Friday, 30 November 2007

Don't let Lawro get you down

I wonder why Mark Lawrenson needs to 'talk to' someone in order to predict the scores of upcoming games? I'm familiar with the concept of ghost writers, of course, especially in the sports world, but isn't this going a bit far? When Lawro makes his predictions for the weekend's games, he is 'talking to Mike Burnett'

Here's an example:

"I couldn't believe Newcastle's performance against Liverpool last week - they just didn't play at all - so I'm going for a home victory."

Now, is that really an example of fine journalistic editing? What did Lawro actually say that required Mike Burnett to parse into the statement above? Something like:

"Mutter mumble... Newcastle were crap.. er, I fink the Rovers'll do 'em..."

I'm not a great fan of Mark's punditry, and agree with the TV satirists that his partnership with Motty for the Beeb is usually disastrous. I prefer (if possible) to hit the red button and get a smattering of Greeno and Butcher. However (apart from the fact that I am now a fan of his Facebook profile) I think he is fairly eloquent and quite capable of putting his point across on his own. So I can't really figure out why a cash-strapped BBC, already paying (I'll wager) Mr Lawrenson a more than decent fee, should shell out for the services of a hack to interpret these gnomic predictions every time the Premier League circus comes to town. It could be of course, that ML is illiterate, having failed to banish those gremlins during his time at Anfield. Maybe his Facebook profile (in case you missed it above, there's another chance to check it out) is also ghost-written?

This week, ML (or perhaps Mike Burnett) is going for a shock at the JJB, and predicting a 2-1 win to the Latics. I fear he may have a point, with Elano out with a hamstring. On top of that, last week, out of 10 predictions, he got 7 right, and three of those were with perfect scores. He knows his onions, even if can't write about them.

As a side note, I am also following BBC Footy on Twitter, so every time I log in, I see Mark Lawrenson's face down the page about 20 times. It's (almost) enough to make you want to stop. But not quite.

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