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ESPN gives soccer a primetime feel


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A soccer blog with Houston Dynamo striker Brian Ching


ESPN gives soccer a primetime feel

Did you see the game on Thursday night featuring the Revolution and DC United? Is it just me or do the games on ESPN now seem to be produced better? Maybe it is the time slot and all the soccer commercials. There just seems to be a primetime feel to these games.

I have to applaud ESPN for making the change and broadcasting these matches which I really enjoy watching. I know many of you obviously love soccer and therefore have seen many EPL games broadcast. I am not sure if many of you have noticed the different way in which they announce the games overseas as compared to American announcers, but I have always found the two to be quite different.

Just to clarify, I am not talking about the Champions League game broadcast on ESPN. In the US the announcers like to talk about the people playing the game and bring in stories about the players. They tend to share their opinions openly almost like a talk show. It is not hard to tell which players they like and which ones they do not. It often makes we wonder if this is fair or if individuals really enjoy listening to the opinions of others as they watch a game? Another major difference is when listening to US announcers you will never hear a moment of silence.

The EPL announcers on the other hand tend to focus more on the game. They give their opinion less and point out the facts of each situation. They do not spend time trying to make people see their point. They also do not talk every second of the game, which allows for silence to punctuate moments in the game. Most likely these are cultural differences, but at times I must admit it is a little frustrating for me. I do not mind the analysis of the game but it gets tiresome having to listen to another's opinion for 90 minutes, especially if I may not agree.

From my point of view this tends to take away from the game and the players on the field. During the 90 minutes of play I feel the focus should be on the facts of the players and the game.

It gives viewers a chance to watch the game and form their own opinion without feeling pressured or annoyed by an outsider. It is at the end of the match when one's opinion and point of view can then be the focus. Though I feel this way, and find myself often placing the television on mute, I am sure there are many viewers who do not mind the comments and would love to hear about your point of view.

Last week I gave out the nickname Keebler and many of you guessed Brad. Well we have two because the second is Kelly. Brad has really been on me about throwing this nickname out there and has given me a new one. It is quite funny so I will share it. He started to call me the Michelin Man. This week we have another fairly new one that was just made up: Borat.

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