Keys and Gray and Their Socialist Paradise

Posted: April 2, 2012 in Football, Media
Tags: , , , , ,

The news that football’s top graduates of the Jeremy Irons School of Lady-Relations, Messrs Gray and Keys, have being banished from our screens for the second time in a year should illicit a much different response to the righteous indignation that greeted lineswoman-gate in January of last year. For those of us not quick enough to take advantage of the fleeting chance to view it (which, apparently, is the entire population of planet Earth, save 517 hardy souls), seemingly Sky Sports’ erstwhile finest decided there was a shortage of tits on the internet and so broadcast themselves chewing the football fat in a series of bizarre settings before posting the outcome on Youtube. According to reports the duo’s ueber-gonzo offering floundered on such rocks as being unable to compete with the noise of passing traffic and the inability of the ‘cameraman’ to hold his camera phone in a non-wobbly manner.

As Liverpool fans, we justifiably revel in seeing the duo plunge to deeper and more hilarious depths of embarrassment. After all, we had no shortage of reasons to engage in total and absolute schadenfreude last January when the anchor (the ‘W’ is silent) and his ever-odious sidekick fell on their sword; 20 years of Ferguson-directed sycophancy so thorough as to have rendered toilet paper obsolete for the United manager since the early 90’s; their condemnation of our fans for voicing disapproval at our previous cancerous owners; and above all (for me anyway) their treatment of Rafa, all stick in the craw. Add to that their almost creepy level of support for Rafa’s much inferior English successor – thereby hinting at some kind of underlying xenophobia – and it’s not hard to understand why a sum total of zero fans had sympathy seeing two more added to the dole queue.

Not that I think it was just Liverpool that Gray and Keys loved sticking the boot into. Maybe it’s just the non-Sky Sports educated circle of friends I keep, but very few fans seem to rate them. Talk to supporters of any club and they’ll have at least one or two major gripes with the pair. So do Gray and Keys hate all clubs? Do they deliberately try to wind up fans of all clubs for their own amusement? Are we all idiots, falling for some old-fashioned baiting? Are Gray and Keys master manipulators, setting out – and succeeding – to seep into our subconscious so we will constantly have Sky on the brain? No, the answer to all these questions is actually a lot simpler: they’re just gobshites. The reason other fans mock them is the same reason we do – Gray and Keys constantly get it wrong about their team too (although probably not to the same extent as us during the Rafa era). So consistent is their buffoonery it would take a team of twat-specialising NASA scientists working round the clock to come up with such a tight, unerring schedule of shite to spout.

The most pertinent question regarding their latest embarrassment, though, does not concern dubious production qualities or exactly how hard the 517 viewers laughed. No, the real question here is Why? Why would two well-paid broadcasters (they are currently enjoying decent ratings imparting their own unique brand of wisdom on Talksport) feel the need to compete with grainy videos of pets doing the cutest things, teenagers singing into hairbrushes and the like, in order to have their pearls of wisdom seen and heard by an audience their national radio show already reaches?

Perhaps seen is the key word here; whilst their radio show allows us to enjoy all the aural delights Gray and Keys have to offer, it is (like most radio shows, in fact) lacking in visuals. Could it be the duo are simply suffering from some sort of identity crisis brought on by their current lack of visual broadcasting exposure, ala Roger Melly after yet another failed TV series? Couldn’t they just do what Alan Partridge does and place a picture of themselves on their own TV set, thereby ensuring they’re always on the telly? (I’m assuming Gray and Keys live together and are, in fact, one entity, so long has it been since one was mentioned without the other. In fact, even now as I try to recall Gray celebrating one of his many elbow-assisted headers for Everton, I see Keys joining in the celebrations, sharp suit and all). So is it some sort of Big Brother contestant-type desperation to be seen by the masses that’s behind the pair’s latest wheeze?

The answer, I believe, is actually far more disturbing; it seems to me that Gray and Keys believe they are football’s chosen representatives here on Earth, duty-bound to educate the masses about zonal-marking, Steven Gerrard’s best position and a million other things they get routinely and spectacularly wrong. For the twenty years of Sky’s monopoly on live Premiership football, Gray and Keys enjoyed their own monopoly on real-time punditry. With only each other to challenge any inaccuracies (something that almost never happened) they were allowed to build up a head of steam to such a degree they seem to have arrived at the conclusion that they’ve been talking footie for twenty years without ever being wrong! And let’s face it, they’re not the type to listen to what any of their contemporaries in the football media world have to say. If it ain’t on Sky, it ain’t on, right?

With such self-belief would it be any wonder if they felt like the definitive authority on the beautiful game? Like David Icke, who was fortunate enough to be the individual God chose all those years ago to spread the word that the day of Giant Lizard Rule is imminent (or something), it seems Gray and Keys feel they are doing us a massive favour, protecting us from alternative views on the game – or worse, developing our own! No matter that zonal marking is proven to be the most effective way of defending set-pieces, no matter that Steven Gerrard looks like he’s been clamped every time he plays central midfield, Gray and Keys know best.

So what, now, are the options for the Statler and Waldorf of the punditry world? Well, conventional UK telly’s a no-go so long as the dastardly FA entrust those other humans, the ones without testicles, to lift a flag and use their eyes; radio seemingly just doesn’t satisfy the pair’s appetite for attention ; the Internet seems to prefer, well, grainy videos of pets doing the cutest things and teenagers singing into hairbrushes. So where to now? The answer is obvious…Cuba!

Think about it, Castro is gone and has left a massive void that could only be filled by the boys. They could take over El Presidente’s daily four hour rant to the masses, simply cutting down on the references to a socialist paradise and replacing them with musings about whether Leo Messi would deliver on a cold and wet Tuesday in Stoke. Castro routinely attracted crowds of thousands to hear his thoughts, as, surely, would our heroes, Andy and Richie. And best of all? It would get them back on the Telly! Of course, in addition to finally securing a stage worthy of their great knowledge and wisdom, all sorts of local perks would present themselves. They could manage the education system so as to remove all the girls from the classrooms. After all, why slow the boys down when all a girl needs to know is how to cook for her man, right? Conversely, they could remove all the men from the health service, thereby leaving just buxom latino beauties, all the more pleasing on the eye for the duo as they undergo yet another operation to remove their collective foot from their collective mouth. There’s innumerable areas of Cuban society the pair could manage. But it will never happen, will it? Why? Because we all know how they feel about foreign managers…..

(Article first appeared on The Tomkins Times, October 2011)



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