Sunday 9 November 2008

Commentary doesn't get any better than this...

Channel Nine's Rugby League 'expert' Ben Ikin came out with this absolute ripper during the England-New Zealand Rugby League World Cup Pool Match Saturday night. Just after halftime with the Kiwis mounting a comeback after being down 24-14 at the break, Ikin (who had said little in the half thus far) must've figured that he had to say something, anything to justify his position in the commentary team and delivered this beauty that really took the viewer inside the heads of the players on the field. "I get the feeling both teams really want to win this one." I was watching the game with a friend as we waited for the Manchester United-Arsenal Premier League clash at midnight and for the next twenty minutes I just couldn't get over Ikin's insight and its inherent accuracy. What? BOTH TEAMS WANT TO WIN? Knock me over with a feather and next thing you know I'll be knocked out unconscious... I was seriously waiting for him to chime in a few minutes later with something along the lines of 'Whoever scores the most points in this game will win." Can this guy get any better at his job? Seriously he's raised the bar so incredibly high that the likes of Phil Gould and Peter Sterling (far and away the best analysts in the game before this special Ikin moment) can only dream to reach such heights of the commentary nirvana Ikin has clearly found.
Having endured two long years (feels like twenty to be honest) of 'commentary' one has to hope that maybe Ikin will be featured less in Channel Nine's coverage of the 2009 NRL season but I'd hazard a guess that this is about as likely as Jason Krejza taking 8 wickets on Test Debut...
Wait a minute... At least Arsene Wenger's comment about Arsenal defender Mikael Silvestre's broken nose later that night showed that some people can make brilliant comments without also making considerable effort to be heard. Wenger was asked if there was any danger of further damage if Silvestre copped a knock on his broken nose during the game and Wenger in his great French accent goes "Well the nose will still be broken so... no not really." Nice question by the reporter and what a funny and frank response from Wenger.
Arsene Wenger says "Good call Benny Ikin! Spot on the money!"
Shame we can't always get the same from others on television, who seem to think that just because they haven't spoken for a few minutes - they better say something no matter how inane and painfully obvious it may be.