'ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!' as Richard Keys would say, giving us that look of crinkly eyed charm as he tries to convince us that we are watching a football match to end all football matches, even though it is still nil all and neither goalkeeper has had a shot to save.
Only this time what is absolutely amazing is that those two self-satisfied masters of the anodyne and blindingly obvious, Sky football presenter Richard Keys and summariser, Andy Gray, have said something that has captured the public imagination for all the wrong reasons.
While they would never dream of saying that any player was having a nightmare game or that a manager had made a colossal cock-up, because that would bite the hand that feeds them, they had no hesitation in slagging off Sian Massey, a fully qualified female referee who was running the line of the Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool match that Sky was televising.
Thinking they were off mic, here's what the boys said:
KEYS: Somebody better get down there and explain offside to her.
GRAY: Can you believe that? Women don’t know the offside rule.
KEYS: ‘Course they don’t.
GRAY: Why is there a female linesman? Somebody’s fucked up big.
KEYS: I guarantee there will be a big one today. Kenny (Dalglish) will go potty. This is not the first time. Didn’t we have one before? Wendy Toms?
GRAY: She was fucking hopeless as well.
KEYS: Did you hear charming Karren Brady complaining about sexism? Do me a favour, love.
For once they were reflecting exactly what the yahoos behind the goal were saying. ‘What’s that silly cow doing out there?’ and the like. It is just such a shame that they can never do it when something needs saying about the football we are watching, where Gray pontificates earnestly without ever getting off the very middle of the fence as Keys squirms adoringly, hanging on every word ‘The big man’ says. 'He will be disappointed he didn't hit the target,' is about as radical as Gray gets, when a multi millionaire has managed to knock a ball wide of the goal from under four yards. But he is a US shock jock compared to Keys who is far more interested in trying to tease a few coherent sentences from 'Jamie and Stevie G who are our guests today in the studio'.
But now they are in deep, deep trouble for the first time in their Sky careers for saying exactly what so many of their boorish male viewers watching the smug, self-important duo on the big screen down the boozer will be agreeing with in spades. Ironic isn't it?