio at a third, who is fiddling endlessly with their interactive game board. Here, the latter is Mr. Scouse Neville-Wannabe with a tabletop Ms. Pacman game he procured from the antique shop at a ‘reduced rate’.

Over in ‘Dick Advocaat Corner’, bearded researchers thumb 40 years of archived Ceefax pages, inserting their pointy camera-on-a-stick into places never before seen on British television. It’s enough to make Carol Vorderman’s eyes water.

Meanwhile, in air-conditioned living quarters from Penistone to Cockermouth, observers spew the footballing equivalent of non-standard words comprising eight consonants and no vowels. And with clicktivist neologisms being added to the Oxford English Dictionary on a yearly basis, who’s to say any of them are incorrect?

But of course, I wouldn’t know about any of this because I don’t even have a television – something I must prove to beef-bound TV license goons on a daily basis. As far as I’m concerned, ‘Countdown’ is one third of a hair metal song with a distinctly 80s keytar hook line.

And of course, you won’t be subjected to any of the above as you’ll be watching live in real life definition at Deepdale, which thankfully remains outside the jurisdiction of archaic broadcast standards.

…As of now, that is. But those ‘improvements’ will one day arrive at every Football League ground – this is, after all, the future of English Footsoccer. The man on the TV told me so, Geoff.

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