Tag Archives: fox

We Are The Champions (Of A Meaningless Pre-Season Tournament)

Last night, Manchester United won the Guinness International Champions Cup – or the Guinness Cup, asguinness cup television commentators are instructed to call it – even though the team isn’t actually a champion. Liverpool, which lost 3-1 to United in the ICC final, isn’t a champion either. In fact, of the eight teams that entered the tournament, only three won trophies last season.

This obvious inconsistency left Fox, the network that broadcast yesterday’s final, with a difficult task: to convince viewers that the game really meant something, that it was more than just an excuse for a pre-season fireworks show. JP Dellacamera pointed out that as the players lined up in the tunnel, they eschewed pre-match greetings and instead stared straight ahead, focussed on the job at hand. Keith Costigan kept insisting that the match represented Javier Hernandez’s last chance to impress Louis van Gaal before next week’s cuts. And Warren Barton touched on the same themes – bravery, spirit, intensity – that animate his analysis (if “animate” and “analysis” are even the right words) of the Champions League.

It was both kind of sad and kind of funny. It was, in short, vintage Fox.

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A Few Words About Fox’s Coverage of La Decima

During the buildup to yesterday’s Champions League final, as the always-rousing official UEFA anthem played gus johnson againand Ronaldo winked mischievously at the camera, I thought to myself: This is completely ridiculous. The dancers, the banners, the beer ads, the #riskeverything hashtag, the Portuguese guys dressed as sailors – the whole pre-game spectacle.

And then Fox cut to its Los Angeles studio – to Warren Barton, Rob Stone and Brad Friedel, who should have known better – and I soon found myself pining for more bad Euro pop, more weird dancing and more Heineken commercials.

Before the game, I hoped that Fox’s studio crew, or even its dumb-and-dumber commentary team, would produce something more than the usual platitudes about “the rivalry aspect” of a match featuring two teams from the same city. I hoped that someone at Fox would delve into the complex political history of Real and Atletico and that Stone would stop calling the kickoff “the kick.” Alas, my hopes were disappointed. In a dull pregame montage, Real and Atletico fans talked about how excited they were. After Sergio Ramos’ equalizer, Barton, whose lengthy career heading balls in the Premier League explains a lot, noted that “the pendulum [had] turned” in Real Madrid’s favor.

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The Top Three Football Media Developments of 2013

NBC’s Premier League coverage: It’s hard to say whether NBC’s Premier League coverage has nbc premier leagueearned such widespread adulation because of Rebecca Lowe’s slick transitions between games and Robbie Earle’s clever studio analysis, or merely because the network decided not to recruit Warren Barton. I honestly don’t know, but I’m pretty certain that NBC won over a lot of doubters simply by not hiring the superhumanly stupid former defender.

The Ted Lasso video helped, too.

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My Name Is Gus Johnson And I Speak American English

Two weeks ago, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund played 90 minutes of exhilarating NCAA BASKETBALL: FEB 19 Georgia at Tennesseecup-final football in front of a packed Wembley Stadium. The German fans – whom English writers often describe as “loud” and “enthusiastic,” but whose beer-drinking and flag-waving and non-stop cheering are, I’m sure, better characterized by some unwieldy German polysyllable – made a lot of noise. Jurgen Klopp performed his usual touchline gymnastics, and Arjen Robben scored a stoppage-time winner. In the gantry, a middle-aged basketball commentator shuffled his papers, consulted a color-coded pronunciation key, and told America that, “We’ve got a ballgame.”

In October 2011, Fox Sports secured US broadcasting rights for the 2018 World Cup. This news pleased approximately no one. Fox has broadcast Premier League games since the 1990s, but its coverage is widely mocked; next season, NBC will take over Fox’s Premier League rights.

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