Tuesday, April 3, 2007

In the booth

Back when I was in college, I worked at a local radio station, and I know it's not easy to sound cool and collected on the air. I can sympathize to a certain extent. Still, a lot of my frustration with soccer broadcasting in the U.S. is based not on my own reaction, but that of the people around me.

Whenever friends join me for a game, their take on the commentary is almost always negative. Often times, these are people who aren't even soccer-savvy, but they'll ask me (they somehow think I have the answer to all things soccer), "Why are they telling these random stories?" "Do they even care about the game?" "That guy almost scored, why didn't the announcer even notice?"

I've heard program directors say in print that the broadcast needs to sell the game of soccer, since it's weird and foreign to the audience. From my limited observation, though, the dumbing-down of the broadcast is killing the sale.