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  • Flynnie
    replied
    ESPN Commentary and Pundits

    Tommy Smyth has lived in America for 50 years. Amazing, isn't it? He's the most off the boat motherfucker you ever saw in your life.

    If he was Mexican, Glenn Beck's head would explode.

    Leave a comment:


  • Incandenza
    replied
    ESPN Commentary and Pundits

    Nice to see you back, S. aureus.

    Leave a comment:


  • S. aureus
    replied
    ESPN Commentary and Pundits

    Some quick name dropping after the fact, but my wife was having lunch with Julie Foudy while you guys were discussing her back at the start of the tournament.
    That might be as good a claim to fame as I've got, come to think of it.

    Leave a comment:


  • imp
    replied
    ESPN Commentary and Pundits

    Tommy Smyth pops up again for the Irish match. In 'analyzing' the Spain goal, he manages to tell us it was the fifth minute (it was the fourth), then runs through his usual spiel about how Torres hit it really hard "into the back of the ole onion bag". He's been saying this now for how many years? It's like they wheeled gramps in from the old folks' home for the afternoon. Yet no one at ESPN has ever taken a look at this guy and said, "Okay, enough. No more ole onion bag."

    When Ballack talks, Smyth sits back and looks at him like he's some strange foreign intruder whose language and presence he doesn't really understand.

    Prior to the second half, Smyth is mercifully not asked for his opinion.

    Leave a comment:


  • imp
    replied
    ESPN Commentary and Pundits

    Twellman's good, but seemed obsessed in the first half with telling us how well Balotelli was doing. Balotelli trips over ball - look, he's getting involved in play! Balotelli gets fouled - look, he didn't respond by smacking his opponent in the face! Well done, Mario! Balotelli shoots and misses - look, he's getting into shooting positions, even though he's as accurate as a British Rail platform clock. This guy's entire career consists of people making excuses for him.

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  • scratchmonkey
    replied
    ESPN Commentary and Pundits

    Is this Twellman doing Croatia-Italy with Rae? Whoever it is, they're fantastic.

    Leave a comment:


  • scratchmonkey
    replied
    ESPN Commentary and Pundits

    Keller has really improved from the first game. He still tends to repeat himself; he's much more composed and will get into some good analysis.

    A combination of both repeating himself and good analysis is that he loves to point out whenever a defender allows an attacker to cut back into the middle to take a shot on goal and how defenders should force their man outside.

    Leave a comment:


  • danielmak
    replied
    ESPN Commentary and Pundits

    Dave O'Brien. Yes, that was the fool.

    I have no love or hate for the studio crew. They don't really say anything that helps me see the game in ways that I didn't get on my own, so they're just in the background as I do other stuff when I watch live or I fast forward when I watch on delay and it's like they don't even exist.

    I will say, though, that I can't understand why these studio shows are all bogged down with ex-players. It's good to have one smart ex-player to give us the perspective of what it feels like to play in a major tournament for a national team, one coach who can offer that perspective, but then they should add a thoughtful journalist and give her/him some time to talk. Just imagine if someone like Marcotti or Jonathan Wilson could do one of these shows, we'd get much better analysis.

    Leave a comment:


  • alyxandr
    replied
    ESPN Commentary and Pundits

    Yeah, Ballack has definitely improved -- it's like his highschool English is suddenly coming back to him. Unlike my highschool German. Damit.

    Leave a comment:


  • jefe
    replied
    ESPN Commentary and Pundits

    Dave O'Brien, the semidisaster from 2006.

    Leave a comment:


  • jason voorhees
    replied
    ESPN Commentary and Pundits

    and an ignore poster function.

    Leave a comment:


  • jason voorhees
    replied
    ESPN Commentary and Pundits

    I'm a Max Bretos mark. (Get it, he does WWF pro wrestling, get it ?)

    I'm starting to like the Lalas-Ballack team. I like how the producers told them to be more like each other, so Ballack has to use at least 3 more words a sentence than the 4 word sentences he usually uses, and Lalas has to fold his hands and not move like he's a camoflouged garter snake covered in hardened paper mache.

    Leave a comment:


  • Reed John
    replied
    ESPN Commentary and Pundits

    By "that baseball announcer," do you mean Jingo Jack Edwards? He does hockey, usually. Not well. Bruins games.

    They should get these guys.

    Leave a comment:


  • danielmak
    replied
    ESPN Commentary and Pundits

    ESPN has consistently hired top class announcers to cover European football (qualifiers to come below). Mike Hill was amazing, but somehow fell off the face of the earth. Then Derek Rae took over and showed he is one of the best in the world. Adrian Healey is also excellent. And there's another guy that fills in from time-to-time, Dave Roberts, who is also really good. I have come to the conclusion that part of what makes these guys so good, beyond a general sense of how to call a game with style, is that they cover so many different leagues and research those leagues that when tournaments roll around like the Euros or WC these guys know what they're doing and know many of the players. If we compare these guys to Ian Darke, who I do like but don't think he is on par with any of the above, we see why Darke and other announcers are limited: he only covers EPL (or am I supposed to call it BPL now?). Nor do I get the sense that most announcers watch much football or research beyond the single league they cover. I wish ESPN had moved for Dave Farrar instead of Ian Darke but I also get that Darke was likely hired to fill the EPL rights in the UK.

