By Free Ball
A few gremlins have affected television transmission at times throughout The Championship. There were the technical difficulties on First Friday morning, accompanied by the BBC’s continuity announcer continuously insisting the snooker was in York. There was the surprisingly calm sound of Rob Walker prepping a morning crowd rather than the classic beats of “Drag Racer” in the opening credits. Last Wednesday afternoon, JV and JP sounded like they were in a wind tunnel anytime they spoke into the mic. But there’s another gremlin running free.
Step up six-time world champion, 28 ranking title winning, Nugget, Romford Robot, DJ Thundermuscle. Yes, I’m going where nobody should go. I’m going to slate the National Treasure that is Steve Davis. I’ve clearly had too many refreshments to go through with this. We’re talking about the man who most reviled in the 1980s, then realised he was actually a very funny, smart, endearing soul.
But there’s a flaw to us all. Steve Davis talks too much. If you didn’t already know, I have the utmost respect for all the commentators – really! They’re some of the nicest commentators you’d ever meet, and therein lies the problem. When The Ginger Magician is sat on the studio’s sofa, his insight is great. But more often than not it’s between frames. It’s short, sharp, and succinct. Put him behind the mic for a session, and a relentless tirade of anything and nothing is discharged. I kid you not, in the first week he literally silenced the two machines of spiel. This could be congratulated, but not if it is simply a miscellany of blurb. A bit like this part-time columnist I guess; but with pay!
In a strange twist of fate, and again, maybe refreshments are putting greens on yellow spots here, I actually think JP is a decent co-commentator. When he sticks to discussing what exactly is going on in front of him and us, he’s up there. The sofa can be a much more complicated place for John. He has to juggle getting facts wrong, along with not knowing much about a player “new” on the scene, even though he’s been playing for at least five years on the tour.
I must take this opportunity to say that DT has been much more levelled in his approach this year. I’m not the only one to have noticed this development around this parish; but where he got DDK from, which he suggests the commentators have all been using, I know not. Maybe on a round of golf, or a day at the races.
Free Ball returns for a third year with his annual musings on the World Snooker Championship. Who is he? Who knows! Keep an eye out for the next offering soon.