Archive for the ‘ESPN’ Category

Thanks to Timmy B on The506 forums for helping me out (he knows some guys) for the first couple of weeks of some of the Euro 2008 commentating pairs live from glorious BRISTOL, CT, off of a monitor…..:(

Saturday 6/07
11:50 a.m.- Switzerland vs. Czech Re
public A (ESPN Classic) – Derek Rae and Tommy Smyth

2:30 p.m.- Portugal vs. Turkey A (ESPN Classic) – Adrian Healey and Andy Gray

Sunday 6/08
11:50 a.m.- Austria vs. Croatia B (ESPN2) – Derek Rae and Tommy Smyth
2:30 p.m.- Germany vs. Poland B (ESPN2) – Adrian Healey and Andy Gray

Monday 6/09
11:50 a.m.- Romania vs. France C (ESPN2) – Derek Rae and Tommy Smyth
2:30 p.m.- Netherlands vs. Italy C (ESPN2) – Adrian Healey and Andy Gray

Tuesday 6/10
11:50 a.m.- Spain vs. Russia D (ESPN2) – Derek Rae and Tommy Smyth

2:30 p.m.- Greece vs. Sweden D (ESPN2) – Adrian Healey and Andy Gray

Wednesday 6/11
11:50 a.m.- Czech Republic vs. Portugal A (ESPN2) – Derek Rae and Tommy Smyth
2:30 p.m.- Switzerland vs. Turkey A (ESPN2) – Adrian Healey and Robbie Mustoe

Thursday 6/12
11:50 a.m.- Croatia vs. Germany B (ESPN2) – Derek Rae and Tommy Smyth
2:30 p.m.- Austria vs. Poland B (ESPN2) – Adrian Healey and Andy Gray

Friday 6/13
11:50 a.m.- Italy vs. Romania C (ESPN2) – Derek Rae and Tommy Smyth
2:30 p.m.- Netherlands vs. France C (ESPN2) – Adrian Healey and Andy Gray

Saturday 6/14
11:50 a.m.- Sweden vs. Spain D (ESPN2) – Derek Rae and Tommy Smyth
2:30 p.m.- Greece vs. Russia D (ESPN2) – Adrian Healey and Andy Gray

Sunday 6/15
2:30 p.m.- Switzerland vs. Portugal A (ESPN2) – Adrian Healey and Andy Gray or Robbie Mustoe
2:30 p.m.- Turkey vs. Czech Republic A (ESPN) – Derek Rae and Tommy Smyth



Derek Rae and Tommy Smyth are confirmed to be the first commentating crew. They do a very good job of “off-tube” commentating from ABC Studios and player recognition, and most importantly, no filler nonsense (which has been ESPN’s biggest problem in every sport they cover). Rae is from Scotland, has a very good tone and he and Smyth seem to have intelligent banter, not the nonsense that ESPN gave us in World Cup 2006 with Marcelo Balboa.

The 2nd pair is Adrian Healey and Andy Gray or Robbie Mustoe. I don’t need an opinion, just a time to faint in shock that ESPN grabbed a great analyst like Gray.

International Feed

The international feed requires just one commentator….which makes me sad, because I think we could do without some analysts covering the NFL or the NBA in favor of one guy. Note that although TSN is like a sister station of ESPN in Canada, TSN grabs this feed for any international competition.

Tony Jones: Boring, dull, ditchwater dull, horrible voice, dull, boring, boring, dull, dreary. By the way, he is boring.

John Helm: This video describes him perfectly, Mr. Helm at his er…finest in 2006.

Dave Woods: Heard him for the first time watching the FIFA U-20 World Cup. Very good tone, good goal calling, mind doesn’t wander off into the woods (unlike the 2 folks I mentioned above) not the best commentator out there but he is miles ahead of Jones and Helm.

Steve Banyard: We’ve got a winner! Best young football (soccer) commentator out there! He tries really hard to get those player pronunciations correct, even designed a website for commentators as well. Lets the crowd get involved quite often, his goal calls usually go like “It’s Cristiano RONALDO!!!!!!!! STUNNING FREE KICK!”. Enthusiastic, articulates himself well, too bad Helm gets the final.


Admittedly I haven’t been to England but I’ve watched some games that have been broadcast via BBC feed. They have done a great job throughout, let’s see what happens this time…..please note the commentator pairings vary throughout.

Play By Play

John Motson (the man pictured at top of the post): This is his last tournament for the BBC before retirement. He is 62, considered to be one of the best commentators ever, has nearly a perfect voice, but recently he has just been horrible. Player recognition is bad, he messed up the goal call in the 2008 FA Cup Final, and I think the Beeb notices this, he has been used rarely on their famed Match of the Day (Premier League coverage) program.

Guy Mowbray: Have to say I’ve heard him once and he is primed to take over the #1 spot that is currently being held by Motty. He doesn’t work with a co-commentator that often so this is a big tournament for him to impress the boss.

Jonathan Pearce: Screechy, yelling, I think he used a Harry Potter reference a while ago and it was awful. Just not a good commentator and is not ready for big matches.

