HUGE Shakeup at ESPN

Discussion in 'TV, Satellite & Radio' started by Kryptonite, Jan 19, 2008.

  1. danielmak

    danielmak Member

    Sep 26, 2004
    off the purple line
    I think Harkes was the best of the ex-US players to do color commentary in WC06 so I'm glad to see he will take over and I think JP will do the trick with PBP since ESPN probably wants to avoid announcers with UK accents for these games. With that said, I think it's ridiculous that Wynalda would be booted for calling Rome a dick given Rome's general treatment of football. And I can't see that Rome would be too worried about being called a dick; it's not like he hasn't reflected a similar sentiment with different phrasing in the past (e.g., Eric Gagne is a piece of crap). So I am glad that Wynalda won't be doing USMT matches but I am not happy to hear the reasons behind this decision. Moreover, the next quality comment we hear from Bruce Arena on one of the broadcasts will be the first quality comment. I wish he would take another MLS job that would keep him too busy to do any announcing gigs. Take care.
     
  2. bungadiri

    bungadiri Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 25, 2002
    Acnestia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Glad to see JP Dellacamera get more air time. He's earned it. Plus he's a huge improvement over O'Brien (who seemed like a nice enough guy but had no feel for the game at all).

    As irritating as Wynalda could be, I am sorry to see him go. At least he made things interesting.

    John Harkes has done a good-to-very-good job every time I've heard him, though.
     
  3. Redhawk1

    Redhawk1 Member

    May 12, 2006
    JP is very good. I used to love to listen to him back in the original MISL days.

    ESPN should bring back Ty Keough as JP's color-man. Those two made a great duo in the MISL.

    Bill McDermott would be another great choice to work with JP. There might not be another American with the soccer knowledge that McDermott has.
     
  4. Real Ray

    Real Ray Member

    May 1, 2000
    Cincinnati, OH
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I like the moves.

    Maybe they are figuring out that people don't tune into the games because of the announcers-as they they don't tune away due to who is calling the games (and please spare me the Big Soccer, anecdotal blah, blah.) The era where a PBP guy can be this huge national figure that draws people in from outside the core audience was a one-off fluke called Howard Cossell.

    It's the games that matter-they will determine the audience by their skill, quality, drama, etc. And IMO the best option is always to put together the most professional and polished broadcast you can. And on this score with MLS, ESPN has for the most part failed. To be fair, I understand that MLS isn't always the easiest gig; the lack of crowds, the lack of intensity in the regular season-these are things that you have to fight as an announcer. But that's what being a pro is about and people like Rob Stone and Jack Edwards failed on this score, feeling they had to "sell" the league or "add something to the mix" with their PBP. The Toronto-RB NY match late in the season last year with Stone and Wynalda was an absolute disgrace-very little in quality and professionalism. I would dump Stone as well-he's an X-Games type of guy IMO and should not being doing soccer.
     
  5. tambo

    tambo Member

    Jun 9, 2007
    On what basis are you making this connection? Is there real evidence/confirmation out there that those comments played into his dismissal, or are you speculating?

    Nobody was offended by the California-wildfires comments. Yes, plenty of people said they were offended, but nobody was actually offended.

    We live in an age when feigning offense has become an art. Everybody knows what's supposed to sound "offensive," we know the triggers we're supposed to listen for, we know the routine we're supposed to go through in response -- which includes making a big righteous show about the alleged offendee. But that's all it is: a routine.

    It's become near-pathological. And it's weird. Because in reality, down at the day-to-day ground level, American culture/society is less decorous and dignified than ever. We saturate ourselves in images and behaviors and role models that would have made our great-grandparents faint on sight. Which is fine, in and of itself. But then we have these odd, convoluted, upside-down rules about what we're supposed to pretend is "offensive," and we go through the whole big show when some public person breaks one of the rules.

    In other words: If Wynalda did get canned in part because of the wildfires brouhaha, then those who participated in that inane "gotcha!" game should be ashamed of themselves.
     
  6. JGillon21

    JGillon21 New Member

    Nov 11, 2007
    Morganton NC
    I just emailed Rob Stone... we'll see what he says about the situation. Hopefully he still has a hand at the MLS games. I really enjoy his natural passion for the game and the growth of the MLS/Soccer in America.

    It's alot like Jack Edwards... he was a fan 1st and the announcer 2nd, and I respected that about him more than the professionalism of some of the others.
     
  7. gdub171

    gdub171 New Member

    Jul 29, 2007
    California
    I used to like Jim Rome, but his constant soccer bashing is asinine. His alma mater's (UC Santa Barbara) best sport is Soccer. At least be a respectful dissenter, but unfortunately, Rome makes his money being a loud moron.
     
  8. Friedel'sAccent

    Friedel'sAccent Member+

    Jul 7, 2006
    Providence, RI
    Club:
    Reading FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Unfortunately, what seems to pass for a lot of televisual sports journalism these days is just saying something more outrageous than the next guy. Substantive content behind your ideas being optional, all you need to do is out-shout everyone else to get your opinions taken seriously.
     
