Half way through the group stages of the European Championships and competition is hotting up among the television cameramen hoping to bag the tournament’s highest honour for picking out pretty young women from the stadium crowds.
‘The job of the TottyCam operator is highly valued, so naturally there is a lot of competition within the squad of cameramen,’ explained ITV’s Head of Sport, Niall Sloane. ‘He’s like the team’s playmaker – the other cameramen are there to do a holding job, but his only role is to bring the game to life with a sudden touch of magic by training his lens on the most beautiful women he can find. He shoots, he scores – job done.’
The tournament starts with each cameraman taking a turn on the TottyCam during the group stages, with the best performers continuing into the knockout stages. The honour of operating the TottyCam for the final traditionally goes to whoever who has shown the keenest eye for talent during the entire tournament, with the cameraman who scores the greatest number of shots on target scooping the coveted Golden Booty award.
But the pressure of performing in a big-match environment may be beginning to get to some cameramen. ‘I thought he started really brightly,’ said BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson of the TottyCam operator during England’s opening fixture against France. ‘Early on the lad did well to drift in from the right and pick out a cracking pair of French girls with a spectacular long-range effort. But then he really let himself down when he missed that blonde flashing her boobs after Lescott’s goal. It was a sitter, and at this level you just can’t afford to miss chances like that.’
Despite the pressure, English cameraman Martin Stevens is hopeful of getting his hands on the TottyCam for the final on 1 July and bringing home the honours for his country. ‘I put in a strong performance during the Italy versus Spain game, but then with the quality on display that day anyone with half an eye and a slow-motion setting could make it look sexy,’ he said. ‘But it’s the knockout stages next and anything can happen. If you get Denmark or Russia you’re laughing, but Ukraine or Greece? Well, you might be in trouble there. Pick out a minger and its sudden death.’