Travelling tittle-tattle, tall tales and shameless name-dropping by Jon ‘Don’t Call Me’ Norman

About Me

Friday, 17 June 2016

Another one to scratch off the bucket list

While flares reigned down on the pitch in Saint-Etienne flames shot up into the sky in London.  Two sporting arenas in two different countries but both at capacity with spectators watching star-studded Friday night entertainment and there the comparisons end.

Week one of the Euros came to an end with the Croatian fans joining the Russian and English on the wall of shame.  Week four of the NatWest Blast emerged from underneath the covers to provide more wholesome fare.

Maybe one day I will present from a football match maybe one day I won't.  If I do so it probably won't be at Craven Cottage that's for sure. For today marked the day I presented a show from a cricket match for the first time.  At my other sporting home, The Oval.  Live on talkSPORT 2, Surrey v Middlesex with my dad watching on from the Pavilion.  The game that is.  He wasn't watching me.

Alongside me were the former Surrey opening batsman Alan Butcher and commentator Andrew 'Macca' McKenna. The last time Macca are I were in the same stadium was in Brazilia at the 2014 World Cup.  There we watched Argentina knock Belgium out the competition in a low key encounter.  While the Euros are on every cricket match has the feel of a low key encounter.

Brazil seemed very far away when I arrived with the rain pelting down and the pitch under covers.  Rain delays meant that instead of presenting for the first half an hour before handing over to my commentator I had to 'fill' an hour of radio.  How to fill an hour?  Just sit back and talk about cricket.  So that's what we did.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

It's going to be a draw....

I'm not sure if it's ironic or not but considering the amount of time I worry about getting ill it's a rare occasion that I'm actually sick.  But I'm sick today.  Struck down with a heavy cold, a sore throat and a headache.  I was tired anyway following three days of reporting on the cricket so the fact I woke up on the hour every hour last night hasn't improved things.

Luckily I've got a whole day of staring at this ahead of me.

Who needs lemons, honey and hot water to make you feel better when you've got constant drizzle and a rickety old air con unit recycling bad air instead?

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Dream jobs

I've never really understood the phrase 'he wants his own cake and eat it' because what else do you do with cake?  It's the same with Aussies calling the English POMS when POM stands for Prisoner of her Majesty's pleasure; which is what the Aussies were not English.  I'm sure a quick Google search could explain but neither question is exactly keeping me awake at night.

Nothing is keeping me awake at night at the moment to be fair.  Being at the cricket and on air for the best part of eight hours a day is enough to send anyone off to sleep.  Including the listeners.

It hasn't been the most gripping of series against Sri Lanka.  If you take Nick Compton's desperate attempts to cling to his Test career out of the equation then the only jeopardy attached to it would be, well, actually, I can't think of any other jeopardy.  It has been a series without any semblance of tension.

In another country and at another sporting event the word tension will never be too far away from the centre of things.  The Euros are on in France and whether you are a fan desperate to see your team succeed, a supporter with a penchant for late night strolls around Marseille harbour, or a radio producer battling with technical, logistic or personnel issues it can be a stressful time.  It is also the first major football tournament since 2008 that I'm not on location working.

It's a bittersweet feeling.  For while the following is a view I'd never swap I'd be lying to say I haven't experience a pang of envy when I see excited FB updates or read tweets from my colleagues ensconced in France.

After years of quietly and determinedly inching towards this seat in the Media Centre why the mixed emotions?  It is the human condition I suppose.  You always want more.

So would I swap my year long role reporting on cricketing fortunes for the manic high of producing a football tournament one month every twenty three?  No.  Would I like to somehow do both?  Rush from one event to the other?  Yes.  Is that possible?  No.  So shut up then.