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The Beating of Barca; produced by Tony Hamilton and Des O'Hara; Celtic TV Productions; 90 minutes approx; DVD £11.99/ 19.20 euros
Either this effort was rushed out after the Barca game to cash in on the feelgood factor prevalent at the time or it was rushed out when it became clear that Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour were not going to be required to star in 'The Road to Gothenburg'.
Whatever, in the context of what happened next it's an idea that should definitely have been left at the pen and paper stage. As part of an overall review of Celtic's European season it would have made for an interesting ten minute segment. As the subject for a 90 minute DVD it's an unmitigated flop.
It features highlights from both legs of the tie and a few snippets of post-match interviews and that's basically it. The commentary for the first leg comes courtesy of Archie McPherson (whooof!!) and Jim Craig, the Celtic TV team on the night. On the plus side they do their best to capture the atmosphere of the occasion, especially during the Walk On before the kick-off, and there is some Zapruder style footage of the rammy in the tunnel. But the highlights could really have been condensed to the tunnel rammy and Thompson's goal.
The post-match interviews with Bobo Balde and Martin O'Neill are conducted by Margo McCuaig. Enough said.
Rather than sit through the 'highlights' of the game in Barcelona I watched 'The Alamo' instead. Yes, we can laugh about it now, but the only good thing about it was the final whistle. I simply don't have enough of a masochistic streak to sit and relive half an hour of that excruciating agony.
The post-match interviews for this part of the video are done by ex-Celtic Park half-time draw announcer Tony Hamilton who is in top form here. Enough said.
There are a few snapshots of Barcelona thrown together after this featuring some postcard sites and a few Hoops fans sitting around the bars, but no vox pops. Why not? Interviewing a few of the fans would at least raise this above the level of bog standard, video-by-numbers bland. For heaven's sake don't be scared to show some imagination.
Of course one of these DVDs wouldn't be complete without the obligatory musical montage and if you've managed to sit through the rest of this waiting for it, it duly arrives at the end. Mercifully, given the Spanish number chosen as the backing track, it's quite short. In fact it's as short as the highlights of the games should have been - about two minutes.
My real objection to something like this, though, is not the two bob production values, the tacky commercialism of shilling it on the back of a good result or even the happy amateurs who shamble through it having a great time to themselves. It is that the very concept implies that this result is so extraordinary, that we should be so awed by a club like Barcelona that we would want to watch a narrow win against them in the UEFA Cup again and again. This is not to diminish the actual performance of the players. It was a heroic effort and will be talked about for years whenever Celtic's European exploits under OFM is the subject. But I couldn't help thinking that it would be better for all of us if the kind of mentality that produced this DVD had the same attitude as the players. Teams like Barcelona are to be respected but they're there to be beaten.
I look forward to the day when it's not regarded as something so awe-inspiring that we're invited to part with twelve quid for the privilege of reliving it.
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