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Musings

Posted by Sean Rowland on June 15, 2016

soccer.
Time for a round of Musings…this time, focusing on the world of sports watching not from a stadium perspective, but from the couch.
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– There will be a time when I get into talking about the best and worst announcers for each sport, so I will try not to digress. While some of the random mixing of announcer pairings for Tennis on ESPN annoys me, their coverage is far superior to the Tennis Channel / NBC and that was quite evident during the French Open. In the latter stages of the tournament, when I wanted to watch a much more compelling match, not only was there no online option to choose my match (well an online option without an extra fee), but I was stuck with TC’s full coverage of the nauseatingly boring Serena Williams match, which was a blow out. This is the time for that network to shine and it failed miserably. NBC’s normally terrific all-around sports coverage has it’s lone weak spot in Tennis with their often-ridiculed tape delay, despite the presence of NBCSN.
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– Fox Soccer…Holy crap are they awful and their winning of the World Cup broadcast rights makes me want to vomit. While they made strides in their Women’s World Cup coverage last year, the Copa has taken two steps back. I don’t have to watch any studio garbage, but what little bit I saw, it certainly made me avoid it at all costs. Lalas is being Lalas, but now we have Fernando Fiore. Yes, he has done soccer, but he also is more known as a TV entertainment guy, which is classic Fox to bring him in. He’s polarizing and you can put me this opinion’s corner. The good thing: no Wynalda. The actual game coverage has not been immune from errors and the most egregious is the failed sync of sound and video during the US-Columbia match, leading to the TV audience hearing Columbia score a goal 1 second before the ball went in. Could you imagine that happening in a World Cup?! But, I bring you back to what I wrote last year in that if it’s the World Cup, America still doesn’t really care. I will say that I really like John Strong and I think Stuart Holden has done very well thus far. Which brings me too…..
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– ESPN’s world soccer coverage is terrific and continues to be so. Everything with their Euro coverage is terrific and it starts with The General, Bob Ley. He is masterful as studio host and most of the other pundits are great as well. Tirico, for his short time left at ESPN, is a very solid #2. The only thing I would change, is get rid of the often snarky Taylor Twellman. He has no chemistry with the excellent Ian Darke and I am thrilled when I hear Macca paired up with him instead. A Holden for Twellman swap would be welcomed. Otherwise, great stuff from them and that music! Oh that theme gives me goosebumps when I hear it. It was one of my top TV theme songs and I often get memories of a celebrating US team post-match with that gradually crescendo-ing theme in the background. Glorious!
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– If I ever watch Final Round golf coverage of a non-major, it is often on DVR before I go to bed. This is the ONLY way to go if the event is on CBS because of the insane amount of commercials. How this topic has never been broached, I don’t know (well, I guess I do, it’s non-major golf!), but the next event, I am going to keep track of how many sets of commercials are run. My guess…12 separate sets at a total of 24 minutes. I’ll update after this happens.
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