Because Football Saturday
hasn't got the same ring to it.
Along with Match of the Day
, Soccer Saturday
is the other primary place for Football Coverage in the UK. Except while MOTD has been a staple of the BBC since 1964, Soccer Saturday
has been on Sky Sports since both first appeared in 1992. It was part of the new Sky package which sprung up in the early 90's. Following the formation of the FA Premier League which had started due to UK Football's decline of that period, Sky was able to outbid the BBC and ITV to acquire some of the live and exclusive football rights. It was the first time that top-flight English league football had been taken from terrestrial and free-to-air television to pay per view TV.
As the name implies, it is broadcast every Saturday of the football season from Midday up to 6pm. Like MOTD, it has a single presenter and a group of pundits who analyze previous matches and offer their opinions on teams, matches, and players. But when the 3pm matches start, it changes so the main presenter provides live updates from matches around the country. Significant events at the most high profile games are described by the studio pundits who each watch a game on a screen. Other mathces considered important are reported on by pundits at the grounds connected to the studio by a video or radio link; this helps to cover every game from the English Premier League
and the assorted Footy Leagues
lower down. This is where it combines MOTD and Final Score, except it provides coverage throughout the afternoon rather than for the last ten minutes of a game. Like MOTD, it makes use of ex-football players to provide the analysis. After the matches are played the results are read out and the league tables are then updated and shown, followed by interviews with managers and players.
It has been presented by Jeff Stelling for most of its run. Frequent studio guests include former players Matt Le Tissier, Paul Merson, Phil Thompson, Charlie Nicholas, and Paul Walsh, while people such as Alan McInally, Alan Smith, and Chris Kamara are some of the reporters.
Known also for having a more laid back and humorous atmosphere than its terrestrial cousins, mainly due to each presenter making jokes at the others' expense or general little pranks or gaffes that have sprung up during its run. The banter that gets going over the course of several hours is a large factor in the programme's popularity.
The show contains examples of the following tropes:
- Accentuate the Negative: Charlie Nicholas. To a lesser extent, Paul Merson.
- Blooper: Several, the show is known for the amount of humour that shows up, be it jokes or gaffes. Usually shown as a collection every Christmas.
- Channel Hop: Lately, due to the improvements in broadcasting and a Football league game shown live at 5:15pm, the show switches onto Sky Sports news for the last few minutes. However now it's shown exclusively on Sky Sports News.
- Due to the format of the program, which relies more on audio cues than visual cues, it also appears on Sky Sports News Radio on the related news app.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Chris Kamara.
- Fan Nickname: Chris Kamara is affectionatley called "Kammy" by everyone.
- The Sky Sports team refers to the presenters as "Jeff and the boys."
- Guest Host: Somewhat averted since all the pundits are rotated around each weekend.
- Hilarity Ensues: Just watch and wait for a pundit to make a mistake or tell a joke and for the others to leap on it.
- Jerk Ass: Pundit Rodney Marsh, who antagonised many viewers with his many smug, condescending remarks about the smaller clubs in the Premier League. He was eventually fired for cracking an Incredibly Lame Pun about the 2004 Asian Tsunami.
- Large Ham: Chris Kamara.
- Pungeon Master: Jeff. Example: when a player called Hartley scored a lucky goal, Jeff said he'd been jammy.
- Reality Is Unrealistic: When the video of Chris Kamara missing a red card hit YouTube, some viewers thought it was a hoax because British people don't call it soccer.
- Running Gag: Jeff's love for Hartlepool FC, made better when you know they have a player called James Brown, whenever he scores Jeff pulls out a singing James Brown figure and then gets it to sing 'I Feel Good'.
- Not to mention "dancing on the streets of Total Network Solutions" (now The New Saints).note
- Former Gretna striker and practicing M.D. Kenny Deuchar, known forever to Jeff as "Dr Goals" or "The Good Doctor".
- During a Tottenham game, Kammy mentioned how they were "fighting like Beavers!" to the utter disbelief of all around. This quote is occaisionally brought up whenever he watches Spurs.
- Spiritual Successor: The program was originally called Sports Saturday until 1998, when it was realized it focused mostly on football anyway. Over the summer months when there was no football, that title would continue to be used until 2009.
- Spoonerism: After the Scottish team Raith Rovers won promotion to the Scottish First Division in 2009, Jeff announced that "Roath Ravers" had just won promotion. Hilarity Ensued.
- This was given a Shout-Out two years later — Raith were in with a chance of another promotion (this time to the Scottish Premier League), but got soundly beaten by First Division leaders Dunfermline, who all but wrapped up the title. This prompted Jeff to say "It looks as if it'll be Dunfermline, and not Roath Ravers who are playing in the SPL next year!"
This article is unbelievable, Jeff!