Football coverage is often criticised for the vapidity of its post-match analysis, but I find it comforting. Commentators who muse that “At the end of the day, it’s all about scoring more goals than the opposition” or “The important thing is to just get out there and play football” show us that anyone can be an expert on the game. No matter how many years of professional sport you have behind you, there will always come a moment when what you think is an incisive comment is actually a paraphrasing of the rules.
It needn’t be limited to football. Other sports could benefit from obvious punditry or, as the Germans call it, Offentsichtlichegelehrsamkeit. Here are my top 5 suggestions:
1. “Obviously, you can’t win a match without hitting the ball into your opponent’s side of the court so that he can’t hit it back.”
2. “When all is said and done, you need to get your curling stones nearer to the centre of the target than the other team’s curling stones.”
3. “It’s all about getting a higher score, except at the end when you have to get a double.”
4. “You’ve just got to get over the bar and land on that mat.”
5. “At the end of the day, you have to get more runs than the other team while ensuring, obviously, that there is enough time to get their batsmen out twice by catching, bowling, and running them out or forcing them to block the wicket with their legs.”