We love these really cool posters celebrating famous World Cup goals, and the great commentary and words which have come with them. Created by the excellent James Taylor of PennarelloDesign.com, who’s work we’ve featured here several times before.
GOOOOOOOOOOOOL features famous lines from commentators such as Kenneth Wolstenholme of the BBC (“they think it’s all over…”) and Nando Martellini of RAI (“uno splendido gol di Tardelli”), and each of them is truly memorable in its own right (unfortunately there’s no George Hamilton – “it’s there, Raaaaaaay Houghton!” Legend).
Though I may be one of the biggest football lovers I know, I’ve never been to a World Cup match. Despite the packed crowds at every tournament the vast majority of soccer fans only ever experience the game’s greatest spectacle through the medium of television. While I wouldn’t turn down two tickets to Brasil ’14, nothing brings home the exotic glory of the World Cup quite like the sight of sun-drenched foreign stadia beamed via satellite from a faraway land, straight into one’s living room.
With this project I wanted to celebrate the relationship between TV and football, and how especially with the World Cup the two things become inexorably linked. The commentator’s is a frankly thankless task: often he’s a distraction or an irritation, other times he goes unheard beneath the cheering. But although these are simply spontaneous reactions blurted out in the heat of a moment, when seen and not heard the words take on a different quality.
Most of these clips have been shown repeatedly down the years, their narration as familiar as lines from a pop song or hit movie. A goal of great beauty or significance serves only to enhance the work of the commentator. Sometimes a goal’s commentary can become even more iconic than the goal itself, as in the case of Kenneth Wolstenholme’s oft-repeated “They think it’s all over” line in 1966. The diagrams of the movement leading up to the scoring chance are simply a visual reference, further highlighting the futility of illustrating a goal and the odd sensation of experiencing commentary without footage.
In 2014 television plays a less fundamental role in our consumption of the World Cup, and we can replay any goal at any time in the palms of our hands. But I still prefer to watch games on TV, at home, where I can give the match my full concentration. Sadly today the role of the commentator has become more conversational, their speech peppered with pre-written puns and ham-fisted alliteration. The voices are still there, but it seems no-one else is listening.