ESPN World Cup Commentators

I’ve worked it out. I know why the US coverage of the World Cup is so crap. See, I was on the road to Damascus and I had this revelation!!!!! One of the great things about this piece of knowledge is it means it can be fixed! Halleluja, it’s time to party.

Of course, they’re not going to fix it but I need even a false sense of hope if I am to survive the sheer awfulness of the commentating. One day, my friend, one day.

Actually, listening to Tommy Smith did it for me. He’s the one brief glimmer of light of English language football commentary over here and he’s originally from Ireland. Which probably gives you a clue where I’m headed. Also dropping in on the Spanish language coverage of the event gives us a clue too.

So my big revelation is: you need commentators that give a crap about the beautiful game.

It’s the passion, dude! Or the lack of it. The Americans they have commentating just couldn’t give a ‘how’s your father’ about the sport. They’re hacks being paid to do a job, they don’t love the game with every fibre of their being. And they sure don’t see to get how important this all is.

Life and death, man, life and death.

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2 Responses to ESPN World Cup Commentators

  1. Phi says:

    I’m afraid I agree totally, and not just because I’m married to our Chief Football Commentator :-). One of the many things I got out of my 10 weeks in Uruguary back in high school (summer of 80) was, if not a personal love of the game, a powerful sense of how much they loved the game. It’s easy to make fun of the classic “Goooooooooaaaaaaaaal!!!!!!!!!” cry, but there’s a lot more life and truth in that response then I think most Americans really understand.

    I got to watch the second half of Brazil’s clean up job on Japan, and it was a wonderful example of The Beautiful Game. In their best moments it really was art and ballet and athletics. I’m not much of a sports fan, and I’m certainly no athlete, but watching the Brazilians dance is a real joy.

    One has to wonder, then, at the remarkably lifeless commentary in most of the U.S. coverage. It’s a bit like a bunch of people listening to James Brown and failing to be moved. I just don’t get it.

    One of our recently graduated students was the goalie for UMM‘s quite successful soccer team and regularly sported a nice shirt with the slogan “Birth Soccer Death”, which summed it up nicely.

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