Thursday, July 3, 2008

Getting it

So this guy gets treated to a soccer broadcast that takes the game seriously and suddenly realizes that he likes it.

That doesn't surprise me. I ranted about soccer announcing years ago, for a soccer365 column called "Soccer Special Ed" where I talked about how too many U.S. announcers took way too much time to explain things during a soccer match, as if the listening audience was really ignorant. It feels patronizing and is a huge turn-off, like someone saying," Vegetables are GOOOD for you."
Here's an excerpt:
Too often, American soccer broadcasts take this amazing, classic sport of soccer and treat the viewing audience like a bunch of second-graders. Announcers spend time on trivia unassociated with the action on the field. They discuss other sports. They don’t notice plays developing under their noses. They tell a number of random stories, and, except when a goal is scored, generally act like the players aren’t actually doing anything more exciting than scratching their noses
What many Americans don’t have is respect for the game. Why should they, if their exposure is based on watching their six-year-old play and listening to announcers treat the U.S. audience as if it’s the same age?
Enough with the “very special broadcast” approach. If a few members of the viewing public are perhaps a bit confused at the wealth of actual soccer information in a match, they might be intrigued as well.


Anonymous said...

I really admire his math skills.

"Last year, David Beckham’s coming to America was going to make Major League Soccer relevant for the first time in its 15-year history (yeah, I can’t believe it’s been around for 15 years, either) Well, it didn’t."

Hmmm, MLS started 1996. What year is it now? What a horrible, condescending article.

Anonymous said...

He probably didn't read the Wikipedia article closely enough:
"Founded on December 17, 1993, MLS was established to fulfill a promise to FIFA from Alan Rothenberg and the US Soccer Federation to establish a "Division One" professional soccer league in exchange for staging the 1994 FIFA World Cup. The new league began play in 1996 with ten teams."

Stan said...

MLS was founded as a business entity in 1993, so technically he's right. I am assuming that he probably looked it up on wikipedia.

Anonymous said...

AC- you hit on one of my biggest american soccer peeves, the broadcast announcers. They are the worst.

With the exception of JP Dellacamra (sp.?), he does a solid job. The other PBP guys and color analysts all need to go.

papa bear said...

you are right, AC. The guy's article proves your point and something I've often thought myself.

It is TERRBILE when they are explaining every little rule. I mean, soccer is popular because there is little/no equipment to keep track of and the rules are pretty obvious. If you grab a guy and toss him to the ground, the guy who was fouled gets to kick the ball for 'free' pretty simple stuff. Ball goes out, throw it in. Not exactly rocket science.
I've heard MLS broadcasts where they actually explained corner kicks and why the team got to take it.

I'm sorry, but anyone who's taken gym in high school (which is everyone) has partaken of the soccer unit (schools love it because it's a cheap sport to have in the line up) and had to ref a game. I don't know anyone who doesn't follow soccer who doesn't have that base understanding of how that works.

As soon as they get more announcers who actually pretend that people tuning into a soccer broadcast know a bit about soccer and are capable of building up the play through their call the game will benefit ENORMOUSLY.

We simply don't have many who are good at it right now. Phil Schoen and Ray Hudson are the only team broadcasting from America who I LOVE right now. There needs to be a lot more than that.