08 June 2007

Thursday Night Soccer Reviews I I: MLS Game of the Week

Didn't catch as much of this one, since my attention was focused on the National Team, but Houston didn't look bad minus Brian Ching and DeRo, while Colorado looked less dangerous without Terry Cooke out there. Still, this is really a thin veiled attempt to discuss ESPN's production of the game, so let's get into that.

I have no problem with the NBA Finals getting a special preview, since it really didn't interfere with the game. However, taking a ten minute phone call from DeRosario (in which he kept apparently trying to dial in a third party) in the middle of the game was an odd choice, especially since the game was moving at some pace for those minutes.

And let's talk about Red Card/Yellow Card, shall we? When the spot debuted, it seemed like a good spot for Eric Wynalda to let loose and be Eric Wynalda. He could call out the Powers that Be, or other MLS players. Did you hear me object when he took aim at Facundo for a perceived cheap shot? Nope. That's what I want to hear from Eric.

But either he got bored doing such topics, or ESPN felt it as a bit too inside Baseball, because talking about Roger Clemens and Paris Hilton is ridiculous (and judging from an email I got from a reader, some of you feel the same.) I want to hear Eric be a soccer analyst, not a cultural pundit. That's not what he does best. In fact, he doesn't even do it particularly well. Does that mean he should stay on soccer all the time? Nah, if he has strong feelings. But honestly it has the feel that he just wants to check a box and get through it. Sad. Especially when there are so many things worth talking about.

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At 08 June, 2007 11:39, Blogger Kinney said...

I was actually doing the same thing you were and turned it back to commercials when I realized they were talking to DeRo even though Houston had a nice free kick opportunity with the game tied. I guess I should have just muted it, but that sort of thing just makes it seem like the game isn't worth watching.

I agree with you on the Red Card bit about not bringing in random stuff. I hated that. Another problem is that he wouldn't be sepcific enough, for example, he would Red Card UEFA instead of Platini for something that Platini said.

But the largest problem was that he had to tell people about it before he could pass judgement. For example, lets take the FIFA altitude fiasco. He would red card FIFA (Not Blatter, but all of FIFA). Then explain what FIFA did because not everyone is a futbolphile and reads Du Nord. Then he would opine on why Blatter got the red card.

It would work a lot better if he worked off Stone. Stone explains a current soccer topic then Eric opinionates. This way Eric doesn't bring his opinions into explination. Use him as a Steven A. Smith, I can't stand when that guy tries to explain something to me (even if I don't know it) but when he is going off it is fun to watch. Thus his show is horrible, but watching him in a panel is pretty good (though I still like Barkley better).

Also, did anyone catch the T&T v. El Salvador game later? Any thoughts? Ives there was a 50 yrd goal that he would put up once the YouTubes got working.


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