Does Anyone Else Have A David Coleman?

D Coleman was a sports commentator and anchor during the early years of my sporting life. I don’t think he was that great nor did his voice soothe or excite. However he will remain forever lodged in our national sporting consciousness by his faux pas. And they were so splendid Private Eye gave them a column under the moniker ‘Colemanballs’.

One of the most famous he didnt even say… this was bt Ron Picketing in 1976 of one 400 metre runner stretching away from the field when he informed us that ‘Bloggs has opened his legs and is showing his class’.

Actual examples include…

“And the line-up for the final of the women’s 400 metres hurdles includes three Russians, two East Germans, a Pole, a Swede and a Frenchman.”

“The front wheel crosses the finish line, closely followed by the back wheel.”

“The Republic of China: back in the Olympic Games for the first time.”

“That’s the fastest time ever run, but it’s not as fast as the world record.”

“Forest have now lost six matches without winning.”

“There is a fine line between serendipity and stalking.”

“This evening is a very different evening from the morning we had this morning.”

These happen everywhere. An early cricket example had one fielder described as ‘standing with his legs apart, waiting for a tickle’ . And another describing the New Zealand bowler Brian Cunis as having a name that ‘was neither one thing nor the other’.

And Murray Walker of F1 racing frequently featured in the Colemanballs column. His excitable delivery led to so many mistakes that they began to be labelled “Murrayisms”. Examples include “We’ve had cars going off left, right and centre”, “do my eyes deceive me, or is Senna’s Lotus sounding rough?”, “with half of the race gone, there is half of the race still to go”, “There is nothing wrong with the car, apart from that it is on fire”, “That car is totally unique, apart from the car behind it, which is identical”, and “The gap between them is now nine-tenths of a second; that’s less than a second!”.

Does this resonate across the nations? Are sporting malapropisms ubiquitous?

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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34 Responses to Does Anyone Else Have A David Coleman?

  1. Thank you so much for the many laughs we’ve just had – again!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pam Lazos says:

    Vince Lombardii – “it ain’t over til it’s over” – although they weren’t quite as bad.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There may be a comment in spam!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. willowdot21 says:

    I do love this so much Colman and Murray bless them Mint and Mustard! But we have so many of these guys don’t we Kenneth Wolstenholme ” They think it’s all over…..It is now!
    Ted Walsh – Horse Racing Commentator:
    “This is really a lovely horse and I speak from personal experience since I once mounted her mother.”
    “For those of you who are watching in black and white, the blue is behind the brown” (Snooker commentator)

    Liked by 2 people

  5. petespringerauthor says:

    This post was hilarious, Geoff. It reminded me of a baseball player/manager in American sports culture. He wasn’t purposefully trying to be funny, but he was by accident. Rather than listing all of the sayings he’s known to have uttered, I’ll send you a link to them.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy days! I can’t remember any particular ones of anyone but I do remember that this was a typical Murray Walker/James Hunt commentary exchange:
    Walker (enthusiastically): And there! Goes Alain Prost! Passing Damon Hill on the inside at Copse.
    Hunt (calmly correcting him): Well, actually, Murray …
    James Hunt always very measured and cool commentary, contrasting quite a lot with various other aspects of his life(!)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Fun stuff. Our sports announcers pretty much fade into sameness. Mistakes happen but no one cares.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Darlene says:

    These are always funny!


  9. L.K. Latham says:

    None are as funny as the ones I discover in my own writing – after publication. There’s always one hiding in there. hehehehe

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      Oh don’t… there’s an evil authorial Pan who inveigles his way into completed works and drops his word-turds just when you’re sure you’ve excised the last one…


  10. So funny Geoff.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Funny guy, Geoff. We had Yogi Berra – “When you come to the fork in the road, take it.” and “Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical” to name just two!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. JT Twissel says:

    Not really sports related (heard in project reviews) but “We’ll just have to burn that bridge when we come to it” “Don’t count your chickens before they come home to roost.”

    Liked by 1 person

  13. “There is a fine line between serendipity and stalking.” That sounds almost profound. In fact it’s so profound I can’t work it out!

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      ‘The depths you’d need to plumb to find meaning in drivel would leave you coated in a miasma of philosophical turpitude’ Jane Austen in Rice and Risibility, her little known never written book

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Priceless – always

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Jennie says:

    This is so funny! We had a baseball player, Yogi Berra, who was much the same. His quotes are iconic.

    Liked by 1 person

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