20 January 2011
Clarke Carlisle is on Question Time tonight - indeed, it's probably being filmed as I type this. Footballers aren't exactly known for being clever or even aware of life around them, but Carlisle has always been a cut above on that score.
He's an imposing defender who I first saw playing for Blackpool ten years or so ago. He's now at Burnley, via three or four other clubs and a short spell out to deal with alcoholism, and is known even within the game as someone who is well read, well spoken and well informed, not to mention well mannered. He has become a pundit on the game who is entirely devoid of cliché and even appeared recently on Countdown, winning three episodes. One assumes that his next appearance will be in Dictionary Corner, complete with daytime-friendly anecdotes about linament, scrotums and the physio's hat.
Anyway, I know Twitter will be big on Question Time tonight, as it always is. I can't wait, for one, what the great Louis Barfe makes of tonight's ballkicking panellist, as Question Time brings the best out of the Lowestoft sage week on week.
For the non-footballists who make the regular wild assumption about the protagonists of the beautiful game, I expect you to be pleasantly surprised by Carlisle. And even if you're not, it is still quite a moment for a profession roundly criticised and scorned by those who take no active interest in it.