I would not have thought there’d be huge demand for “Lovejoy On Football : One Man’s Quest To Become The World’s Biggest Football Fan”, but perhaps someone in England might make a similar snap judgement about Will Leitch’s forthcoming “God Save The Fan”. Until then, When Saturday Comes’ Taylor Parkes attempts a two-footed tackle of the former, a tome he characterizes as “part autobiography, part witless musing, and one more triumph for the crass stupidity rapidly replacing culture in this country.”
It’s clear that being Tim Lovejoy requires a very special blend of arrogance and ignorance. When he’s not listing his media achievements with a breathtaking lack of guile, he’s sneering at those “sad” enough to take an interest in football history, revealing his utter cluelessness about life outside the Premier League (in a section called “Know Your Silverware” he refers to “League Three”) and making sundry gaffes, major and minor. He names Johan Cruyff as his all-time favorite player, then admits he’s only seen that five second World Cup clip of the Cruyff turn. Grumbling about footballers’ musical tastes, he complains that “all you’ll hear blasting out of the team dressing room is R&B, rather than what the rest of the country is listening to” — by which he means indie bands.
Lovejoy is as wretched a starfucker as could be inferred from his television shows. Everyone in football is Tim’s mate (and here we have pictures to prove it, stars looking confused in his grinning, over-familiar presence, frozen by an arm around the shoulders). Our man is blinded by quite astonishing hubris, reprinting a photo of a banner at Anfield reading “LOVEJOY SUCKS BIG FAT COCKS” with a glee that is nothing like self-deprecation. “The hardest thing about leaving ‘Soccer A.M.’,” he says regretfully, “is the thought I might no longer be influencing the game.” True, it’ll be tough. But who knows? Perhaps the game will struggle on.