Nobody knows anything
- 9 Jul 06, 06:53 PM
BERLIN – I was going to call this pre-final blog “Some people are on the pitch” in homage to Kenneth Wolstenholme’s immortal commentary.
In the end, I shied away from any reference to anything to do with England, for fear of any more accusations of unwarranted nationalism.
Instead, I thought I’d quote Martin O’Neill quoting the screenwriter William Goldman at the end of last night’s 3rd place play-off show...
We’re used to Martin’s incredible scatter-gun intelligence taking us down the occasional side road as we drive the motorway of sports broadcasting, but this was a particularly splendid detour.
And as a summary of punditry, programme-making and indeed the beautiful game itself, Mr Goldman’s wise words take some beating.
Martin was the only person I know who fancied France before the tournament, Italy were the only country I pencilled in for the semis who actually made it, so if you backed a France v Italy final, you’ve done much better than any of us have out here!
And no, most of us didn’t think England would make it, before you ask..
This weekend has been slightly strange here in Berlin. There were honking horns long into the night following last night’s bronze medal match.
We felt for the French team who were in a hotel a couple of blocks away presumably trying to sleep, but it was difficult to begrudge the hosts one last celebration.
We entered into the party spirit by choosing not to analyse Ronaldo’s preposterous dive just before half-time. The replays came courtesy of the host director, honestly!
It seemed more appropriate in the circumstances to pay tribute to two of the great international players of recent times, Luis Figo and Oliver Kahn, in their last appearances for their respective countries.
We’ll be taking a considered look at Zidane prior to tonight’s final for the same reason.
Great though a five-set Wimbledon men’s final might have been, I have to confess to a certain amount of relief here that it was over well before our 1800 on-air time, thus avoiding any scheduling clashes.
An enormous amount of effort has gone into making the pre-match build-up sequences, and to a superb closing montage which just needs a few shots from tonight to complete it.
The last sequence, with beautiful images of fans from all over the world cut to the music of Bach is absolutely glorious.
Anyway, I hope most of you have enjoyed most of our coverage - and most of the football - most of the time in the last month or so.
I hope enough people thought there was merit in a programme-maker taking time out to try to explain what we’ve been doing for it to have been a worthwhile exercise. I’ve enjoyed it and been interested in all the responses, and may well carry on doing some form of blog in the domestic season.