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Paper Monitor

11:59 UK time, Wednesday, 31 March 2010

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Few are the occasions when Paper Monitor ventures into the world of sport.

But today the Guardian's ball-based journalism must be highlighted.

In its coverage of Manchester United's 2-1 first-leg defeat by Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-final, it finds time for a delicious bit of mockery of the ITV commentator Clive Tyldesley.

Tyldesley is regularly lampooned by football fans for his constant references to "that magical night in Barcelona", a shorthand reference to the 1999 Champions League final in which Manchester United came from behind to beat Bayern Munich 2-1.

Indeed, variations on the phrase occur so regularly in Tyldesley's commentary for Man Utd games that some fans have sweepstakes to predict the level of occurrence.

So the Guardian ribs the commentator with a box full of what Tyldesley might have said if he had been doing last night's match (it was on Sky).

But if Paper Monitor is going to highlight what is good about sports coverage, it must also highlight the bad. Some believe that punning is the lowest form of wit, but it is not in doubt that sports punning is the lowest form of punning.

Take the Daily Star's headline for the Lyon win from last night. "Lisandro is Lyon king." Like the musical. The Lion King. Geddit? DO YOU GEDDIT?

But actually that pales in comparison with the Daily Mirror. Wayne Rooney's injury is summed up with "ROOINS", although the "ROO" is in yellow just to make the "gag" clear to the catastrophically thick.

The Man Utd match report says "FROM BAD TO WURST". Like the sausage, although it is not clear what part sausage played in Man Utd's defeat.

Please stop. It's not too late to seek help.

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