Steve Wilson: Haven’t heard of him, can’t put notes on that one. I’ve been watching World Cup highlights and two of them involved Lawro and Wilson. No screeching like Pearce and captures the excitement quite well. This is his chance to showcase his commentary skills to the boss to take over Motty’s #1 spot.


Mark Lawrenson: Useless. I think that’s why Motson has been so poor.

Gavin Peacock: Haven’t heard him at all.

Mark Bright: See Peacock.

It has been confirmed though that Motson and Lawrenson will call the final.


Well after England bombed, they lost about $20,000,000 because they were going to have joint coverage of the final with the BBC. Instead they will air evening highlights. There have been 3 confirmed commentators, analysts have not yet been mentioned.

Play By Play

Clive Tyldesley: One of the best. So what if he is biased towards Manchester United? If you want a sample of one of his most famous games, go here.

Peter Drury: Human dictionary, over the top, voice has a horrible screech….heard him call Premier League games and he drives me up the wall. He literally yells things at random and it makes me want to listen to nails on a chalkboard.

Jon Champion: ITV should be paying this guy to come back to ITV full time. Setanta Sports yanked him away to do Premier League games and now Champion only does UEFA Cup games and Championship (1 tier below Premiership) highlights. He was made for big matches, he is the commentator for Pro Evo Soccer 2008, I think he can become a #1 commentator for BBC or Setanta.


David Pleat: Not often does a guy come around like Pleat. He is bar none the worst analyst as far as player pronunciation of even something simple as Nani (he called him Nano). Really adds nothing to the game and with his usual “I think the grass is very green today Clive” inane babbling, ITV should haul him out of there.

Jim Beglin: Gets a lot of good reviews I hear….

Oceania Feed

Australia, New Zealand, etc.

Martin Tyler: ….LEGEND! That’s all I have to say about him, fantastic commentator, raises his voice when he needs to, actually played for the University of East Anglia so he should know the game very well. Great for him to work on yet another tournament to add to his wonderful achievements.

David Beckham to Join ESPN

Posted: September 13, 2007 in David Beckham, ESPN, MLS, Soccer

I was hoping AA was kidding when he announced what David Beckham will do today. According to ESPN and reported on Awful Announcing, David Beckham will be a TV analyst for the MLS Primetime Thursday match up between LA Beckhams and Chivas USA. Beckham will be with Tommy Smyth, Eric “Can’t Shut Up” Wynalda, and Glenn “Not Big Baby” Davis for the ESPN televised event. I know Ibearg is probably annoyed that I’m a huge ESPN critic and blow up on them way too much, but I have no choice here.This is the boldness of these guys. ESPN refuses to think that anyone with a soccer passion and knowledge of a squirrel would watch the soccer game, before listening to four, FOUR, commentators. Beckham can barely speak to begin with, and the only reason why he’s likely there, is because ESPN is the only network keeping year 1 of Beckhammania alive.

Now, maybe if it were just Davis and Beckham, it would be somewhat watchable, but 4 talking heads??? Come on, who will watch that? The MLS is basically dependent on whether or not Beckham shows up, it’s just for ticket sales, not for his skill.

Please ESPN, you’re killing me, I want to the and disprove your simpleton thinking, but you keep proving that you guys are incapable of doing a lot of things soccer wise. Will I watch? I don’t need to watch 90 minutes of those 3 guys kissing Beckham.

I attempted to watch the LA Beckhams vs. Chivas USA on ESPN. Two things happened that set me off: One, a freaking WNBA playoff overtime game ran over the first 4 minutes. Two, Dave O’Brien and Eric Wynalda were commentating. O’Brien (AKA Can’t Shut Up #1) decided to call Beckham “heroic” for travelling from England all the way back to LA to play in his 2nd game in 2 days. Uhh….Dave, not only did Landon Donovan do the same thing (from Sweden), but European players do that all the time! Towards the end of the game, when the Beckhams were down 3-0, Wynalda (AKA Can’t Shut Up #2) said “I think the fans should start booing these guys.”. Nothing gets this dude happy. So I’ve given you the beginning of the game, and the end, now let’s talk about the rest.

* What’s up with showing the starting lineups 18 minutes into the game???!!!!! That is simpleton thinking in spite of the WNBA game
* Who cares that Chivas player Maykal Galindo likes Scarface and played soccer barefoot? I can’t stand the fact that they put up useless stats about these guys, in which I can easily look up at a computer.
* Bob Ley was part of the halftime crew. That I like very much. He can replace Dave and Rob Stone.
* Anyone else notice that whenever Beckham touched the ball, you would hear girly shrieks?
* I don’t need 15 camera angles for a soccer game, especially skycam. Why would you want an aerial view of soccer?

This is an absolute joke ESPN comes up with and passes off as soccer. If they’re the supposed “Worldwide Leader in Sports”, why don’t they air Rugby, Cricket, and the CFL?

Later on today, I’ll write an article about things ESPN can do to improve its image on a global standpoint.