ESPN Dumps American Accents for World Cup Finals

9 Mar

Soccer is a foreign game. That’s the charge. It’s untrue of course, soccer balls have been kicked around in America just as long as pigskins and fastballs have flown through the air. But the detonator on the charge has been lit again with news reports that ESPN has chosen foreign accents to provide the commentary for the upcoming World Cup Finals. An American twang will not be leading the cheering when the USA march out to face England on June 12 for the most anticipated match in US soccer in sixty years.

English, Irish and Scottish voices will guide US fans through the month long tournament, using the terminology of old Europe – fields will be pitches, cleats will be boots, and strips are uniforms. So why has ESPN, now a global media concern, decided Americans are not good enough to broadcast for their own national team? No other country will have a foreign voice broadcasting their games.

Perhaps facts show that Brit-types know the game better, they invented it, and are likely to deliver a more sophisticated analysis. They seem to possess the voice of authority, just as they did in 1776. The Queen’s English must prevail over the colonist’s accent. Granted, US soccer commentary has been patchy over the years, mainly through an inferiority complex of having to translate the game into language baseball, Grid Iron, and basketball fans might understand should they press the wrong button on the remote and find themselves watching this low scoring, alien game loved by the world. But then again, maybe ESPN should be more patriotic. Let’s have the awkward American voices, they are the tongues of the nation, maybe their excitement will explode and a new soccer commentary revolution will be born when the Yanks dump the English overboard in the June 12 match up. So, come on ESPN, invite one of those crazed tea baggers to sportscast on the red, white and blue as it battles the former colonial master. Come July 4, the USA could be heading towards global glory! If the USA wins the World Cup on July 11, soccer will no longer be foreign but American. We’re #1 baby!

Right, dream on.

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5 Responses to “ESPN Dumps American Accents for World Cup Finals”

  1. Rob Carey March 9, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

    As long as Tommy Smyth is locked away somewhere for a month we should be ok

  2. Daniel Page March 11, 2010 at 5:07 am #

    I normally enjoy the British team of commentators on ESPN, but it would be nice to hear Americans calling national team matches. I really don’t care who commentates, though, as long as it’s not anyone from the Fox Soccer Channel. Their coverage always seems distinctly unprofessional.

    • Alan Black March 17, 2010 at 9:20 pm #

      Daniel.
      Thanks for the comment. I’ve been surprised that many US fans accepted ESPN”s choice with little furor. The World Cup is not an experiment in detached cosmopolitanism but a nationalist festival – national anthems, flags, etc. If the guy in the booth is an idiot, so what! He’s our idiot, that’s the point.

  3. Chloe lane March 17, 2010 at 4:54 pm #

    If You are looking to watch the World cup 2010 online you can try http://world-cup-2010-fifa.com/ this is what i’ve been using to watch some of my favorite TV show at work during my lunch time and its an amasing the quality of the sound and video is superb.

    • Alan Black March 17, 2010 at 9:17 pm #

      Chloe, thanks for that, will check it out.

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