Bacon’s Bites: Chris Sutton: Ignorance isn’t always bliss!

02 November, 2018 - 18:06
Chris Sutton, right. In Mike Bacon's opinion Sutton was a much better player than he is a pundit! Photo: PA

Chris Sutton, right. In Mike Bacon's opinion Sutton was a much better player than he is a pundit! Photo: PA

PA Archive/PA Images

Bacon’s Bites: MIKE BACON takes a look at how Chris Sutton managed to annoy the non-league world, as well as speedway shooting itself in the foot... again!

NFL markings still visible on the pitch before the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and  Manchester City at Wembley. Chris Sutton compared it to non-league. But most non-league pitches are better than this! Photo: PANFL markings still visible on the pitch before the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City at Wembley. Chris Sutton compared it to non-league. But most non-league pitches are better than this! Photo: PA

I don’t pretend to be a fan of ex-professional players, turned pundits.

And I don’t care in what sport – football, rugby, cricket, golf, etc., My preference (call me a bit ‘old school’) has always been for trained journalists/reporters to analyse – and players to play.

You know, a bit like getting meat from your butcher and flowers from your florist, that sort of ridiculous thing.

For me there are too many ex-sporting pros making money today, not so much out of being knowledgeable about the game they once played professionally but more because of being ever the sensationalist, ever the one trying to make the listener go, ‘what did he just say?’

Take ex-footballer, now turned pundit, Chris Sutton.

As a player I rated him and won’t go down the road many fans have on social media that it was Alan Shearer who made him look good in their SAS days at Blackburn.

No, I liked Sutton the player.

Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez and Tottenham Hotspur's Mousa Dembele (right) battle for the ball at Wembley on Monday night Photo: PAManchester City's Riyad Mahrez and Tottenham Hotspur's Mousa Dembele (right) battle for the ball at Wembley on Monday night Photo: PA

He was good in the air, tidy on the ground. Good memories... Until now.

Since he has become a pundit he has gone out of his way to be as controversial as possible. He’s not alone. Robbie Savage is making an even better living out of it.

People today judge themselves on how many ‘likes’ they get on their social media posts, rather than anything intellectual they might have to say. I can live with that, however sad, but I hate ignorant comments and basic untruths.

Take Sutton’s comments on the state of the Wembley pitch on Monday night and his comparasions to non-league.

I was listening to the Spurs/Man City clash on Five Live with Sutton as a pundit.

The pitch, apparently, was a bit of a mess after Jacksonville and Philadelphia played an NFL American football game on it just 24 hours earlier.

I can’t remember the exact quote from Sutton, but it was along the lines of the pitch resembled a ‘non-league pitch on a Saturday afternoon’.

The setting at Ram Meadow, looking towards the main stand, this season. A cracking non-league pitch Mr Sutton! Picture: CARL MARSTONThe setting at Ram Meadow, looking towards the main stand, this season. A cracking non-league pitch Mr Sutton! Picture: CARL MARSTON

What?

OK, Sutton wasn’t wrong about the pitch looking a mess. But to suggest it looked like a ‘non-league pitch’ was nothing short of outrageous.

When was the last time Sutton played on, or even saw, a ‘non-league pitch’?

What type of ‘non-league pitch’ was he referring?

A Sunday morning one where the local council cuts the grass once a month and try to keep the dog muck off after ignorant owners allow their hounds to crap all over them?

Or, was Sutton referring to the many hundreds of excellent high-quality pitches up and down the land which put Wembley’s mess of a surface on Monday to shame?

Whatever, Sutton didn’t bother to do his homework.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the Formula One drivers' championship during the 2018 Mexico Grand Prix at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Mexico City at the weekend. Will he go onto to equal Michael Schumacher's seven victories? Photo: PAMercedes' Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the Formula One drivers' championship during the 2018 Mexico Grand Prix at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Mexico City at the weekend. Will he go onto to equal Michael Schumacher's seven victories? Photo: PA

Talk for the sake of talk, shock for the sake of shock. Bundle it all in the same bracket... ‘Just bloody non-league, ain’t it mate’?

So what about the high quality standard of many non-league pitches, as well as 3G ones that put some League pitches to shame?

Suffice to say Sutton got it horribly wrong and what he no doubt perceived as ‘throw-away’ comments, were a gross insult to the many volunteers who work so hard at non-league level, especially those producing excellent playing surfaces.

It wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t these same non-league volunteers who, by having to fork out for a TV licence, pay Sutton’s wages – only then to be insulted.

Poldark apart, I could so live without the Beeb!

You have to take your hat (or racing helmet) off to Lewis Hamilton.

While F1 isn’t my bag, it is still a hugely popular sport and Hamilton, on clinching a fifth world title last week, is on the verge of true F1 greatness.

Hamilton joins the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio on the same amount of world championship wins. Only the great Michael Schumacher, on seven, stands in the way of him being the best F1 driver of all time.

Will he do it?

You know what? I think he will.

As you know, I like a bit of speedway.

But honestly, you couldn’t make it up!

Workington Comets won the Championship title on Sunday night after beating Lakeside in the second leg of their championship play-off final.

Hoorah to them!

Yet, incredibly the next evening they raced two more meetings at home, one after the other – the first the second leg of the Championship Shield final... OK, got that.

The second, a Championship LEAGUE meeting between the two sides!

A meeting from the same league that the Comets had just won via the play-offs 24 hours earlier!

Foot, shoot, speedway.

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