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dolcem
Post #76
Wednesday August 21, 2013 1:52pm

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 959
I feel embarrassed when listening to Gus. He sounds like that fan who just got into the sport and is really excited about it but doesn't know anything about it and doesn't realize how little he understands.

Soccer isn't gold, baseball, football, etc. The announcer does more than simply comment on what happens, he has to create a narrative of the game. Part of this is because there's no starting and stopping, but mostly it's because that's how a soccer game is. It's not a series of plays or events the way baseball and football is. It's free-flowing and infinitely more complex. Every game is a story in a way that other sports are not.

I think you have to really understand the game to be an announcer...to have constantly watched it, played it, and talked about it since birth.

I actually think our lack of quality announcers is the result of the same 'problems' we have with our development (I put problems in quotes because it's mostly not our fault, the sport is so new in the US). We haven't quite developed a culture in the way other nations have, which holds back our youth and coaching development, but also our commentating. We don't approach the sport quite the right way (we think of it too much like American sports) and it shows with our commentators. The style is too American, just like our style of play is too influenced by American sports. Listening to Taylor Twellman talk about soccer makes it quite obvious...someone who made it to the highest levels of American soccer (but not Europe) can understand it so poorly.
NO ONE GIVES A SHIT ABOUT WHAT LINEUP YOU USE IN FIFA
recycledhumans
DFWTX
Post #77
Wednesday August 21, 2013 2:13pm

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 941
I wouldn't go as far as to say that in order to be an announcer you'd have to have done all that since birth, but immersion is a must, for sure. It was probably 2006 when I got into soccer, after having played a single season as a kid 15 years prior. I may not be the best analyst on the forums but I think it's fair to say no one could or would say that I don't know what I'm talking about. The same can be applied to someone that has previous announcing experience, they just need to be brought up to speed and the rest will come.

That said, I think Gus has a bit too much of a "fake announcer voice" and I'm more in favor of people with real voices like Wynalda and Twellman. Didn't care for the sound of Cobi's voice though, not sure why.

dolcem
Post #78
Saturday August 24, 2013 5:06am

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 959
Original post from recycledhumans

I wouldn't go as far as to say that in order to be an announcer you'd have to have done all that since birth, but immersion is a must, for sure. It was probably 2006 when I got into soccer, after having played a single season as a kid 15 years prior. I may not be the best analyst on the forums but I think it's fair to say no one could or would say that I don't know what I'm talking about. The same can be applied to someone that has previous announcing experience, they just need to be brought up to speed and the rest will come.

That said, I think Gus has a bit too much of a "fake announcer voice" and I'm more in favor of people with real voices like Wynalda and Twellman. Didn't care for the sound of Cobi's voice though, not sure why.


Yeah, maybe since birth is a bit extreme, but you get the picture. You have to be really devoted to learn soccer in 4 years as an adult and you'd need really good instruction. From Americans who know American sports along with soccer (and can explain to Gus that soccer is totally different from American sports, although sadly even American coaches, players, and journalists seem to miss this very important point) and of course people from soccer powerhouse countries who know the game. And there is no way Gus will be ready. After three years he still doesn't get it. It will be embarrassing to have the World Cup called someone who doesn't understand the sport. Soccer isn't like football or basketball. It's a lot harder to understand and you have to really get it to call a game. You have to be a commentator, not an announcer. The latter is what they use for American sports.
NO ONE GIVES A SHIT ABOUT WHAT LINEUP YOU USE IN FIFA
dolcem
Post #79
Sunday August 25, 2013 10:43am

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 959
To be a commentator you need to be a fan of the game as well. Well-liked commentators are ones who fans feel they can relate to...that understand the subtle nuances of the game and get excited about similar things. Gus hasn't gone through the experience we have. He hasn't spent years watching soccer. I just can't listen to someone who hasn't watched soccer for very long be the most heard voice of US soccer.
NO ONE GIVES A SHIT ABOUT WHAT LINEUP YOU USE IN FIFA
Lykou11601
Post #80
Wednesday August 28, 2013 2:38am

Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts: 122
I was looking through my DVR and re-watched a few of our games from the past year. I've never liked Twellman, but duuudeee. I really hate the guy. I know this isn't news or anything. I guess I'm just asking what you guys think the chances of having a different commentator for the world cup. Not Gus. We're fine with the play by play from Ian Darke. But he needs a better partner. I cannot stress enough how much I loathe Twellman. Even if he wasn't a biased fanboy who's knowledge of the game is questionable, I would still hate his voice. If we want an American commentator we're going to have to do some digging. If only it were possible to teach a hockey commentator, like pat foley, about soccer in time for the world cup... But yeah, any chance I won't have to hear Taylor kill the game for me?

skangles
DC
Post #81
Wednesday August 28, 2013 2:47am

Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts: 1,271
We have a world class American commentator and he works for ESPN. His name is Max Bretos. The dude is so good that FSN used to have to call games by himself, no need for a color commentator when you have Bretos.

I agree with you on Twellman. John Harkes is another really aweful commentator. I don't know why we assume that you need to be a good American player to work in the commentator's box. I'm sure there are a few former MLS journeymen out there that would do a solid job.

AVFC
Post #82
Wednesday August 28, 2013 3:11am

Joined May 2013
Total Posts: 36
Personally, I like JP Dellacamera and Rob Stone. Wynalda is irritating but entertaining. McBride isn't fantastic, but I respect him far too much to criticize him. Cobi Jones needs to find another profession. Gus Johnson is that type of guy who thinks that if he mentions Maradona or some other "obscure" soccer player (ie not Pele), people will assume that he's in the know. I feel bad for how pathetic he sounds at times, explaining things as if we know as little about soccer as he does.

dolcem
Post #83
Wednesday August 28, 2013 4:33pm

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 959
Twellman is so bad. It worries me when I hear him speak...this is the same pool of people we get our coaches from and it seems like he doesn't even get the basics despite being one of the best MLS players of all time. Sure, he can comment on something coach always told him to do (run down the line, Taylor!) but he doesn't seem to understand the overall flow of a soccer game. He totally has the wrong approach, and if this is how we're teaching our kids to understand the game, we will never produce a world class field player. And it's actually important that we have commentators who "get it," because they teach the public about the sport (especially here because of how new it is).

You have to admit though, Darke and Twellman are hilarious. You couldn't write it any better: the well-established, knowledgeable English commentator having to dumb everything down and explain the basics (for the mainstream TV audience) accompanied by an American MLS legend who, despite actually having played the sport, knows much less about it, and only knows how to root for and analyze the US rather than provide some sort of objective commentary.
NO ONE GIVES A SHIT ABOUT WHAT LINEUP YOU USE IN FIFA
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A big question for U.S. fans heading into the World Cup is surely on Jozy Altidore and just what is plaguing the young striker at Sunderland.
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