Taking the mic Live and direct from the Royton Riviera by Jack Dearden

SO how was it for you ? Did football take a walk on the wild side with its Amazon Prime debut?

No not the river, we are not discussing a documentary with David Attenborough but we are talking history in the making.

Live streaming of football was a first for both the company and football fans in the UK.

It was the first time Amazon dipped their toes into Premier League broadcasting.

They have had the audition and on Boxing Day they plan to show all nine Premier League games.

My experience suggests people don’t ordinarily like change but that is what this could turn out to be a real game changer in more ways than one.

You can pretty much watch it on all sorts of devices though that is after you have navigated your way through the misty fog of downloading apps. And of course, you need a Wi-Fi connection; the stronger the better.

You can transfer it to your television screen, put it on your game console, various types of television boxes.

In fact, unless I am mistaken I am pretty sure at one stage it popped up and out of my toaster. Or maybe it was the microwave, I am never really sure nowadays.

So, is this the future for football? Well, the sporting landscape is certainly changing that’s for sure.

Amazon, a leading brand in its own right, is not usually associated with football. However, they have decided to go straight in with a high tackle, studs raised.

Of course, nobody gives you ‘owt for nowt’, as my dad used to say, though you can take advantage of a 30-day free trial. Alternatively, you can purchase for £7.99 per month.

Unlike their core business Amazon cannot control the quality of what you are watching.

But if it is one of those 0-0 matches with not much happening you might be encouraged to purchase a new shower hose or a one size, fits all grill pan. All with free delivery of course and we won’t even mention the data Amazon could collate.

Reviews so far seem to be a fairly mixed bag. Some people not happy with buffering. For the uninitiated that means the screen occasionally freezes.

Others were not happy with the time delay especially when a goal has been scored and it is reported everywhere else apart from the screen you are watching. I must concede this could be an irritation.

Apparently, some problems are dependent on signal strength of your Wi-Fi connection.

Whatever your view, I do not think you can deny Amazon have got the clout and the cash. I would be surprised if they are not back for more.

Bill Rice, my sports editor at BBC Radio Manchester, informs me In America you can purchase a ‘game pass permitting you to watch any NFL game you want. Maybe that is an indication of what the future holds.

Had an interesting experience recently when I went to watch my cousin Harry play football for Avro’s youth team.

At that level they operate a ‘sin binning’ for players who misbehave. The referee needed it as well: he sent off four players in total (two sin bin and two straight red cards).

I cannot remember who Avro were playing but their opposition completely lost the plot, not helped by their manager marching on to the pitch at regular intervals to berate an already overworked referee.

Hardly a suitable example for lots of young budding footballers and the few folk who were watching. Certainly not a good example to set.

Maybe I am being a bit naïve but the whole experience surprised me.

I totally understand emotions can run high and when the red mist descends rational thought can disappear.

But some of the behaviour I witnessed was completely unacceptable.

I really cannot make my mind up about England’s cricket team but the latest stats from their tour to New Zealand do not make particularly impressive reading.

New Zealand scored 615 for 9 – their highest ever Test score against England.

No-one batting at number six has scored more runs against England since Don Bradman hammered 234 in Sydney in 1946-47.

BJ Watling’s partnership of 261 with Mitchell Santner was New Zealand’s highest for the seventh wicket stand. Watling also produced the highest score by a New Zealand wicketkeeper.

I know pitches played a part but those stats should surely be a cause of concern whatever the pitches are like.

On the subject of stats, in their recent game against Manchester United Sheffield United conceded three goals in the last 20 minutes. In their first 12 matches of the season they didn’t concede a single goal beyond the 70th minute.

All the best folks. Have a happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.
Jacko

You can hear me on BBC Radio Manchester and find me on Twitter
@TheJackDearden

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