ABC’s Day 2 World Cup coverage, I believe, was appalling. Sure, Marcelo Balboa misspoke and said “Michael Beckham” during the England match, but that was an unfortunate slip.
But what I was more pissed off at was lead commentator Dave O’Brien. First off, his manner of speaking is very slowww and monotonous (great for baseball). It felt like he slowed down the game even when the action on the field was like pinball.
Second, O’Brien was clueless. He referred to Beckham’s cross, which led to the own goal as, quote, “a rocket” and later “a screaming shot.” Sorry ABC, but it was a mild cross, not a bullet.
Third, the man babbles on about stuff which has no relevance to the game (i.e. weaving in references to basketball about Paulo Wanchope). Concentrate on the match. We don’t want to hear nonsense.
Fourth, and finally, don’t talk down to us. Towards the end of the match when Balboa said that Crouch had to be careful when he got his first yellow card, and Balboa went on to say that if he received a second yellow card that Crouch would have been sent off. Duhhhh! Then O’Brien had the cheek to add that if Crouch would have been sent off, England would be down to ten men.
Obviously ABC has decided that the target audience for matches is the uneducated American soccer fan (I mean that in the nicest way, ie someone who hasn’t watched the match before). That’s bloody ridiculous. ABC were taking their name (i.e. A..B..C..) way too seriously!
I watched the Sweden match on ‘mute.’
And I watched the Argentina match on Univision, which was a MUCH better package. The build-up was there (ie national anthems, and the hype before the match), which is severely lacking from the ABC coverage (for the England match, the coverage started literally a second before the kickoff began).
Plus, with Univision, even though I don’t understand Spanish very well, the commentators were far more passionate and exciting to listen to.
I may have given up on ABC/ESPN. What do you think? Am I wrong? What are your opinions regarding the commentating thus far?