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ABC Drops Another Clanger

dave obrien ABC Drops Another Clanger

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.


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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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3 Responses to ABC Drops Another Clanger

  1. Yannick says:

    LOL I must say that’s quite funny. You’re making me happier and happier that I’m not getting feeds from ABC.

  2. The Gaffer says:

    I just realized a funny thing.

    Even though I don’t speak Spanish, I would have known it was penalty if I was watching the Univision feed of the Germany v Sweden match.

    They would have been screaming “Pena, Pena, Pena” at the top of their lungs, translating into “penalty, penalty, penalty!:

    Plus with the amount of excitement and passion in their voices, I would realize it must be a penalty!

  3. Anonymous says:

    It reminds me of the movie “Major League” where Bob Eucker takes a nap and the 2nd guy takes pbp. There was a line drive with a nice diving catch which was described with “Fly ball…Caught”

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