Posts Tagged ‘ soccer ’

USA! USA!

This, just in time for tomorrow’s much-anticipated match. If this doesn’t convince you that soccer is a BFD, even in America, nothing will:

ESPN’s World Cup Announcers Bore

Have you been watching the World Cup, likely on ESPN?

If you’re a soccer fan, like me, you’ve likely noticed that the announcers are delivering the play-by-play action with all the panache of a pet eulogy. If you’re not a soccer fan, but have been tuning in to see what all the fuss is about, you’ve likely come to the conclusion that soccer is just as boring as you thought it was. What gives?

As a friend and fellow soccer devotee put it, “These announcers suck. I tried to watch the biggest game of the day while being forced to do other things at the time, and you’d never know by casually listening in if you were missing a bicycle kick for a goal or the ball rolling safely into touch (out of bounds).”

Lame. It’s true. The delivery has had not quite the punch of a pair of tan pleated slacks.

I get the sense from reading various reports, like this one, that ESPN was strategically trying to capture the attention of those who have somewhat aptly observed, “The best part of watching soccer on TV is the British announcers.” Meh.

The best part of watching soccer on TV is the soccer. And the World Cup is the game’s biggest stage. But to watch these announcers tell it, it’s no more an event than the Lions 7th-round pick in the NFL draft.

ESPN, in all its wisdom and strategery, sidelined one of the game’s best announcers, JP Dellacamera, presumably because he isn’t British enough. Again, meh.

Too bad. The casual fans are missing out on a real talent, and someone who could bring more excitement from the game to Joe Everysoccer than a million imperial accents. Meanwhile, the rest of us soccer nuts have to sit idly by while the Brits again invade to suck all of the fun out of the room.

USA! USA!

In one of the most stunning upsets in sports at the moment, the United States has beaten Spain 2-0 in the semi-finals of the Confederates Cup. They go on to play in the finals on Sunday.

JozyAltidore412

This is a game the U.S. should have never been in, in the first place. After miserable performances in the first two games of the round-robin round, the U.S. faced what seemed to be insurmountable odds in its hopes to advance to the quarterfinal elimination round. They had to beat Egypt; Brazil had to beat Italy. More than that, the combined goal differential in those victories need to exceed five. Fat chance. When has the U.S. beaten anybody by a high goal differential?

But it did happen. U.S. and Brazil each won 3-0. The U.S. would miraculously advance, and would have to face the best team in the world: Spain. Fat chance #2.

But it did happen. They stunned the vastly more talented powerhouse. This would be the equivalent of the Clippers beating the Lakers in a meaningful game.

So why do I care? I love soccer. I love international soccer. I want to love U.S. soccer.

But more than that, I love a good story. I love the underdog finding a way. I love heart. I love odds being defied, purely through effort, grit and determination. This is a true and timely example of perseverance, in a time and place that calls for perseverance.

As cheesy as this sounds, we could all take a lesson from this. You can find the cliche of your choice, “never give up,” “never say die,” “against all odds,”…and so on. But this is proof that those cliches were made for a reason.