Sports commentary.

It’s a hard gig, no doubt.  You’ve either got it, or you ‘aint.

The view’s pretty comfortable from the cheap seats, and the reality is, myself included, the majority of us ‘aint got it.

Commentary comes in many styles.  There are those who believe that if you shout something (usually OOOOOOOHHHHHHHHH!), you’re the “best in the business”.  There are those who make us want to shoot knitting needles through our ears with the aid of a crossbow and then there’s the rare breed of caller who can actually tell us what’s happening AND entertain us at the same time (you know who you are!)

But inevitably, the temptation to lapse into cliché is just too great and sadly, is pervading sports coverage.

So much so, that inspired by Ron Flatter and Shane Anderson I have devised the following game.  I don’t claim it to be an original idea, but have adapted an existing to game to spice up our nights/days in front of the telly or radio.

Dear reader, we present to you; “Sports Commentary Bingo”.

We all know “Corporate Bullshit Bingo” – the sport where you attend meetings and tick off words such as “process”, “moving forward” “downsizing” and “efficiency”.  The winner of course, is obliged, George Costanza style to shout “BINGO” and leave the meeting in a blaze of glory.

Given the increasing number of commentators who confuse hyperbole with actually informing us with what’s happening, it’s time to apply the same to sporting commentary and player-speak.

The rules are simple.  Participants are given a bingo style sheet containing boring clichés and over-used inappropriate statements used by commentators coaches and players.

The first one to tick off all the phrases screams either “Bingo” or, as visitors to the Bluth Institute for “Suave-Bingo” will be required to do , shout “SAY VANDERLAY INDUSTRIES, SAY VANDERLAY INDUSTRIES”.

The winner, or perhaps the last to tick off all the phrases has to scull.  (It depends on the intended outcomes of the day i.e “Boys, this match is as boring as batshit and there’s no meat left for the Barbie. Let’s get good and shickered”.  I think you know what I’m getting at.)

The following is a list of words and phrases that should help get you started.

  • Process(es)
  • Structures
  • Star
  • Absolute Star
  • He couldn’t/won’t miss from there
  • Regroup
  • We really respected our opposition
  • Another loss for Liverpool on the road
  • His/her preparation’s been spot on/faultless this campaign
  • We knew (insert team name here) would come at us hard in that second half
  • The Boys (a gimmie, I know)
  • The Boys really worked hard
  • Gutted
  • And we’re into the Five minute warning (applies only to channel Ten matches)
  • Any pissweak pun uttered/attempted by Tim Lane
  • The crowd really coming into this match now
  • You just get the feeling…
  • Shattered
  • And who are you wearing tonight/Who designed your dress?
  • Tom Coughlin doesn’t look too happy with Eli Manning right now
  • She gave me a beautiful ride (permission to be used both after the 5th at Caulfield AND/OR a sex scandal)
  • When Tom Harley says anything that makes sense to only Tom Harley
  • When Gus Gould says anything that makes sense to only Gus Gould
  • Wowee!
  • A full house expected here tonight…
  • Manchester City fans voicing their displeasure at Roberto Mancini
  • Their finals hopes in tatters
  • She didn’t handle the going (see “she gave me a beautiful ride”)
  • Sensational
  • There’s still time for (insert team name here) if they’re good enough
  • Gallen having a word with the referee’s/Gallen not happy with the call
  • He/she’s been a magnificent servant of the game
  • There’s a lotta pressure on Tony Romo and this underperforming Cowboys Offence coming into today’s match
  • This’ll seal it for (insert team name here)
  • Cometh the hour, cometh the man
  • A little bit of Benji Marshall/Buddy Franklin/Cyril Rioli /Billy Slater magic
  • United fans want a penalty
  • Wenger not happy with the referee’s decision
  • (He/she’s) Got really big shoes to fill
  • And I think Steve Matai might be in a bit of trouble here…
  • Just looking ahead to next week
  • Re-focus
  • I coached the Brisbane Bears when we had to change in portable sheds
  • A massive story breaking here
  • He is just/This kid is gonna be a superstar (bonus points when uttered by Liam Pickering. Automatic VANDERLAY if it’s one of his clients)

I think you get it.

And you want to be my latex salesman?

Follow Ron Flatter on twitter @ronflatter for all the low-down on US Sports and Radio Sport National’s Racing newsbreaker Shane Anderson @Globalgallop

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