  9. BocaFan

    BocaFan Member+

    Aug 18, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    Sadly, that's not just true about sports journalism but applies to pretty much everything in this world.
     
  10. Friedel'sAccent

    Friedel'sAccent Member+

    Jul 7, 2006
    Providence, RI
    Club:
    Reading FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Good thing BigSoccer is one of the last few bastions of rational, critical thought, as well as discussions informed by careful consideration of problems and questions in their full complexity.





    ;)
     
  11. FFCinPCB

    FFCinPCB New Member

    Jul 3, 2006
    Point Washington, FL
    Club:
    Fulham FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  12. DoctorD

    DoctorD Member+

    Sep 29, 2002
    MidAtlantic
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Ray, I understand your point. But after watching euro soccer for several years, I'm convinced that the popularity of the EPL vs La Liga has a lot to do with the superior TV production of the Premiership. From the camera directing, to the announcers, to the sound production, the EPL can make any game seem meaningful and exciting. The quality of the game in La Liga is higher, but it doesn't come across so well on TV.
     
  13. Big Soccer Member

    Jan 16, 2008
    Surrey, England
    Club:
    Newcastle United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    Absolutely agree. The euphoria around the premier league is a factor in making it really good. The hype is hard to escape and that makes the matches so important.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I07Dg_RwRpY
     
  14. CyberAce100

    CyberAce100 Member+

    Jul 4, 2007
    Nat'l Team:
    Mexico
    Wasn't that like years ago though? Or did he say something to Rome again recently?
     
  15. Vasco

    Vasco New Member

    Jun 8, 2003
    RIO
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Brazil
    JOhn Paul is the best, he used to do pittsburgh spirit games back in the 80's.

    Glenn is 2nd best to john.

    I enjoy when Glenn is doing a game, he is very very good.
     
  16. Kryptonite

    Kryptonite Fancy Title Here

    Apr 10, 1999
    Columbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Ty Keough worked with Jack Edwards early this decade. Maybe Jack made Ty seem awful, but that combination was DREADFUL.

    Bill McDermott provides color commentary for Columbus Crew away matches. He may know the game better than (or as good as) others, but honestly, he has a dreadful dialect that makes him sound like a pirate. Names like "Waurrrrshington" do not lend themselves to being a pleasing sound on the TV microphone.

    Honestly, where is Bob Ley?
     
  17. Kryptonite

    Kryptonite Fancy Title Here

    Apr 10, 1999
    Columbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States


    http://mlsrumors.blogspot.com/2008/01/outgoing-eric-wynalda-from-mls.html

    Did you read that link? My original post was based entirely off that, as well as the Soccer America link, available at the MLS Rumors link.


    It appears he got canned in part because of the wildfires comment and in part because of the Jim Rome comments.

    How can Jim Rome bash soccer? I have two guesses. Maybe because he's been around longer and is seen as a more valuable asset to ESPN? OTOH, people tune in to his show(s?) to hear his opinion on things, no matter how extreme they may be. Now, OTOH, if his opinions are too extreme or downright slanderous, i'm sure ESPN has set their limits. If news gets out that an NBA star refuses to go into a strip club and Jim Rome says something like "...refused to enter a strip club. Is he gay?", then there could be some sort of punishment set forth.

    When people tune in to hear Eric Wynalda, they probably want facts about games and some opinion from a view of a former player on how the game is progressing. If the "suck my dick" thing is true, could that also be construed as sexual harrasment? But remember, it wasn't just one thing that caused Wynalda to be canned. Also, was Wynalda at that event as "Eric Wynalda, soccer guy" or "Eric Wynalda, ESPN employee." If he was formally representing ESPN at the time, then things could be totally different.

    I don't think anyone truly knows the whole story about that, and we're all just grasping at straws.

    As for the wildfire comment, IMO, it was out of line. I don't think anyone died, but we all know that millions of dollars of damage was done, people's homes were destroyed, and their lives were permanently changed. There is a HUGE difference between a few flares at a soccer game and out of control wildfires.

    I see it as "two seperate incidences where a professional employee should have known better and shown restraint" that caused Eric's firing.


    How do you know? Ok, maybe no one was truly offended. But, IMO, the fact remains that what was said would have been better off unsaid.

    I do agree with this. People shouldn't go running around, saying they were offended just to do stuff like this. The people that record radio and TV content, just to e-mail the sponsors, networks, FCC, etc. shouldn't really be doing that. If you don't like something, don't watch it. You're just giving it attention. If you didn't watch or listen to it, the ratings may decrease, which in turn would cause the "bad programming" to dig it's own grave. Use your powers of parenting (combined with the parental controls on your TV) to teach your children what they should be watching, reading, and listening to. Back in my day, if there was something that seemed a little edgy, either my parents would sit down with me and watch it, or pre-screen it.

