They were sporting all sports of colourful attire for their favourite teams, most of them A League. I’d barely heard of any of them, but I was happy to go along for the ride. After all I’d seen this trio bring some magic to Sports Fever on Seven and Cup Fever on SBS.
For the past 16 weeks the three have being bantering about football from around the globe for FOX Sports. With a 30 week run on the network, they’ve only just tipped the point at which you usually get some oranges from the coach.
“It’s a long season but we just said (to FOX Sports) you’ve got to be here for the A League games, and we just strap ourselves in and do it,” Cilauro said.
The boys aren’t worried, having completed 26 shows in 30 days during the FIFA World Cup on SBS.
“We were at Federation Square at a studio which wasn’t even a television studio. It was a green screen studio,” he continues.
“All I remember for those 2 weeks is I sent my family to Fiji for 2 weeks because I said ‘You’re not going to see me.’ We just asked for an office with 3 really big televisions, and we had a Medina hotel suite on Flinders Street, so 3 grown men would go past reception and say ‘We’re just going to spend a couple of hours here have a nap and come back.’ So there were these bleary eyed men going in and out.
“20 minutes of sleep we would just grab because we watched the 3 games before the show that night,” Pang adds.
“The sense of fun is still the same, with football all around the world. A League seems to get a good run every week, but we’re into looking at all the Leagues around the world. But it’s the same sense of mischief and mucking around.”
Total Football is a Live half hour show with a studio audience, guest and plenty of sly digs at the week in football. But everyone is laughing with, not at, football.
“It kind of pre-dates the Cup Fever show because we do like to talk to each other about football. The observations we’re making are probably no different to what we would be making to each other without cameras,” Cilauro explains.
“There’s just more props,” Pang remarks.
Cilauro explains that the show is just an extension of the way the three watch football in their own homes with a bit more tech and showbiz.
“Rather than say ‘Come over to my place to have a look at this funny bit,’ we need production,” he says.
“I keep a notepad next to me and I write down some timecodes (for editing). But we don’t have any Research. We’ve probably got less staff and crew than we used to have in the past. We just said we’d do our own Research.
“We’ve got a couple of people helping out to make sure we communicate to people about things we need to film. But otherwise we do it all ourselves, which we like.”
For last week’s show there was a whole segment joking about Melbourne Heart being bought by Abu Dhabi United Group’s Manchester City, including plenty of sly references to Etihad. Interview guest was Melbourne Victory’s Tom Rogic.
To the side of the desk stands a resident ‘Pesticog-loo’ toilet, a nod to Australian coach Ange Postecoglou.
But the show is not just devoted to one code.
“I don’t know that we’d even call ourselves an A-League show. We cover the A-League every week but then we also cover EPL, FA Cup, La Liga, we can look at anything,” Pang insists.
“The spine is A League because we’re on during the A League season, but the way it works out is we play soccer in the summer here in Australia, in the European winter all their competitions are on. So it’s a nice coincidence,” adds Cilauro.
Without knowing all the finer details of the games and players, I still managed to find some entertaining moments thanks to the boys’ ease with one another, and working live.
“We’d like to think it’s funny,” says Cilauro. “We don’t really make any observations other than comedy observations, even though we have an opinion about everything we do. So we think it’s an entertaining show. I certainly enjoy watching it. And certainly from my Working Dog perspective we’ve never particularly designed a show and say ‘The audience will like this.’ We always say ‘Here’s something that I find funny and entertaining and hopefully it will find an audience.’
“So we can only do shows that we like doing for ourselves. We’re pretty confident that you don’t have to like football to enjoy the comedy that’s in the show.”
Santo, Sam and Ed’s Total Football airs Live 7:30pm Mondays AEDT on FOX Sports.