Right, let’s get one thing clear. If you want informed analysis of who’s likely to win Euro 2016 or discussion about who should play ‘in the hole’ against Slovakia – or even in a hole in Slovakia – you’re reading the wrong column.
As readers of past ‘Bone on the Box’ columns will verify, this is merely a forum for taking the mickey out of TV commentators, presenters, pundits and anyone else who comes into view from my spot on the sofa.
While the Euros aren’t quite as much fun as the World Cup, they’re a decent next-best-thing and will keep me and plenty of you occupied for the next month or so.
So sit back and see if you can beat me in spotting any or all of the following:
Team managers who look like a particular 80s or 90s TV or movie star (if the manager of Albania isn’t a deadringer for Terry Scott, for example, I’ll be surprised, not to say a little disappointed).
Patronising references to either of the Irish teams – ie, mentions of luck, Guinness or four-leaf clovers.
Roy Hodgson praising England for a ‘battling’ 0-0 draw against a nation with a population of 73.
Gary Lineker shoehorning a mention of Leicester or presenting in his underpants into the first live game on BBC1.
Mark Lawrenson risking diplomatic incidents with about 19 of the 24 nations involved with co-commentary observations that most of us would think, but only he would actually say.
Use of the phrase ‘group of death’ – which this time seems to be a tag to be given to Group B, populated by four teams many of whom could be quite good but all of whom will probably be disappointing.
One worry – how will I keep track of which presenters and pundits are working for which channels? Half seem to work for all channels now under these new-fangled freelance arrangements – so you can’t faithfully stay on the same channel throughout of the tournament and be certain of avoiding Glenn Hoddle and Ian Wright.
Of course I haven’t even broached the thorny subject of Tyldo and Towno yet.
Presumably Clive and Andy will be together again for some of ITV’s biggest games, when they can spend 90 minutes stating the obvious at the same time as missing the point.
Here’s your first task for the England-Russia game on Saturday...listen out for a commentator referring to Marcus Rashford and the fact he wasn’t even born when England hosted Euro ’96.