    With that said, there should be limits. Let the politically un-correct stuff go out there (it's gonna be there), but it should have it's place for the people that want it.

    I'm not calling the rivalry forum un-PC. I don't go there, so I have no idea what it's like. But if I want it, it's there. If I don't want the smack-talk, I should be able to easily avoid it. In a way, it's sort of the same thing.
     
  18. nancyb

    nancyb Member

    Jun 30, 2000
    Falls Church, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If I never hear Dave O'Brien calling another soccer game it'll be too soon. I'm glad to hear this news, but disappointed that Glenn Davis is not in the mix.
     
  19. lovingthegreen

    May 29, 2006
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    That is the best news out of all of this. I'm watching the Duke-Tennessee women's game tonight and, as they went to halftime he actually said, "Duke with a 33-33 lead over Tennessee." But point being, he is a much better baseball announcer than he is soccer (to have a novice do the World Cup was an incredibly ill-sighted decision), and he needs to focus his attention on baseball. Sorry about the DOM bashing, I just needed to get that off my chest ... actually to be honest it's not as much DOM bashing as it is ABC/ESPN bashing for placing him in the roles that they did. He did the best job he could and worked really hard so I really don't have anything bad to say about him, just about the decision to place him in those situations. Okay, rant over.
     
  20. dah_sab

    dah_sab New Member

    Mar 8, 2001
    Austin, TX
    That may be watching La Liga w/English PBP on GolTV but it's pretty exciting w/the Spanish-speaking guys. I've nothing against Ray Hudson but his voice really grates. Speak from the diaphragm, Ray. It's much easier on your throat & you might find your voice dropping a couple octaves.

    As for the popularity of the EPL I'll go with a few different reasons -- everything's in English, it's totally familiar because of that, they have billions to blow on marketing & it's a style (if you can call it a style) of play that's familiar. By that I mean that when I go to my local league's games every Sunday most teams I see play the same 100 mph, helter-skelter style as you see in most EPL matches not involving the top 3 or 4 teams. I don't see a lot of slow build-up, possession type of soccer. Personally I can't see the appeal but it obviously does appeal to a lot of soccer fans and players in the US.

    But for PBP & analysis no one beats Paul Giblin & Sid Lowe on WorldSport's weekly La Liga broadcast. They know the game, they're funny, they tell you things you don't know rather than interspersing superfluous, never-ending stories with the occasional extraordinarily obvious comment. If you're fortunate enough to pick up WorldSport on DISH Network you'll know the pictures are beautiful & the commentary second to none. You can also catch Sid on the Guardian's twice-weekly Football Weekly podcast.

    Re:JP -- I remember when I first started watching the game (1995) & I though JP was just so awful compared to, say, Martin Tyler or Peter Brackley (who I still love.) I was a different kind of snob back then.

    Now, after years of Tommy Smyth & friends whenever I hear JP's voice (can't remember the last time, though) it's like meeting an old friend. I have come to appreciate him, not just in comparison to the dolts ESPN usually employs but just because he's pretty good. Seamus Malin rarely disappoints either.
     
  21. striker

    striker Member+

    Aug 4, 1999
    What happens to Derek Rae in this shuffle? I like his relatively subdue style.
     
  22. Real Corona

    Real Corona Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 19, 2008
    Colorado
    Club:
    FC Metalist Kharkiv
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    ESPN's champions league coverage is done well in my opinion. I like Derek Rae and Tommy Smith. I personally am quite happy that Wynalda is gone. Like others have mentioned, he seemed arrogant and unknowledgeable. Hopefully ESPN will find someone to do MLS some justice.
     
  23. NorthBank

    NorthBank Member+

    Arsenal; NYRB
    United States
    Mar 29, 2006
    Connecticut
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If they don't keep Rae, and allow him to have a prominent role, they're crazy. But then we kinda know that already.

    Rae is their strongest PBP by far. He seems to know the game better than any of the others. He was BADLY missed for their Germany'06 coverage.

    Lately he's been pigeon-holed to Champions League coverage & highlights. I'd like to see his role expanded but that probably means it'll go the opposite. :mad:
     
  24. NorthBank

    NorthBank Member+

    Arsenal; NYRB
    United States
    Mar 29, 2006
    Connecticut
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    My take...


    POSTIVES:
    ++ Winalda OUT
    ++ Smyth OUT (sort of)
    + O'Brien OUT
    ++ Hopkins IN
    + Dellacamera IN (but he could use help)

    NEUTRAL-TO-POSITIVE:
    * Harkes IN
    * Stone IN? (only if they minimize his role)

    NEGATIVES:
    - Rae UNDEFINED (as per previous post... he's their best PBP)


    My main question is... have these changes been confirmed??

    p.s. You didn't mention Balboa & Keough... let's hope they are banished forever.
     
  25. dustcowpoke

    dustcowpoke Member

    Jan 7, 2006
    Houston, TX
    Club:
    Houston Dynamo
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Derek Rae is class if he leaves there is no point in watching ESPN.
     

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