NASL question

Discussion in 'Soccer in the USA' started by worldfootballgenius, May 9, 2004.

  1. worldfootballgenius

    worldfootballgenius Member

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    I believe the NASL had one season that was nationally televised, which didn't work. However there were a lot of local broadcasts because my math teacher watched the cosmos matches on tv in the 80's and late 70's. So, here's the question. Who ere all the broadcasters? Were they any good? And another question. Can the veteran members here list all the greatest american soccer broadcasters u can think of? Retired or working. Just interested.


  2. Steve Holroyd

    Steve Holroyd New Member

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    The NASL had a game of the week on CBS in 1967 (the NPSL) and 1968. Jack Whitaker did play-by-play. Danny Blanchflower did color in '67, but was deemed too harsh and replaced with someone in 1968; Mario something--his name escapes me at the moment. I cannot comment on the quality of any of these guys, because I was too young to remember seeing a game (Whitaker is a legendary broadcaster, but I couldn't tell you how he did with soccer).

    ABC televised NASL games from 1979 to 1981, or somewhere around that period. Jim McKay did play by play, and Paul Gardner did color. McKay is another legend, but he did not get to shine on these broadcasts...most of his time was spent explaining Soccer 101 to the uninitiated--stuff like "the whole ball must be over the whole line," repeated every time the ball went out of bounds, etc.

    I don't remember who did play-by-play for the Cosmos, but Seamus Malin was the color guy, and was very good.

    Over the years, we've had a number of color commentators...Ricky Davis, Tony Meola, etc.. An ex-kicker for the Atlanta Falcons was somehow deemed suitable for TBS' World Cup 1990 broadcasts.

    My opinion? J.P. Dellacamera (sp) is about the best play-by-play we've had. I always enjoyed Malin's color work.
  3. worldfootballgenius

    worldfootballgenius Member

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  4. worldfootballgenius

    worldfootballgenius Member

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    Tony Meola was a color commentator? For who? When? His voice is really annoying isn't it?


  5. Steve Holroyd

    Steve Holroyd New Member

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    No...Mario Mercado, something like that.

    After the 1994 World Cup, Meola did color--I think on some USMNT broadcasts. This was during his "hiatus" which found him kicking for the Jets, "acting" in Tony and Tina's Wedding, etc.
  6. DavidP

    DavidP Member

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    Are you talking about Mario Machado? He's been around since before dirt :). He did the play by play on the old "Star Soccer" program that was on PBS (before "Soccer Made in Germany" was around).

    Is the Falcons kicker you're talking about Tim Mazzetti? He was a star in both football and soccer at Penn, I believe.
  7. bukie2k

    bukie2k Member

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    Mick Luckhurst. He did the color for Bob Neal's pbp on Turner's Italia '90 broadcasts. I remember Luckhurst being damn near speechless as Cameroun had it's way for most of it's quaterfinal match against England. Bob Neal said something to the effect of how his partner had started breathing again after England took the lead in extra time.
  8. Joe Stoker

    Joe Stoker Member

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    I recall Mario Machado (NASL '68 & Star Soccer) as a newscaster in LA. He also appeared in small roles on some TV shows back in 70s-80s, typecast as a TV reporter.

    Jim Karvellas was the TV voice of the Cosmos during their Pele years. I believe a very young JP Dellacammera followed. Karvellas actually spearheaded a resurrection of the Baltimore Bays in the early 1970s. Karvellas was the radio voice of the NBA Bullets for around 20 years.

    Before the ABC contract Steve mentioned, the NASL had a national deal with an independent network (Hughes?) for a couple years. Jon Miller did some of those. Prior to this, CBS televised the championship games in 1974 thru '76 & maybe a regular-season game (and Pele's NY debut) or two during those years. The Pele debut was a hastily-arranged exhibition, and CBS, apparently short on available announcers, tabbed golf announcer Ben Wright to team with Paul Gardner. Frank Glieber (former Cowboys announcer) handled the '75 title game.

    Here on Cleveland TV, Paul Wilcox, the popular host of "Polka Varieties" every Sunday afternoon on channel 5, was the TV play-by-play man for the Stokers on that same station. Don't think he was too familiar with the game, as I clearly remember him from a telecast from the Astrodome saying we were in for "a great hockey game tonight". I'm sure that happened a lot with some of the early NASL announcers.

