Photograph courtesy of Kilmarnock Football Club
MOTM Bubbly… Post Match Interview Not So Lovely Jubbly
Go a walk for the Sunday papers. Stretch the legs, clear the head. Done ok yesterday. Probably a 7. Maybe an 8? Could I possibly dream of a 9?
Standing in the queue waiting for somebody to cash in last night lottery win in exchange for their cigarettes you flick to check the ratings…a 6? A SIX? Clown. What do they know? And as you walk out the shop, the guy blows his Camelot smoke in your face. At least he’s happy with his numbers.
And thats the thing about player ratings in the paper. It’s crazy. You check them to see what you get. If it’s low you disregard it. If it’s decent you believe it. It’s only somebody’s opinion and you shouldn’t let it annoy you. It doesn’t. Maybe just a bit.
Same as getting awarded the Man of the Match at games. Be times you hear the tannoy announcer informing the crowd and you think really? Him? Thought he was bang average today, sponsors obviously enjoying the “fill your boots with bevvy” deal. Then, if on the very rare occassion I heard it was me, sponsors must know their stuff!
Then after your shower, somebody from the commercial department would be standing at the dressing room door, taking up the bouncer pose, hands clasped in front of them,making sure you were going nowhere but up to a suite.
Then the boys you were car sharing with would be giving you pelters, telling you to blank it as they had a table booked and if they were late the wife would go tonto. You promise not be too long, hand them your keys and you’re heading up through the corridors, saying a quick hello to people you meet, but all the time running through you’re head where you’re going.
Then the nerves start. It wasn’t that I didn’t like meeting the fans and getting nominated for the champagne was a great honour, but this was me now heading out my comfort zone. All players are different. Some you need to prize the microphone out their hand with a blowtorch and they bring their own limelight. Me? I would rather blend into the background.
Ask me to play in front of 50-60,000? No problem. Acceptance speeches. Not my thing. Sometimes shyness gets mistaken for arrogance but we never had any training in the media side of things. Luckily, young pros now get it. Taught how to deal with tricky questions. If a journalist is trying to give you some rope, don’t take enough for a bungee jump. With us it was just expected if a camera was shoved in front of you with a reporter asking questions you’d be fine. Be able to cope at least.
Happened after a live Sky game. Hearts away. Straight after the game ushered into their bootroom. As soon as the bright lights hit me, my mouth suddenly was like the bottom of a bird cage. I was trying to drink juice to keep the saliva flowing. Don’t say anything daft. Don’t say anything daft…too late. It was The Office live and I was David Brent. Couldn’t get out there quick enough. Only consolation was the big bottle of fizz that would dampen the embarrassment. For a while at least. But you learn from your mistakes.
I made sure I never won another Man of the Match again…