Wednesday, May 14, 2008

How to Escape Archie

Archie Macpherson on the phoneA career that has been marked by periods of sustained buffoonery has surely reached its nadir with Rangers UEFA Cup run.

That Archie Macpherson is still around says something quite horrific about the quality of Scottish commentary. If Rangers had scored or conceded half the number of goals that, at first sight, Archie has thought have gone in then we would now be lauding the most exciting European campaign in history.

A fascinating insight into Archie's own little world came during the bore draw with Sporting at Ibrox. Clearly confused that a snooker legend was playing for Rangers Archie took it upon himself to rename Steven Davis. Thus it was an explosive run from Neil Davidson that did absolutely nothing to threaten the direness of the match.

Elsewhere Scotsport will give us the chance to see Andy Walker's continuing battle to master the autocue and, with luck, the strangulated vowels of Terry Butcher.

Funnily enough Terry's Wikipedia entry contains the following statement:

"For some bizarre reason, even though Butcher lived in Sydney for less than a year, he now speaks with an Australian accent."

Amusing though that is, Terry has always spoken like that. A peripatetic childhood to blame I think.

So if you can't stomach Scotsport where else can you go?

Drive to Berwick: Watch the main ITV network coverage of the game. But that will mean putting up with Matt Smith. And Andy Townsend. Andy Walker and Archie might be bad. But at least they're bad and Scottish.

Radio Scotland: The commentary will be better. But you'll have to put up with the increasingly cliquey cronyism of Richard Gordon and the mob. And Chick Young will be there.

Radio Five: Provides the best commentary throughout the season for the EPL and the Champion's League. Scottish coverage mostly kept to a minimum though and may struggle to cope with Rangers being centre stage. Manchester venue also gives opportunities to speak mainly about Sven, United and next week's "big" final.

Watch something else: BBC1 has The Apprentice (Boys). Might Sir Alan strike upon his trickiest challenge yet: make a programme for Scottish TV that is worth more than a bucket of warm spit. Channel 4 has Half Ton Dad (if any young Rangers fans are missing pops he might appear on this if you don't catch him cavorting half naked in the stadium).

Go out: not to a pub with a TV obviously. Unless it's a Celtic pub where you'll probably get a rerun of the Lisbon Lions.