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American football commentators are an extremely misguided set of observers and also unintentionally hilarious. Often heard on such networks as ESPN, Fox Soccer Channel and Gol TV, they have no basic knowledge of the game and are usually ex-NFL or Baseball commentators.

 

Thus the goalmouth becomes the ‘red zone’, a goal becomes a ‘tally’ and extra time becomes ‘overtime.’ They spend most of their time trying to compare ‘soccer’ to popular American sports, in a vain attempt to convert uncaring American fans to the true version of football. When a goal is scored, the commentary will usually run along the lines of ‘he’s made a goal!’ or ‘what an assist!’ and 'what a lazer beam!'

 

Some notable commentators are J.P. Dellacamra and insane Irish twat Tommy Smyth, who have commentated every game on ESPN since 1994, with Smyth screaming ‘and it's in the old onion bag!’ after every goal. Inevitably when a player is sent off he will utter ‘hasta la vista baby!’ in a dated reference to an Arnold Schwarzenegger film from 1991.

 

In order to gain credibility British commentators will be enlisted for World Cups and major tournaments, which is usually just some tourist found wandering the streets. This helps refine the notion that just because someone has an English accent they are a football guru.

 

American commentators are also obsessed with statistics and will spend most of the game discussing the average amount of fouls, goals, tackles, possession, territory and games won by ratio in comparison to years, decades, centuries and minutes. While this is happening goals are scored and entire games played.

 

The emphasis on commentating is on bellowing and screaming, with absolutely no subtlety or charisma. This can be leveled at a punter called Max Bretos from Fox Soccer Channel, who has no place within the game of football.

 

Commentators also have a difficult time seeing the game because of the abundance of graphics dominating half the TV screen. With the score, time, location, sponsor of the game, tournament name, statistical graph and constantly intruding ads for upcoming events, commentators usually have to guess what is happening on the field. This is also due to them not being at the actual game, rather back in some studio continents away. Predictably the game will be cut off any way to make time for a crucial Little League World Series game involving 11 year olds.

 

The most notable example of this was during the 1998 World Cup, when during the penalty shootout between Brazil and Holland, ESPN cut away to coverage of wood chopping, claiming ‘it’s what real Americans want to see.’


Commentator names usually involve such words as 'Shep,' 'Ty,' 'Tad,' 'Chet' and 'Derek Rae,' the latter of whom is Scottish and moved to the U.S., therefore gaining an American accent. Overnight in 2002 his Scottish accent mysteriously returned, although he still lapses into his now natural Yank accent. Rae said he was forced to do this by ESPN, so the audience would assume just by being British he 'knew something about football.'

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