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Oct 04

The gnarly issue of sportspersons refering to themselves in the third person has reared its head again I see

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The gnarly issue of sportspersons refering to themselves in the third person has reared its head again I see. The Guardian devoted some time to why boxers do it. Psychologically it helps build a new persona, the boxer Chris Eubank is a seperate person to the family man going shopping down Tesco’s (okay, perhaps a bad example). But if the seperation of aggression, training and – most importantly – taking the pain can be seen to happen to another person then it possibly bodes well for genealk integration into society.

That is one potential reason. There is another, which stems from sports journalists. Harry Carpenter used to do it a lot, but now Garth Crooks, Ray Stubbs and anyone interviewing of Sky seem to fall into the trap constantly. It is of talking to people like they are not actually there. So if Harry wanted to know what Frank Bruno was doing next, he would ask Frank “So what’s Frank Bruno doing next?” At the weekend Claudio Ranieri was asked how he felt about his time at Chelsea by asking “After it is all over, how does Claudio Ranieri feel about his time at Chelsea?” This is potentially a useful interviewing style on the radio, if we do not know who is being talked to. But on TV is just seems stupid. What was once a colourful gambit to be used sparingly, is now weapon one in the sports interviewers arsenal. No wonder players refer to themsleves in the third person. Its like they are not there half the time.

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