    Recall commercials from early St. Louis Blues hockey broadcasts (1970-71?)mentioning their legendary announcer Dan Kelly as also being the voice of the St. Louis Soccer Stars.

    Vern Lundquist is listed as the radio/TV voice of the Dallas Tornado in their late '60s media guides. I recall him doing some of the ESPN games in the late '70s-early '80s. Joe Starkey & Jim Forney, a couple of hockey announcers, did NASL games on radio here & there. That's about it off the top of my head. I'm certain some of you can add a number of interesting names to the long-forgotten list of those who did NASL soccer on radio & the tube.

    IMO, Mario, JP, and Karvellas were the best. They combined knowledge with a genuine passion for the sport.
  9. ButlerBob

    ButlerBob Moderator Staff Member

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    I remember when we first got cable in the early 80s that one of the stations we had was WOR from NY. They carried the Cosmos, I remember Seamus Malin doing the color, but foret the guy that did play by play. Although I do remember that he also did the Knicks for WOR. I don't remember JP doing the Cosmos. I grew up near Pittsburgh and he did the broadcast for the MISL Spirit.

    I also remember the NASL for a season or two having a weekly game on ABC on saturday afternoons. It was part of Wide World of Sports. It may have been '80 or '81. At this time they also had game on ESPN and at least one season where they had games on the USA Network. The MISL also had a season or two on USA. :cool:
  10. jimmyco

    jimmyco Member

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    THAT was a helluva game! Best of the tournament (IMO).


    As for JP, I have read somewhere that he used to Pennsylvania Stoners (ASL) games in the 70's/80's. Hear he calls a mean hockey game to boot.
  11. NEKSoccer

    NEKSoccer Member

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    A couple of sources did not give Luckhurst high marks for his color commentary. I was disappointed in that they broke for commercials. They aired mostly promos which insinuates that they couldn't sell the ad time to anyone but Michelin and perhaps one or two other companies. They seemed to regard the tournament as a dress rehearsal for their NFL and NBA coverage. There was no in-depth stuff in those days insofar as awareness of world soccer (or most sports or sporting events that happened outside the U.S.) was virtually non-existent.
  12. timberbob

    timberbob New Member

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    Jon Miller, current play-by-play man for the San Francisco Giants and often for ESPN's baseball broadcasts, was the TV guy for the San Jose Earthquakes in the mid-1970s. He also handled the play-by-play for the classic Soccer Bowl '77 between the Cosmos and Seattle, which was during the days when NASL games were syndicated nationally.

    And I remember watching Bob Ley, still (!) of ESPN, hosting "This Week in the NASL," in the early days of the network. Around 1980-82 or so?
  13. timberbob

    timberbob New Member

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    Oh geez, I almost forgot! If you followed soccer at all in the late 70s, you have to remember Toby Charles, who did that hour-long match of the week from England. Wasn't that on PBS too? I recall sending away for the informational brochure about English football that was offered on the program. And my friends and I would repeat those Tobyisms while kicking the ball around at school, such as "six of one, half a dozen of the other," which I seem to remember him using on 50/50 balls.

    And yes, Mario Machado hosted the much-watched "Soccer Made in Germany" around the same time. I always got the feeling Mario had absolutely no idea what he was talking about.
  14. YTFC

    YTFC New Member

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    I believe you got that backwards. Toby Charles did "Soccer Made in Germany" and Machado did the English matches. I still hear Toby occasionally doing the Bundesliga highlights on FSW and poor imitations of him from the men of my generation who watched the Sunday afternoon matches on PBS.
  15. Thomas A Fina

    Thomas A Fina Moderator Staff Member

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    Mick Luckhurst

    I wonder if the fact he was from Atlanta had anything to do with it.

    and Ernie Johnson (the guy who does the NBA studio w/ Barkley and Kenny Smith) anchored the studio show.
  16. Steve Holroyd

    Steve Holroyd New Member

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    Really?? I don't remember this at all.

    Wow. If this was a show, I wish Dave Wasser would start digging up some episodes. That would be great stuff to have.
  17. bukie2k

    bukie2k Member

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    I remember this show. ESPN was so needy for programming then that they showed the games they broadcast live several times over the next few days. I distinctly remember a Tampa Bay/ Portland game that went to a shootout and ran 2.5 hours or so live being hacked up in the re-run version to fit a 2 hour time slot.
  18. paladius

    paladius Member

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    Mario Machado, I believe.

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