Woodwork Lessons

Posted: May 21, 2010 in General Football Verse, Rants in my Pants

Of all the moronic nonsense we have to put up with from football commentators every week, the one that’s perhaps irritated me most often and most consistently over the years is the imbecilic idea that somehow you can be “denied by the woodwork” or “unlucky to hit the post twice”, etc. Yes I know I could just turn the sound down, but I need to know who the players are. So commentators please read this and cut out your “woodwork came to the rescue” crap once and for all.

Woodwork Lessons

I’ve looked at goals from both sides now,
From in the stands and on the fields,
And one fact my observation’s conclusively proved
The goal does not shift much, it shall not be moved.

According to the commentators, Portsmouth were “plucky”,
And hitting the woodwork was somehow “unlucky”.
But I fail to see fortune’s fickle finger at play
The way Tyldesley did on the telly today
I’ve never seen woodwork “come to the rescue”
Of a keeper who was beaten by Dan Petrescu.

I’ve not seen nets narrow, or posts nudge nearer
To “unfortunately deny” a Sheringham or Shearer.
Never seen a goal siege relieved by a crossbar
Which slipped down and slide-tackled Didier Drogba.

Strikers train with the same target several days a week,
They’re professionals, psychologically and in physique,
They’ve perfected fine arts with all parts of their feet,
So when they have only the keeper to beat…

They are not “unfortunate” when they hit the bar
Just like I’m not, if I scrape a gate-post with me car.
They’re not cruelly cursed if they strike the upright
Nor am I if me head strikes the bedpost at night.
And if I happen to splash that old toilet seat
Nobody tells me I’m “unlucky in defeat”.

And if a side hits the woodwork five times in one game
It’s their finishing, not “fortune” or “fate” to blame.
The commentators rave on about “luck” but the fact is
Their powers of reasoning need more practice.

(As do many of their geometrical calculations.
Any schoolboy knows that in acute-angle situations
The outside and front of the frame can offer about as large
And therefore as probable a target as the goal itself,
When you’re trying to put it round the keeper).

It’s elementary Motson, it’s simple Sinstadt,
You don’t need to be Euclid, young kids know that
Hitting the outside of the post is like shooting well wide,
And only serves to irritate
Your far better-placed mate,
As he screams his head off at you in the five-a-side.

Tragic heroes make their own luck, deserve what they get
When they marry their own mum, or run over her pet.
When your last minute love-letter goes under the mat
It’s just off-target, nothing star-crossed in that.

OK, OK then, maybe one small concession
If – let’s say about ten times in succession
Your shot hits both posts and then the keeper gets it
Then that might just be unfortunate, maybe a bit.

But clichés aren’t clever, minnows aren’t “plucky”
And hitting the woodwork is far from “unlucky”.


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