Friday, 4 April 2014

Saturday Night Football (SNF)…

What with the ‘Tomas Rosicky gave Wheelchair Boy his shirt’ hype that engulfed me for a few days after the Tottenham match on Sunday 16th March (time flies), I forgot to post about what a brilliant day I had at Sky the previous day. I received a generic e-mail from Applause Store asking me if I would like to apply for Saturday Night Football tickets. After checking the fixtures, I realised Arsenal weren’t playing until the Sunday so I thought I might as well go. Being the loser that I am, I had nothing better to do on a Saturday (although the glorious sunshine on the day made me question why I was going to spend the afternoon in a dark T.V. studio).

For any non-football fans, SNF is a show on Sky Sports nearly every Saturday night during the season that centres around the game that kicks off at 17.30 (the title is pretty self explanatory). A small studio audience is assembled to watch presenter David Jones and former player Jamie Redknapp plus a special guest give an analytical commentary throughout the day. The audience watch the 3pm kick offs simultaneously on large screens, which is unique because legal reasons mean that the matches cannot be broadcast live on the television. However, this is just a starter before the main event.

The doors opened at 13.00 and after a brief wait, we were escorted into the huge studio in preparation for the start of the show at 14.30. There were only 150-200 in the audience but it was a bit like herding cattle, with the floor manager directing people where to stand. Don’t worry. Everyone, apart from those who can’t like me, only had to stand for about 30 minutes while David and Jamie discussed the team news for the first set of games in a segment called Team Talk.

After watching various matches at once (I didn’t know what one to watch), Gianfranco Zola came out to give his opinion ahead of the main match between Aston Villa and his former club Chelsea. Again, everyone had to stand to watch the pre-game show. This time it was 45 minutes but when the match began, they brought the benches back out for the audience to sit on. At full time, the floor manager asked for people to stand one more time for the final part of the show.

At the time, Arsenal were still in contention for the title so I desperately wanted the home side to beat one of our rivals but my head was saying a comfortable victory for the team I hate so much. I was so sure Chelsea would win that I bet my brother that if Aston Villa won, I would hump Jamie Redknapp’s leg on camera. Villa did surprise everyone and made me very happy but I wimped out of the bet. Partly because I am a good boy but also the stage had a step up to it so I couldn’t get to Jamie (plus, I don’t want to get barred from the Sky Studios for future recordings).

Food and drink was supplied free of charge so overall, it was a brilliant day and something I’d definitely be interested in doing again. When I was in the hub surrounded by screens and other likeminded people, it felt like I was in some sort of weird football heaven. You could see me clear in the front row so that was a bonus too being the media whore that I am. Who would have predicted that I’d be even more famous the next evening?

Bye for now!

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