Good Evening. [And please vote ‘Clumpany’!]
Picture the scene. You are a football journalist and have a seat at a press conference with the interesting and articulate manager of the Scottish champions.
His side have made a great start to the season, are in the group stages of the Champions League, have just experienced a big jolt in the form of a hammering from one of the best teams on the planet, and are about to resume domestic football with opportunities to open up a lead over their nearest rivals.
There would be no shortage of interesting issues to explore with Brendan Rodgers, would there?
So what do you ask him?
Brendan Rodgers Is Asked About Joey Barton [Thanks to @LilZe1888 for the footage]
Obviously that clip isn’t the whole press conference, and a number of other issues were discussed. Furthermore, it would be wrong to try and tell journalists what they can and can’t ask (although I would like some of them to show an interest in the Offshore Game report, the UEFA ‘new club/company’ letter and many other things…). And you can almost forgive someone for taking a punt on asking about Barton just in case Brendan Rodgers said something headline-grabbing.
But seriously, is this what the media circus around Scottish football has been reduced to? Asking Brendan Rodgers to comment on Sevco’s dressing room shenanigans? And so soon after seeking the Celtic manager’s reaction to Barton’s comments about him having a ‘mid-life crisis’?
The Clumpany thinks that Brendan Rodgers is a class act. I could listen to him speaking about football for hours on end. He responded to this latest patience-testing query in polite and measured terms, but you couldn’t help but wonder whether behind his steely gaze his brain was thinking “who are these Muppets?”.
If this is the standard of questioning that the Celtic manager is going to keep experiencing perhaps he should show some pity and humour the press pack? It might prove entertaining to see him toying with them. I am sure that with a little homework he could cone up with pre-scripted answers to such forensic queries as:
“What is your favourite flavour of crisps? Do you remember those crisps that used to come with a little packet of salt that you had to shake in? Did you ever eat the crisps without putting the salt on them? And did you then put the salt in someone’s cup of tea?”
“Do you think chocolate bars are smaller than they used to be? Yorkie bars, for example. They used to be the size of an actual lorry didn’t they? And not just a normal-sized lorry. We are talking about a huge juggernaut here. Do you think we are being short-changed these days?”
“Do you think Scotland should go completely metric?”
“Is ‘Home and Away’ better than ‘Neighbours’? Was ‘Bouncer’s Dream’ actually a post-modern critique of the nature of celebrity and its interrelationship with suburban communities? Or was it just the writers taking the piss by filming a dog’s dream?”
“When you have a choc-ice do you try and nibble as much of the chocolate off as possible before eating the ice-cream?”
“Are side-handled glasses better than straight ones for beer? What about for lager?”
“Ken Barlow: he’s a bit boring isn’t he? Why was it that Deirdre could never quite manage to get away from such a dull person?”
“Do you think you would be a better manager if you had been a City trader first?”
“Have you even thought of removing the ‘d’ from your surname to make it easier for everyone to spell?”
“Did you like the abseiling soldiers at Ibrox? They were good, weren’t they? Would you ever abseil off a stadium roof?”
“Do you know the answer to 12 Across in today’s crossword?”
“Do you think your team is struggling in the Champions League because Rangers* aren’t pushing you hard enough in the league?”
“Would you have ‘gambled’ if you had been a contestant on Bullseye? Do you think the people who won the speedboat used to sell it on the way home to their top-floor flat in Birmingham? And how bendy do you think a Bendy Bully really was?”
“Can you get me Mark Warburton’s autograph when you play Rangers*? He’s the nicest man in football isn’t he?”
Whatever Celtic are paying Brendan to do these press conferences is almost certainly not enough…
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