Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Thank you, Richie.
Few commentators so completely define their sport, especially away from home, but with his trademark quiet understatement, Richie has done just that. His lack of fuss at his decision to retire is equally to form. There's no need for me to dwell on the great man, his legacy speaks for itself.
So, onto another commentating legend, but one who probably isn't quite so aware of his impact, certainly here in England. I've already seen lists of Australian luminaries of old and new like the following from our Ben's Silent Words Speak Loudest, but his is certainly the best so far...
Ah, yes. I'd have chucked Jono Coleman in there for good measure to, but that's just splitting hairs. The fact is, for those utterly confused, this is a reference to a famous piece of football commentary from now legendary Bjørge Lillelien, when his native Norway beat England at Wembley in 1981. His diatribe went something like this...
Merv Hughes, Kylie, Russell Crowe, Dame Edna, Steve Irwin, Alf off of 'Home And Away', Nick Cave, Jason Donovan, Richie Benaud, Nicole Kidman, Rolf Harris, Michael Hutchence, Mick Dundee - your boys took one hell of a beating!
"Lord Nelson! Lord Beaverbrook! Sir Winston Churchill! Sir Anthony Eden!
Clement Attlee! Henry Cooper! Lady Diana! Maggie Thatcher - can you hear me,
Maggie Thatcher! Your boys took one hell of a beating! Your boys took one
hell of a beating!"
Stirring stuff, I'm sure you'd agree. Especially if you're Henry Cooper. Should you be suitably impressed, you can even hear the original commentary here, but be aware it is extremely loud and rather bad quality (but if you're a regular reader of this blog, it shouldn't be a thousand miles away from what you're used to). Anyway, you can read lots more about the man on Jan Haugland's rather fine Secular Blasphemy blog. And you'll also realise that i pinched all the facts quite unashamedly from him. So thanks Jan. Great blog name, too. Marvellous.