I still believe in the free football streaming dream. I think back to those days of Iraqgoals, and all the time it’s taken us moving on through Sopcast, MyP2P, and all the dark corners of the internet in search of a world where we could watch football in high-definition, gratis, all of the time. It’s not arrived, but there’s a handy alternative in following a game on Twitter. You don’t want to actually read the tweets - that would be horrific - but check the number of new tweets that appears on your timeline after each update, and with a bit of practice you can put the game together from that. If there’s 5 new tweets, it’s just some midfield play. If there’s 10, someone’s had a near miss. 15 new tweets = a bad foul. 20 = someone’s hit the woodwork. 25 = a goal. 7,503,324 new tweets = a cat on the pitch. For some, a quick cut to the absurd during a moment of extreme tension. For others, a golden opportunity.
There’s many things wrong with football journalism at the moment. The fact that so many writers don’t get paid, the fact that we have an orgy of bland platitudes about racism every week comprised solely of the white and largely middle-class men that make up the elite of football journalism, and the enduring boredom and futility of tactics writing. The worst thing though, the moment when it truly went to the next level, was when Duncan Jenkins was paid to write for Goal.com.
Of all the great debates that regularly take place at T100WPOT towers, there’s one in particular that never fails to get the dialectic juices flowing, and the cleaner going home early. It’s the one that’s more partisan than Pele versus Maradona, more bitterly-fought than “Is there really such a thing as an ethnic Kosovan?”, and taken more personally than “You can’t have a proper Ragu without chicken livers.” It is of course “Which subject produces the biggest pricks in British journalism - music or football?” and every round so far has been a dead heat. That is, until we noticed Andy Dawson.
When it came to compiling this list, ‘Gareth Aveyard’ was keyed in along with many others, without much real thought. Like most people, I’d come across him largely through seeing him retweeted by others, instantly marking him down as a bell on a purely irrational basis and then failing to find anything that contradicted that prejudice. I expected he’d confirm his status as a prize weapon at some point, but I expected it to be through one of the usual channels: getting outed as privately-educated, reacting to another set of riots with some strong opinions on inner-city youths, that sort of thing. Then this happened. And this (scroll down - sadly, it’s one of those occasions when someone who is basically @NormalTweetGuy has minor infamy thrust upon them.)