Euro 2016 Bone on the Box: Come on then Lineker, Lawro and Co - what have you got?
Right, let's get one thing clear. If you want informed analysis of who's likely to win Euro 2016 or discussion about who should play '˜in the hole' against Slovakia, or even in a hole in Slovakia, you're reading the wrong column.
As readers of past Bone on the Boxes (or should it be Bones on the Box?) will verfiy, this is merely a forum for taking the mickey out of TV commentators, presenters, pundits and anyone else who comes into view from my spot on the sofa.
While the Euros aren’t quite as much fun as the World Cup, they’re a decent next-best-thing and will keep me and plenty of you occupied for the next month or so (or for the next two-and-a-half weeks, probably, if you’re switching off once England go out to Portugal on penalties).
So sit back and see if you can beat me in spotting any or all of the following:
* Team managers who look like a particular 80s or 90s TV or movie star (if the manager of Albania isn’t a dead ringer for Terry Scott, for example, I’ll be surprised, not to say a little disappointed).
* Patronising references to either of the Irish teams - ie, mentions of luck, Guinness or four-leaf clovers.
* Roy Hodgson praising England for a ‘battling’ 0-0 draw against a nation with a population of 73.
* Gary Lineker shoehorning a mention of Leicester or of presenting in his underpants into the first live game on BBC1.
* ITV showing a game without accidentally interrupting a key moment with an unscheduled ad break for the DFS summer sale.
* Robbie Savage saying something that most viewers agree with.
* Mark Lawrenson risking diplomatic incidents with about 19 of the 24 nations involved with co-commentary observations that most of us would only think, and only he would actually say.
* Use of the phrase ‘group of death’ - which this time seems to be a tag to be given to Group B, populated by four teams any of whom could be quite good but all of whom will probably be disappointing.
To be honest, I’ll be disappointed if we can’t chalk off all the above by the end of the first weekend.
One worry – how will I keep track of which presenters and pundits are working for which TV channels? Half of them seem to work for all channels now under these new-fangled freelance arrangements.
The problem that brings is that you can’t faithfully stay on the same channel throughout the tournament and be certain of avoiding Glenn Hoddle and Ian Wright.
I’ve been reviewing who’s in which channel’s line-up and find that Thierry Henry is a key man for the Beeb, and hopefully will be in the studio for an expert view if France need another handball-assisted goal to get past the Republic of Ireland.
Another Frenchman, Eric Cantona, has featured prominently in ITV’s build-up but is not - as far as I can tell - going to be a pundit for them, which is a shame as his cryptic musings about trawlers would knock Lee Dixon’s views into a cocked hat any day of the week.
Of course I haven’t even broached the thorny subject of Tyldo and Towno yet. Presumably Clive and Andy will be together again for some of ITV’s biggest games, when they can spend 90 minutes stating the obvious at the same time as missing the point, a combination of skills which is beyond many TV pairings.
So we know what we’re looking for? Right, time to open the 24-pack of Vimto, stock up on Frazzles, get the remote control to hand and settle down to watch.
And here’s your first task for the England-Russia game on Saturday... listen out for a commentator referring to Marcus Rashford and the fact he wasn’t even born when England hosted Euro 96.
It’s sobering to remember how young Rashford is, although he’s got nothing on those of you who think England might win the trophy, because, by my calculations, you must have been born yesterday.
Enjoy the feast and do join in.
* Tweet your Euro 2016 TV observations to @stevebone1 or email them to [email protected]