Reflections on the Merseyside derby

Or more specifically, the BBC’s coverage of it.  During Match of the Day‘s broadcast, we were treated to the kind of image normally associated with the advertising concerning the wisdom of taking out life insurance, or twenty years ago, for the soothing properties of Hamlet cigars:

Quite why the BBC’s Steve Wilson felt the need to adopt an earnestly concerned tone, and tell us,

Oh, that’s the wrong shirt to wear there.  That really is the wrong shirt to wear there.  Good luck.

I do not know.  The chap in red is clearly sitting with a close friend or possibly a relative, and he does not seem to be in any trouble whatsoever.  Surely it’s better to reflect (as Canal+ Sweden’s coverage did) on how pleasant it is to see football supporters being able to behave in such a civilised manner (“the friendly derby”).  Liverpool against Everton is characterised by a great deal of rancour on the pitch – indeed no other fixture in the league genrates as many red cards.  And certainly, the manner of Liverpool’s walkover on Saturday will have put many Bluenoses out of joint.  But rather than cajole fans into unpleasant aggression by giving them violent and intolerant reputations to live up to, would it not have been better for the BBC to applaud the amicable nature of Liverpudlian rivalry away from the pitch?

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