Why You Should Watch The World Cup
By Ben Grossman -- Broadcasting & Cable, 6/7/2010 12:01:00 AM
But for me, fútbol is more than a past career; it is a passion. I have attended most of the major sporting events in the U.S., from Super Bowls to World Series Game 7s to Final Fours, but none of them rated as my best live experience as a fan. That is a toss-up between Ipswich Town upsetting Inter Milan in the UEFA Cup, or tiny Swansea ousting mighty West Ham United in the FA Cup. I know; you have no idea what I just said. Don’t worry; no one else in America does either, which probably explains why I didn’t get a lot of dates in high school.
But my ties to the game haven’t left exclusively happy results, as I actually met my wife—a former sportswriter—in a press box at an MLS game in San Jose.
Bias aside, the most fantastic sporting event in the world is about to captivate audiences all over the planet for the next month. And you’d be smart to join in. And you probably will, as we are famously an event society. Watched a lot of curling or figure skating since the Olympics, have you?
The 2010 event takes place in South Africa, which will make for beautiful pictures. The stadiums will be packed with colorful and boisterous fans. Be warned: The audio may be less than inviting, as the local fans blow shrill horns the entire match—called vuvuzelas—that make my mother-in-law’s voice seem engaging by comparison.
But the commentary will be worth it. In English, ESPN will have brilliantly understated voices with British accents, led by the talented Martin Tyler and Derek Rae. (Still more full disclosure: Rae hired me in 1993 to join the World Cup, so I kind of owe him my professional life.)
And if you’d like to sample more passionate and boisterous broadcasters, flip to Univision, especially when the lying, cheating Mexican team (our arch-rival) is plying their evil trade on the pitch.
The game you don’t want to miss is the U.S. playing England on June 12. It is not hyperbole to say that if the Yanks beat the Brits, it will be the biggest upset since 1776. And a bigger deal to the English than that. And here, it will set off a media firestorm—and high comedy—as we get to watch members of the soccer-ignoring TV world try to pronounce the name of American defender Oguchi Onyewu.
About 17 times in the next month as the World Cup heats up, I will come home and tell my wife I am going back to work in soccer full-time. She’ll do what she does when I say anything: roll her eyes and ignore me. But she and I and the rest of the world will be glued to our TV sets for the next month—and so should you.
E-mail comments to ben.grossman@ nbmedia.com and follow him on Twitter: @BCBenGrossman
I like your article..but I did get offended about what you said about the MEXICAN national team..very disrespectful of you.....you know that in the "futbol" world you can trash teams but not the NATIONAL team....
YES, I'm MEXICAN...YES, I work in the TV industry...I work for a sat. provider that broadcasts the EPL and LIGA to South America in HD...
You forgot to mention that when the MEXICAN national team comes to the U.S., and plays againts U.S.A., MEXICO becomes the home team!!!!!
beto orozco - 6/10/2010 4:46:41 PM EDT
I'm not used to hearing West Ham being described as "mighty" since they barely stayed up this year and Swansea wasn't that far from possible promotion to the Premiership... but Ipswich over Inter, oh yeah, huge, though it is called the UEFA Europa League now... Of course, I don't know what years those were, off the top of my head, being a relatively new fan. Anyway, I'm much looking forward to it as well and I will probably be seeing a lot of it in Spanish since I only have OTA. I would be surprised if ESPN3 can handle the load.
Mike M - 6/10/2010 3:19:49 PM EDT
>>But she and I and the rest of the world will be glued to our TV sets for the next month—and so should you.
Mumfy - 6/9/2010 5:10:49 PM EDT
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