LAWRO is, to all extents and purposes, a bit of a divvy
There is nothing really wrong with this – some of my best friends are divvies, and we can’t all be as distinguished as your average TAW contributor. Lawro is the fella at the party who is not as funny as he thinks he is. Who wears impossibly bad clothes and uses catchphrases that are out of date and were never really funny in the first place (Lawro definitely does the Budweiser ‘wassssuuuuup’ down the phone. He does doesn’t he?). This lad is essentially harmless, he’s alright, but you wouldn’t put him on TV.
But the BBC have put him on TV. They’ve put him on TV for the last 15 (FIFTEEN) YEARS!! We’ve now had fifteen years of Lawro, and I think we’ve all just about had enough. The funny thing is it seems like Lawro has had enough as well, the way he sighs and groans through the torture of being paid to watch football.
I can only presume he hasn’t got anywhere else to go. He doesn’t like the gym and he’s rubbish at golf. He likes sitting at home and watching Bargain Hunt (‘Yeah love, that vase is worth £80…NOT!’) but his wife moans at him to get out the house. So he goes to the BBC to see his mates and have a nice scone from the cafe. And if someone wants him to describe football matches while he’s there, then he’ll get through it best he can.
So I sort of get Lawro, but I can’t for the life of me figure out the BBC. They seem to treat Mark Lawrenson like a granddad they have to keep entertained. This is the only possible way that Mark Lawrenson is rewarded with not just continued employment but MORE work.
“Mark seems a bit fed up with Match of the Day, poor fella, shall we give him Football Focus as well? It’s on early in the day, he’ll like that”
“I really thought Mark would enjoy The European Championships but he hasn’t at all. Can we arrange to send him to the Olympics to cheer him up?”
This is the only way I can figure it out in my head. Because I actually think Lawro is capable of much more. As a former top class footballer he surely has some insightful things to say? He actually said something interesting in a European Championship game this summer. I should have made a note of where and when it was that remarkable thing.
I thought maybe someone had spoken to him and asked him to up his game, that maybe this was a turning point in football punditry on the BBC as we knew it. But 20 seconds later he made a joke about someone’s name being unpronounceable (IT’S YOUR JOB TO LEARN IT LAWRO!!) and I knew it was a false dawn.
Because no-one is pushing Lawro, or any of them. No-one is asking for more. At performance reviews people must be telling him he is great. ‘Fantastic stuff Lawro, great jokes, can you do more games next year?’ But they can’t think Lawro is doing a good job really. They stick with what they know. Safe Lawro. So Lawro and co. act like old teachers in the staff room counting down their days to retirement and moaning through their working day knowing they are untouchable.
Who is going to fire them now when they have been this lazy for years?
But maybe, just maybe, we should be grateful the BBC are so safe. Because I’ve seen brave thinking by the BBC and it isn’t pretty. This summer alternative commentary for England games was provided by Chris Moyles and ‘Comedy’ Dave. I’m not joking, this happened. Because the BBC doesn’t really care about pleasing me and you, we are taken for granted.
They want to open the game up to non-football fans. So it’s not about tactical analysis or football intelligence. It’s about simplicity. It’s about fun. It’s about the dreaded #BANTA. Because we all assume the overthrow of Lawro would mean an improvement for proper football fans, when really it would more than likely lead to a further dumbing down.
The BBC wouldn’t think about improving their programming for us, they’d think about how to get more non-football fans tuning in. We imagine James Richardson when in reality it’s Michael McIntyre making ‘hilarious quips about the play so far’. We picture Sid Lowe but it’s actually Alistair McGowan, doing impressions of England players in the breaks in play, while John Motson chuckles to the side of him.
And suddenly, 15 more years of Lawro isn’t looking so bad.
For us I mean. It will be murder for him.