>Alan Green and Russell Brand-Spot The Difference!

>How come Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand are hung out to dry by a BBC concerned by perceived damage to their lofty reputation, when Alan Green is apparently their blue-eyed boy?

I’m not objecting to the grim work he does, or his rampant egomania (I love this reference to him as “Alan Green’s Favourite Football Commemtator! EVERYTHING is about him in his broadcasts!) I’m objecting to the fact that, morally, he’s worse than the afore-mentioned duo.

Proof? Well, consider this (oh, and don’t worry, there will be a vague mention of Wrexham at the end of this, I swear!) What Ross and Brand did was undoubtedly ill-advised and disrespectful (and, come to mention it, skilfully exploited by Andrew Sachs, who who relaunched a moribund career off the carefully cultivated publicity and got a part in Coronation Street!) Surely advocating violence is a worse offence? Yet Green, always desperately looking to assert his machismo (that’s his ego’s default position), does so consistently.

Read the above link through and you’ll see reference to how he has said that participants in a Mexican Wave “should be shot!” I’m sure he thinks that’s funny. Sadly, on the way to Histon yesterday, I was struggling to see the funny side of his take on the Thierry Henry incident. He castigated Richard Dunne, saying he was disgusted with the centre back for speaking to Henry after the final whistle! Instead, he said he “should have punched him in the face. I would have.”

Let’s remember, this is the considered view of an experienced commentator, a full three days after the dust had settled. Just so you’re clear what the BBC’s official line is on the incident, by the way, Mike Ingham, their Chief Football Correspondant, then weighed in to say he totally endorsed “everything Alan said”, and went on to hysterically demand that when the FIFA Fair Play flags come out with the French team in the World Cup, they should be burned on the pitch. Dear God!

So the official BBC line appears to be that handball is worse than violence. It puts the hysteria over Henry into context. It’s a classic example of an issue being taken up and blown out of proportion by the wider media. I’ve found very few people who are knowledgable about football who think this reaction is warranted-everyone I asked in the pressbox at Histon, for example, thought the issue should be dropped as the notion of a replay over such an incident was a joke. It seems to be people with a passing interest in the game, and celebrity reporters who want to jump on a bandwagon.

I met Alan Green once. It was as I was waiting for my press pass before the 1997 F.A. Cup quarter final at Chesterfield, and he turned up in the queue behind me. Disturbed that no-one turned round to acknowedge his arrival, he started talking ostentatiously loudly to get everone’s attention. Then the girl who was sorting us out asked him for his name and went off to get his pass. Once she’d gone he started laughing incredulously at the fact that she didn’t know who he was, before relating an equally hilarious tale of the other time in his glorious career that one of the little people had made the same faux pas! He’s a lovely man, as you can see here.

Of course, his posturing was over by the time she came back in earshot. If she’d heard him mocking her, I like to think she’d have hit him. I would have.

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