A Week In Football : JIM

A Week In Football : JIM

The world is, by and large, a splendid place, but one of the things that depresses me about our planet is the fact that everything on it has a shelf life.

Of course, sometimes that’s a good thing – I wouldn’t want to eat bread that’s been left in our pantry for a year, and there is something comforting about the fact that one day Piers “Morgan” Moron will be dead. Most of the time however it just leaves me feeling sad – the fact that everyone you love will die, that a fantastic footballer won’t be a fantastic footballer in 20 years’ time, the understanding that you better enjoy your favourite TV programme whilst you can, because one day they’re gonna stop making it and that’ll be that.

In respect to television, programmes that are nearing their “shelf life” usually have a “jumping the shark” moment – a point in time when you suddenly realise that the show you’re watching is in terminal decline and is only going to survive a little while longer thanks to life support. In short, it’s finished. I’m telling you that because I’m afraid to say that last Friday saw not only the transfer window “slamming shut”, it also saw Sky Sports News’s coverage of the whole shebang finally “jumping the shark”.

Last transfer window, someone tweeted something which was bang on the money about Sky’s ridiculously OTT coverage of deadline day. The idiot that I am, I can’t remember who tweeted it, and I can’t quote it verbatim, but it was essentially this:

“The Jim White thing stopped being funny the second Jim White got in on it.”

And that sound you hear is the nail being hit on the head. Don’t get me wrong, transfer deadline day used to be a joyous thing, as the wily veteran Scot jumped up and down and banged the desk in excitement at all the deals that were flooding in at the last minute, but what made it beautiful was that it was unscripted, unforced, and natural. Jim White was the Sky Sports News equivalent of the man at the wedding disco who just lets himself go and gets lost in the music, not caring who sees him or what they’re gonna say. Last Friday, however, all that came crashing down. All that innocence gone – forever – as Sky showed “exclusive” pictures of Jim White entering the building (no, seriously) and putting pictures of him “getting geared up for his shift!” on their Twitter feed. As Charlie Adam completed a move to Stoke City, Jim tried to get amped up, like the good old days, but it was too late. We knew. We knew that the magic had gone, that Jim White was a busted flush, that the instantaneous nature of Twitter has rendered even the great Sky Sports News a bit useless nowadays.

So what do Sky do now? They must know that their “Transfer Deadline Day super-duper hullaballoo extravaganza OMFG!!!!” is on its last legs, that they’ve jumped the shark and there’s no returning from that. Give Andy Burton a third phone? Cover Jim White’s seat in red ants before he sits on it? Both decent ideas, admittedly, but for me if they want to retain their ratings come the next deadline day, they need to go “all out” (literally). To do something never seen before on television. To make John Logie Baird beam with pride. To be revolutionary. To get people talking. Yes, I truly believe that the only thing that can save them is stark, unashamed nudity. At the top of every hour, Jim’s female co-presenter should take off an item of her clothing until she’s left as bare as the day she was born.

Sexism? Perverted? Not at all. I’m just trying to help Sky out, because although I’m no fan of Rupert Murdoch I can see that they have a problem and I’m a nice kinda guy like that. The idea may be a little extreme, but the way television is going, this sort of stuff will be the norm in 10 years anyway, so we may as well just get cracking with it. Besides, as Kurt Cobain said, it’s better to burn out than to fade away, so if you’re gonna go out, you may as well go out with a bang (much like Kurt Cobain, ironically). Do it, Sky. Push the boundaries and seize the day!

So that’s the next transfer deadline day sorted then. Unfortunately, one question does still remain…

How the bloody hell do you save ‘Soccer AM’?

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