Anyone who uses Twitter will know Sky Sports’ football coverage, rightly or wrongly, is often accused of being ill-informed, self-important and superficial by some sections of the written press.
Now, no organisation should be immune from criticism, regardless of how many 3D or high definition live matches are available to the general public. But equally, the same organisation shouldn’t be exempt from praise, either.
Aforementioned self-importance aside (‘Sky Sports is a big, big part of their lives out here’), yesterday's Super Sunday – Afghanistan was upbeat, thought provoking and enjoyable.
The live Q and A between the troops, Andy Gray and Jamie Redknapp was cheerful enough, while pleasant pre-recorded messages ranged from the heartfelt and poignant tones of Ian Holloway to the humorous ponderings of England captain Rio Ferdinand, who questioned why Geoff Shreeves and Rocket from Soccer AM had made the journey to Camp Bastion, believing Sky Sports News presenters Georgie Thompson and Hayley McQueen to be more ideal candidates. He made a fair point.
In the quest for subscriptions and viewers, Sky is often found guilty of over-emphasising the significance of 22 men playing football for 90 minutes. While not groundbreaking television, Afghanistan put into perspective that there are more important things in the world than your team earning three points on a Saturday, and also served as a reminder of the relief and release sport, in this case football, can have on people’s lives in trying times.
And for that, Sky deserves credit. Season’s greetings.
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