Your Team In The Media: Number Eight - Hull

From Dean Windass occasionally shouting into the camera to their surprisingly vicious keyboard warrior element, here's how Hull fare in the media...

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What do the papers, the TV, and fans of other clubs think about your team? In this series, John Nicholson and Alan Tyers look at the stereotypes, coverage and media agendas for each team in the Premier League. This week, it's the turn of newly promoted Hull.

We must declare an interest here as half of this column was born in Hull and counts the Tigers as his second team. Regular readers will be able to guess which half of the column this is. Clue: it's not the posh Southern bloke.

Ex-player pundit presence
Dean Windass had a go at shouting into a camera on Sky for a while. It was great but that's about it unless you count Danny Mills, who played nine games for Hull. There is also Boro lad and Teesside legend, Gary Gill, who had one game on loan for The Tigers and does the radio up on Teesside. We're willing to stand corrected on this, but we can't remember seeing Nick Barmby ever do any punditry. Perhaps, having found himself described as "the English Roberto Baggio; he's right up there with Ronaldo, Zidane and Maldini" by Pele early in his career has put him off the risky business of assessing football and footballers. You'd imagine that the much-loved Ian Ashbee could walk into some sort of local radio/newspaper gig but again, as far as we are aware, he hasn't.


Celebrity followers
We like to think local guitar god Mick Ronson was a Hull City fan, though we don't know if he was. Stephen Malkmus of Californian indie rockers Pavement is a supporter. Apart from that, you've got a couple of Housemartins (who titled their superb 1986 debut album London 0 Hull 4), booby house-fixer-upper Sarah Beeny - subject to a wealth of "check out her twin strikers, she's good up front" hilarity on Hull message boards - and actor John Alderton, who was in 'Upstairs Downstairs' and is married to Pauline Collins. You might be saying to yourself "that's not much of a list", and you'd be right, until you factor in the information that OMAR SHARIF IS A HULL CITY FAN. That's right: the Doctor Zhivago great, speaking in December 2010, told the Daily Star: "It was Sir Tom Courtenay's fault. He always watched them play and I became hooked too. We're not doing great after relegation but at least we are doing better than Leeds United." Legendary luv Tom C was born in the city, apaz.


Back page leaders?
Having an English manager means more favourable stories than would normally be the case but Hull is a long way from anywhere for a national paper journalist. It's not a place anyone can accidentally just be passing by, so this limits the amount of commitment that any national paper will give them. However, relatively new owners may generate some new stories of the "aren't foreigners are funny/don't understand our traditions" variety.


Gaffer's media skills
On match days Steve Bruce looks like a chip shop owner at a wedding. Marvellously old school physique which belongs at the bar of your local social club. This endears him to the media and rightly so, who give him the usual preferential treatment any UK-born manager gets. Bruce is a tenacious old sod and very hard to dislike due to a certain kind of transparent honesty in his interviews. Has a surprisingly light voice for a man who looks like he's spent his life wrestling bears and losing.

Odd performance during Hull's first match of the season, at Chelsea, when he seemed to spend most of the pre-match damping down already minimal expectation, the game itself joshing with Jose and the post-match chat yakking on about what a star Mourinho is. "What a difference the stadium was to 12 months ago, the whole ground behind the new manager, the Special One coming back." Ick.

It's possible that Bruce is trying to butter Jose up to get him to loan him some players. He said "Jose gave me Forssell on loan at Birmingham. I've just asked for Lampard on loan & offered him the Humber Bridge." Or maybe he's trying to get Jose to loan him some smart clothes, who knows.


Vox pop cliché fan
Always drops his aitches, often a robust XXXL as Hull is one of the fattest towns in the UK, apparently. Old geezers keen to tell you that once upon a time Hull City had its own railway station, it was that big. Youngsters growing replete on recent success have dreams of long-term survival. All logic suggest that these dreams will be dashed on the rocks of reality.


Keyboard warrior ferocity
Surprisingly vicious, as one particular member of F365's cast of supermodels/writers can attest, often seeming to look for conflict and criticism rather than savour a frankly remarkable promotion. However, to those of us who know Hull well, this is only to be expected from people who live at the end of the line, feel very isolated and ignored and whose idea of a good time is to stand on Spurn Head and watching rain falling onto passing ships. Still, at least it doesn't smell of fish when it rains anymore.


Club's brand
There's the new owners' idea that the East Riding Sex Panthers or whatever they're called this week are a reinvented, modernized, cool version of the old Hull City with an appeal to overseas markets due to having a nice strip and a flashy name. Then there's the long time fan's view, full of phlegmatic, East Riding cynicism, embarrassed by recent changes and sure it will all go wrong soon enough.


Outsider's view
Hull? Does Dean Windass still play for them? Apropos of absolutely nothing, the other half of this column (not the Hull-born half) used to know an extremely goofy-looking Hull City fan, who unfortunately turned out to be a massive racialist.


Archetypal news stories
'Rebranding as East Riding Sex Panthers condemned as immoral'

'Steve Bruce in chip shop binge scandal'

'East Riding Sex Panthers rogered yet again'

John Nicholson and Alan Tyers

Read Johnny's book, 'The Meat Fix' here

Alan on The Ashes and more here.

Follow Alan on Twitter here or Johnny here.

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