The pleasures and perils of TV


A Facebook comment on a recent post from this blog prompted my attention to be drawn into looking at the game on a different light. The last time I was on TV doing commentary analysis was ages back. The comment sung heaps of praises on a match I rubbished after I watched it at the FNB Stadium. 

Actually, the match may have been juicy, but my bone of contention was the lack of football awareness on the part of Kaizer Chiefs. It was surprising how they were on the score sheet the first time. After that, it was more surprising they registered a single goal more. 

That is the fun of the game sometimes, as you stamp the catwalk, strut nothing on the ramp to talk about, and win something sounds as attractive as wining Lotto. The Chiefs’ coaches would surely feel the same.

For starters, my point is that television is such a wonderfully deceitful gadget. Wonderful because the normal and majority of the audience are on it for entertainment. Given that line of consumption, it is better to stay put and as an added bonus, there is all the benefits of the commentary. 

Furthermore, there is the slow-motions and zooming in to see the players almost at a one versus one basis and regularly. The statistics and general background information from the the men behind the microphones is priceless.

The few people like myself, get really bored by all this. The worst part is that the view is restricted to the desires of the producer or director. That box of the transmitted mobile images excludes other areas of our interest.  

It is for this reason that the TV viewer in question and myself differed in our opinions of the same match. Up to the moment Amakhosi scored, they were static off the ball in a way I have never seen. The man on the ball would have no options. 

The potential wing attack never developed to offensive options and the simple passing done by Surprise Moriri surprising eluded the entire Chiefs line up somehow. It may have been hard for many who were even at the stadium to see as they were off-the-ball incident. 

Countless times, the Glamour Boys gave away possession cheaply and it was at that point that Sundowns contributed to making the match boring as they never capitalise, not even once. That aside, the Pretorians were much accurate in passing and ball-control as well as the movement off the ball. 

I was extremely impressed by their overall performance as potential kings of South African football. They deserve to be the nucleus of the national team with a few additions from other teams. It could be the quality of the players or a contribution of great coaching. 

Having dwelt so much on local football and TV, I must make mention of a sensitively controversial observation. While the European and South American leagues have great entertainment, the English Premier League has a growing that leads to debates of it being the best in the league. 

As a very strong marketing tool, the English can only access a single match a day. They have to go to the stadia to experience more and real action. It is for that reason that they record full-houses every week.

The rest of us have the luxury of watching about three matches each weekend day. Being glued to the screen the entire weekend gobbling that free entertainment means we divorce our own league and engage the English game as our own. 

In getting to know that league than any other, we enjoy and praise it and find it as unequalled in quality. As permanent admirers of that super product, attendances in matches, especially in Africa suffer a great deal. 

At the end of the day, the English football enjoys our patronage as we have turned into its addicts at the expense of our own, and that passion grows stronger week in and week out.  

Of course, the 12557 of us who attended the Chiefs vs Sundowns match had a choice to watch the matches on the telly, but given the fan-base of the two and the significance of the match, that was unjust. Chiefs’ bad run since the sacking of their coach was the biggest excuse and there were more Orlando Pirates fans rooting for Chiefs than Amakhos’ amahle.

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2 comments on “The pleasures and perils of TV

  1. Tse, have not been on the blog for a while now. Its good to be back and commenting. What a lovely start as well with my beloved Kaizer Chiefs being the subject of your conversation.

    Tse, firstly I agree with you that the glamour boys have looked totally flat not only in this first 45 minutes but also in the previous 360 since the depature of VV. We, the Amakhosi lot have been left bemused as to what has happened. Does our situation put to test the old adage of not fixing it when it is not broken? For all I care, what VV lacked in man management, he compesated on the game discipline – play to my instructions, or else…..He lost the dressing room. Everytime a coach loses the players, are we goig to get rid of the guffer? What is this European versus African style? This comment from European coaches, SA players never look me in the eye. To us a sign of respect not looking an adult in the eye, to them lack of confidence? Coincidentally, yesterday the Swallows CEO said in future, he will think twice before employing a foreign coach. Tse, I can hear myself waffling, but am really confused. If you are Bobby Motaung, how would you profile your desired next coach? Would you look at a guy like Steve and say he can do it? Would you go for Stuart Baxter, who, for all I care, has a dodgy club level CV? Would you look for a high profile personality like Stoichkov or Gullit, which would mean taking the same gamble Sundowns took with Neeskins.

    While Bobby thinks that coach, we, the Mighty Amakhosi, will vote the way we know best, by not moving an inch off our TV screens and watching the game there. We remain the ficklest of all supporters in Mzansi. After all we are a family business……

    • Welcome back Vusi. I listened with a keen interest the Moroka Swallows boss interview as he heaped praises on Gordon Igesund. While there is some truth in his assessment, we all know the pinch of salt of his opinions on foreign coaches, as much as all the other teams lie Sundowns, Chiefs and Pirates. These teams declared that they are too big for local coaches. Frankly, that is utter dust. Players go with coaches who exhibit character and ooze knowledge. As a show-off to their budgets, the Stoichkovs and Gullits will come in handy, but as for the results, all know how many championships Igesund won, but while he is white, he is local and that is why he will always get a cold shoulder. Time will tell.

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