I have to admit that ABC commentator Dave O’Brien’s work is improving as each match unfolds, but the man is as passionate as a dead fish.
Perfect example was one of the key moments of today’s Germany against Sweden second-round match. With Germany leading two-nil in the early stages of the second half, Sweden went down the flanks and attacked. Here’s exactly what O’Brien said, in his deliberately slow and monotonous tone:
“Ibrahimovic breaking away, nice pass into the box. And there will be a whistle and a foul inside that box. Finally a call going against Germany in the second half.”
What!? This was a penalty! Not simply a “foul inside [the] box.” O’Brien was so understated and unethusiastic in calling the penalty. In fact, the word “penalty” wasn’t even mentioned by O’Brien until Marcelo Balboa chirped in a few seconds later. TV viewers watching ABC, handicapped by only what we can see on the screen, weren’t even sure whether it was a penalty (until Balboa made the call). And I wonder, I really wonder, whether O’Brien realized that a “foul inside that box” equals a penalty in the rules of soccer.