Monday, 8 March 2010

Authenticity: listening to sport.

Okay, here's a thing.

I've listened to sport on the radio for years. Back in the days before there was obscene amounts of money in the game of football, there was much less coverage. So, rainy Saturday afternoons playing with Lego, I'd have BBC Radio Scotland - and Sportsound - to keep me company as I built something fun with bricks.

And during summer holidays, there was Test Match Special on Radio 4 Long Wave. Yes, I listened to cricket on the radio now and then. I'd never really *seen* cricket, but picked up the lexicon a little and it was always interesting background chatter.

As I got older (and particularly when I'd passed my Driving Test and was able to scoot about on my own, Radio 5 Live was a frequent source of, well, everything. News, Sport, Chat. Okay, so not everything.

However over the last 18 months I've been less bothered by sport. I'm still interested in what's going on, and who is winning. But it's not so much the match that I am interested in (other than international Rugby). I've realised this week that what I'm facinated by are the way people conduct themselves. How people (in particular those who coach or manage team) interact before and after a game.

I have found myself checking news websites - and even contemplating buying a newspaper! - so I could check out what they had to say in the pre- and post- match content. It's what's said, and what's not said, that I'm interested in. When Jim Jeffries came back to Hearts, I'd just added a couple of twitter feeds relating to that club. The stream of information is much less about the game, but about what is happening in the meantime.

Sure, there's a whole thing about marketing, about putting out the stories you want people to hear and all that.

However, more often than I think we are told by our mediators (ie the news agencies), there's some straight-talking being done and - I hope - a lot of authenticity.

So, I'm really not so bothered by what is going on when you're playing the game, but tell me how it made you feel, what you liked and what you want to do differently and I'm all ears.

Over the past few years, I've stopped listening

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