August 13th 2022
So it’s farewell to the classified football results and a warm welcome to the post-match musings of Jesse Marsch and team news from the Gtech Community Stadium.
In a summer that sees the Premier League celebrates its 30th birthday, we should not be surprised football’s big beast has finally sucked up all the bandwidth in the room, just perhaps shocked it has taken this long.
In justifying their decision to ditch the classfieds from Saturday tea-time staple Sports Report, the BBC highlighted a shortened programme and exaggerated the time reading the results would take.
But, even if ‘five to seven minutes’ really was a third of 25 minutes, would it really be such a waste of valuable time? Are they really seconds and minutes better devoted to the wisdom of Steven Gerrard or Marco Silva?
Disquiet at the move has been dismissed in some quarters as a manufactured outrage, nostalgia-fuelled faux fuming for the passing of an outdated thing we no longer use. Only speaking for myself, I can confirm that just isn’t true.
A regular listener to Sports Report when I’m driving back from a match, my brain tunes into scores I’m not directly concerned with in a way my fingers can never be bothered to do.
Sure, we can find out how Dorking and Cowdenbeath got on at the touch of a screen but we didn’t know we needed to know – and couldn’t with our hands on the wheel.
But the classifieds were more than information, they were a mood. In a world in which digital bin juice threatens to overwhelm us, the steady, deliberate flow of the scores were a precious pause, a water break, a shipping forecast for the metaphorically lost at sea.
Hartlepool, Yeovil and Falkirk may not sound important but they carried a resonance the opinions of Jesse, Marco and Steven will never match.
For more stories like this, check our sport page.