Cooney and Black

There is a lemming-like desire on the part of some sports editors to feed us a constant diet of football. Can you believe they ignored the delightful Carly Booth?

Carly Booth

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A COLLEAGUE observed recently that in the case of football, the poorer the product the greater the coverage it receives in the national press, more especially in the sports pages of the tabloids.

How true. Indeed, there is a lemming-like desire on the part of some sports editors to feed us a constant diet of the so-called national game. A bit like the once-famous Windmill Theatre, football never closes, it would seem.

There was a time a decade or two ago when football took a break during what passes for the summer months between May and August. This had the affect of recharging the batteries and whetting the appetite for another season ahead.

Nowadays it’s non-stop all 12 months of the year, irrespective of the strength and worth of the content.

With the exception of The Open Championship for one week in July, back-page headlines are almost exclusively football-driven.

I trawled through 11 pages of one national publication the other day, working my way in reverse from the back page, before I even found a reference to another sport in the week of the US Open and the build-up to Wimbledon.

It’s almost as if every other sport has been categorised as “minority“, regardless of the participation levels and the number of followers.

Far more males and females participate in or follow golf compared to the numbers attending football matches. Yet, next month’s Ladies Scottish Open and British Women’s Open in successive weeks at Dundonald Links and Turnberry will be fortunate to receive even one-tenth of the coverage allocated to football.

The fact that the finest women golfers on the planet will assembled in Ayrshire is of little consequence, apparently.

I was lucky enough to attend the media day held at Dundonald to promote the aforementioned event taking place there from July 24 to 26.

This involved playing nine holes in the company of the delightful Carly Booth, who later opened up during a media conference about the trials and tribulations of being a pin-up sports star.

What she had to say made compulsive listening. Yet, in the case of several national newspapers, her words went unreported. Rangers had unveiled Mark Warburton as their new manager, you see.

This was one of the worst-kept secrets of the year. But that did not matter a jot.

Sports coverage is driven by football, and what a wee lassie from Comrie, in Perthshire, has to say is viewed largely as irrelevant.

But why would you want to read about the delightful Carly when you can pour over the often utterly banal thoughts of football players and managers out-of-season instead?

But, after 45 years in this business, what would I know?

Please God, give me the strength to see out another ten months of unrelenting hype without my resorting to any acts of madness!

   
PICTURE BY: Andre Engelmann

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