Saturday, July 12, 2014

Too delicious to digest: the best British-announcer quotes from the 2014 World Cup

Cheers to you, British football announcer.

It's been a pleasure to watch the World Cup on CBC this summer. It's not just the excitement and flow of the beautiful game, it's also the wry and dry commentary by the British play-by-play team: John Helm, Peter Drury, Dave Woods, Dan O'Hagan, Gary Bloom, Martin Fisher, Kevin Keatings, and John Roder.

I'd love to go for a beer with these guys. Full of fish, chips, piss, and vinegar, they appreciate a great turn of phrase, embrace the dark arts of irony and sarcasm, and aren't above making a joke - bad or not - when one pops into their head, which is all the time.   

I'm a student of the game (clever announcing, that is), so at the beginning of each World Cup, I sharpen my pencil, open my joke journal, lean forward, and write down every line that makes me laugh out loud or say, "Funny."

Here's this year's list. For extra fun, read 'em out loud with your best British accent:

1. That's a poor piece of goal-tending.

2. He teases the opponent. He can't get past the opponent. He fouls the opponent.

3. He practices that move assiduously.

4. He's trying to defy the laws of physics and squeeze that in.

5. He's found himself an acre of space.

6. He looks to the heavens in anguish.

7. Pepe's in the dressing room contemplating his stupidity.

8. Terrible, terrible defending.

9. He couldn't accept the gift.

10. To move in on the Ghana goal was quite delicious.

11. That's a poor ball, there.

12. Whistles beginning to emanate from Dutch lips.

13. Seventy minutes to save their souls.

14. Spanish smiles are forced.

15. Just open up like top drawer, and file it away in there.

16. It's like someone just shut off the music at the party.

17. Breaking Iranian hearts just when they started to beat again.

18. He's been there. Done it. Got the T-shirt.

19. Getting a bit tasty here.

20. This won't be part of his DVD collection.

21. They found a late penalty from God only knows where.

22. Pale blue uniforms becoming paler by the minute.

23. One puff of the cheeks.

24. Fluffing his lines horribly.

25. That silver hair will shimmer.

26. It was a powder-puff effort, in truth.

27. Unfortunately, for him, it's a tad embarrassing.

28. No danger of the ball squeezing in between those.

29. Time to pray to whatever deity they choose.

30. If your name begins with a K, you're likely to score a goal here today.

31. They must be so demoralized - the team in canary and blue.

32. Who wants it next? Who wants to score a goal?

33. Ominously redoubtable at the moment.

34. The little boy is crying his eyes out.

35. I won't say there are fans leaving the stadium, but they probably feel they could.

36. It's almost as though they've forgotten how to play.

37. There'll be no samba in Brazil tonight.

38. As we near the end of three, full hours of barren football...

39. Germany is reclining back at the hotel.

40. It is almost too delicious to digest.

41. His reputation, dare I say, in tatters.

42. They're leaking goals like a sieve.

43. Horrible defending from the 48-million-pound man.

44. More anguish for the young ones.

45. 30 seconds for the torture to end.

46. If ever a team wanted to get to the sanctuary of a dressing room, it's Brazil.

47. No point in having a spat at this time of day.

48. The World Cup has turned into torture.

49. They were expecting a party and it turned into a wake.

50. The booing is deafening.

51. A nation's sorrow is complete. 

52. Small man with major responsibilities.

53. And the world stands still for a football match.

54. Toni Kroos: luckiest man on the planet.

55. Thorough and thumping.

56. It doesn't make him any less groggy.

57. That's not a happy chap.

58. It sparkles. It's why we're here.

59. What we said in the old schoolyard: next goal wins.

60. Only He knows.

61. You either go home and say, "I was there," or rather wish you hadn't been.

62. There's a ligament or two that need ironing out.

63. It's in the lap of the gods.

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