Blog template Rock the Crossbar: The World Cup Begins

Rock the Crossbar

Sunday, June 11

The World Cup Begins

Well the Cup is under way - 8 games played and so far a couple of good games, a few disappointing ones and simply Godawful TV coverage. The commentating on the games has been very offputting - either pumping out human interest stories, ridiculous stats or having to listen to baseball commentator transplants. It was so dour (and baseball like) during the Mexico game today that I switched to Univision. I cant understand Spanish but at least I felt some excitement listening to them. The studio coverage is obliterated by hundreds of commercials. I have 2 outlets thankfully, one: I listen to as much BBC Radio between games as possible so I can hear real analysis. Two: Fox Soccer Channel is doing excellent coverage via Sky Sports News and a World Cup half hour update every night at 8 hosted by dare I say it , Max Bretos. He has the advice of Bobby McMahon and Paul Cagliuri (who is very good too) and its a breath of fresh air from the ABC/ESPN horror show. At least I get to hear Adrian Healy/Tommy Smythe in some games and JP Dellacamara/John Harkes in some others but the rest of them are all horrible. That bird, Foudy cant say 5 words without stuttering and today said you can tell how great these teams are by how many players they have in the Bundesliga? Not one team from there made the CL Quarter Finals.. Jeesh.


  • Adrian Healy and Tommy Smythe did the Portugal match, Tommy made his usual stating the obvious remarks but it was not that bad, certainly better than listening to Harkes and Co for Sweden. Why are Trinidad and Tobago fans "the greatest in the world", what basis do they have for that claim, I can't count how many times that comment was made.

    By Blogger Chris P, at 9:32 PM  

  • Lads, no joking but this is just brutal stuff. My top 5 lowlights so far:

    1)"Klose becomes the first player to score two goals on his birthday for the home nation in a World Cup opener."

    2)Taking 13 minutes to realise that Hislop was in goals for T&T ans no Jack. Even when there was a camera shot from behind the goals of Hislop, number 1, lining up a wall for a free, Harkes started talking about number 21, Jack, the T&T goalkeeper organising his wall.

    3)One of them praising and explaining the Argentine decision to take off Crespo and Saviola when winning 2-0, saying it was tactically very smart, only for Ivory Coast to score and then he said he thought the move was made too early and "I always say, if its not broken don't fix it".

    4)Going silent when they don't know players names. Riquelme was the only Argentine midfielder they knew. "Riquelme.....pause....back to Riquelme"

    5)Inserting references to the Us team at every opportunity e.g. "5 shots on goals today for Ronaldo...thats the same number of successive appearances for the US team at World Cup finals"

    Its going to be a long month.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 10:36 PM  

  • Aye John, its simply desperate and painful. Other quality comments: Christina Aguilera's Dad is from Ecuador, we have seen the only 1-0 game in World Cup history decided by an own goal and then today I learned that Shaka Hislop is the second oldest keeper to have kept a debut shutout? WTF do I care about that for. I dont remember it being quite as bad 4 years ago but I think this time round they have replaced some of the usual ESPN2 CL guys with more Americanised booths meaning - stats, stats and a clear lack of football knowledge. Seeing massive team sheet overlays appear when someone is about to cross the ball also pleases me no-end. We really are spoiled back home.

    Good point John about the daft stat of Tommy's about 5 shots on goal being compared with 5 straight World Cup appearances. They really are trying to sell soccer here to the people and pumping out endless pro-USA bullshit and stats to make it accessible to the fan who lives his life by Excel spreadsheets of fantasy baseball.

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 11:05 PM  

  • Burkie, how are you listening to 5 live? Have you got a way to get round the UK IP address? I am on the verge of switching off every game having to listen to these yank muppets.

    By Blogger Stand up if you hate Man u, at 1:57 AM  

  • Sorry Ian, I am only listening to the build up and reaction, not the games themselve due to the feed cutting off. Even if you had a decent proxy the timing would be off by enough to make it unwatchable. Luckily I fly home Thursday after England's match.

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 9:57 AM  

  • Intelligent points, gents! 2-0 now at halftime for the Czechs. Announcer O'Brien said that they were the only team to score first in a WC final and lose (in fact, he said, they did it twice). Uh, didn't Holland go up 1-0 on West Germany in '74 after stringing together about 65 passes off of the opening kickoff and then earning a penalty? Don't these announcers do their homework? I expect a few more goals in the second half from the Czechs. I love how Balboa said the USA is still getting warmed up - twenty minutes into the match. Well said.

    By Blogger George Cuddy, at 12:58 PM  

  • I'm envious Burkie, I would love to be home watching some games now. Mind you, sitting in a pub at lunchtime today was a very satisfying.

    By Blogger Stand up if you hate Man u, at 4:09 PM  

  • I'm envious Burkie, I would love to be home watching some games now. Mind you, sitting in a pub at lunchtime today was a very satisfying.

    By Blogger Stand up if you hate Man u, at 4:09 PM  

  • I'm envious Burkie, I would love to be home watching some games now. Mind you, sitting in a pub at lunchtime today was a very satisfying.

    By Blogger Stand up if you hate Man u, at 4:09 PM  

  • I can tell it was very satisfying as you posted that comment 3 times. Now why weren't you at training again tonight?

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 12:22 AM  

  • in england best two bits of commentary are yesterday from

    David Pleat -- "Ibrahimovic has come off rubbing his groin. I believe that's a statement of sorts"

    And several comments about the Puerto Rican players. That's Costa Rica gents.

    By Blogger gooner71, at 11:24 AM  

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