    My qualifiers: ESPN has also failed miserably with that baseball announcer who called WC 2006, but that was a one-off vs. regular work calling European football. I also have very mixed feelings about JP. On one hand, I think a US announcer should be calling US NT games. On the other hand, I think JP has set the tone for a sort of angry commentary tone. He sounds like he's pissed off anytime there is something exciting happening. I know he also covers hockey and don't know which came first, hockey or soccer, but I feel like I am listening to a hockey game when he calls the game. I love hockey but I don't want to hear hockey commentary when watching football.

    This is already way too long so I'll save my opinions about analysts/studio teams for a later post.

    Leave a comment:


  • alyxandr
    replied
    ESPN Commentary and Pundits

    GAH! WTF did we do to deserve Max Bretos? Come back Bob Ley, all is forgiven...

    Leave a comment:


  • Reed John
    replied
    ESPN Commentary and Pundits

    I enjoyed the quiet disinterested Ballack better. It was comical. I have expected to see him light up a pipe and sit back contentedly.

    Lalas seems to be US soccer's answer to Mike Milbury.

    Leave a comment:


  • ursus arctos
    replied
    ESPN Commentary and Pundits

    He certainly had enough experience at same while at Chelsea . . .

    Leave a comment:


  • imp
    replied
    ESPN Commentary and Pundits

    Ballack is improving, and nicely cut through Lalas's bullshit after England v France. Lalas was trying to maintain this was a brilliant tactical victory for England given their resources. Ballack, as bored as the rest of us by this putrid game, said this was no way to play football. Lalas started waving his arms around and shouting how results matter above all else, and that if you don't have the players, you do what you have to do to win. Ballack: "But England didn't win."

    Lalas also made a cutting comment about how we can't all play like the Germans, and Ballack calmly replied, "This has nothing to do with the Germans." He says what he has to say economically, and Lalas and Ley sit there staring at him as though they want him to go on a run of verbal diarrhea like every other ESPN pundit, but he just stops. He's clearly worked out that he's sitting among knaves.

    Leave a comment:


  • ursus arctos
    replied
    ESPN Commentary and Pundits

    The Healy/Mustoe combination is the best I've heard on ESPN so far.

    Mustoe isn't brilliant, but he's improved very significantly from when he first began commentating.

    The studio program is a gong show.

    Leave a comment:


  • Incandenza
    replied
    ESPN Commentary and Pundits

    That was Julie Foudy. I went back to read over some posts from other sites about here from 2008, and they're just depressing.

    Leave a comment:


  • Tactical Genius
    replied
    ESPN Commentary and Pundits

    For years I had heard of Tommy Smyth from OTF and then i finnally got to see some of him in action as i was in the US for a few days during Euro 2008.

    He wasn't very good, the lady in the studio was though and clearly knew her football.

    Leave a comment:


  • jason voorhees
    replied
    ESPN Commentary and Pundits

    "Oierland will meke you eat crow, Alexi." - Tommy Smyth

    "Ireland will get spanked." - Alexi Lalas

    Alexi Lalas 1:0 Tommy Smyth

    I realized what it is about Smyth. He's a bitter, short, angry man who says stupid shit, then really likes it when you say that he said something stupid so he can let loose with his anger defending his stupid shit.

    For Croatia's first goal, "that was nothing but a broken play." Yes, my dear loving asshole, that indeed was a broken play. BECAUSE SOCCER HAS NO FUCKING SET PLAYS OTHER THAN A SET PLAY YOU BIG OL' AUSTIN POWERS-TOOTHED BAGPIPE BREATH.

    And Diego Maradona spins and beats one defender...two defenders...five defenders...Shilton...it's one of the greatest goals of all time.

    Tommy Smyth: Thet was nuthin' but a BROKEN PLAY.

    I seriously don't mind him one or two games a tournament, because it serves as one of those old cages they put executed bodies in to rot in front of the entire village as a warning to not steal horses. It's ESPN's way of saying "we better not get any hate mail about Kasey Keller...because guess who we can bring back at any point."

    Leave a comment:


  • Satchmo Distel
    replied
    ESPN Commentary and Pundits

    Adrian Heley is very good. Mustoe is OK but a bit monotonous.

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  • Squid Ink
    replied
    ESPN Commentary and Pundits

    Smyth wheeled out for the Ireland pre-game. Almost just broke my arm lurching for the mute button.

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  • jason voorhees
    replied
    ESPN Commentary and Pundits

    Ballack was much better today. He actually looked like he wanted to be there.

    Poor Bob Ley is sounding like a local newspaper writer around here who is 70, and for whom facts kind of get jumbled.

    Leave a comment:

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