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Fox Football Fone-In Light On Substance

fox football fone in Fox Football Fone In Light On Substance
Was I the only one who was completely bored while watching the new season debut of Fox Football Fone-In last night on Fox Soccer Channel?

A lot of the boredom was due to the show’s decision to go as far back as June and conjure up stale topics such as the Gold Cup and the U-20 World Cup, and then July events such as David Beckham’s debut and the Asia Cup, etc.

While they did mix in some news and discussion from the past week, I felt the show could have been much more interesting if they focused on timely topics such as:

  • Jack Warner’s comments about England and his snub against England which could impact their chances of hosting the 2018 World Cup,

  • The U.S.’s upcoming friendly against Brazil and why the match against Mexico was cancelled because of infighting between Telemundo and Univision,
  • The Premier League’s latest sweeps across YouTube this past weekend where goal highlights have been removed within minutes — and whether this is a good or bad thing for soccer fans,
  • And what’s going wrong (again) at White Hart Lane and whether Martin Jol has what it takes to be Spurs manager (I recommended last season that he get the sack because he his team consistently underwhelms and he’s done as much as he can at the club).

Sure, the combination of Nick Webster and Steven Cohen works well. The two of them together allow the conversations to flow a lot more freely and it sometimes feels like you’re watching and listening to two blokes at the pub discussing topics. But what matters most is that the topics need to be of interest and timely.

Based on the show last night, Fox Football Fone-In must believe that the majority of viewers have been hibernating the past two months. Rather than talking down to their viewership, I’d much prefer to see topics discussed that aren’t covered on World Soccer Daily and are deeper in context.

With a two hour show, there’s plenty of time to get into some very analytical topics about soccer that would be perfect for TV (and I don’t mean the ones mentioned above in the bulletpoints). I’ll give the show a chance and will see if they go down that path. I’m willing to forgive them for one poor show, but let’s see where they go from here.

Fox Football Fone-In airs every Tuesday night during the season at 8pm ET on Fox Soccer Channel.

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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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11 Responses to Fox Football Fone-In Light On Substance

  1. jmansor says:

    Tough show last night, but I think it should be more topical next week. Also, I would love to get a better explanation of the US-Mexico debacle.

  2. Kartik says:

    I think Steven has been told to tone it down by FSC, because the reality is that the very same topics on WSD he is more animated and opinionated about then he was last night. The show was pretty amatuerish last night with the new Nick clearly not having the chemistry down with Steven yet, but of course providing far more in the way of real insight than the departed Nick who knew nearly zilch about the game.

    Last night’s discussion on MLS was good, but the Copa, and Gold Cup segements were a waste of time, and the EPL coverage was really lacking.

  3. Kartik says:

    Gaffer, you and I know it doesn’t matter who manages Spurs. They are a cursed club. I actually thought Glen Hoddle did a reasonable job there and George Graham for that matter, but they always dissapoint.

  4. JLay says:

    Agree with you 100%, Gaff. I watched about 15 minutes worth of the show last night and changed channels in disgust.

    I would understand the dumbing-down if the show was broadcast on a mainstream network like ESPN, but it’s not.

    Maybe the subsequent shows will improve…

  5. Lowell says:

    What’s the chance that someone as passionate as Kartik gets on the show and does a true recap/finger on the pulse take of the MLS.

    Is it me or has everyone lost sight of the fact that Pele was a goal scorer and Becks is a passer?

    Do you go to a basketball game to see Shaq or Mutumbo block shots or rather to see LeBron dunk? I dont watch the NFL to see the d-line force the offense to go 3 and out, but rather to see a hail mary hauled in by the fingertips as the receiver dances into the end zone.

    There is no point “bending” it like Becks if it isnt a shot on goal.

    However I give Landon Donovan a lot of credit for still playing even though he hasnt touched the ball, sniffed a goal, or remotely been productive since Becky laned in the US.

  6. MJ says:

    Steven and Nick Geber and Steven and Howard on WSD are a much better partnership than Steven and Nick Webster.

    Kartik’s right. Anyone who listens to WSD knows that the Steven Cohen who cohosts FFF is not the same Steven Cohen who cohosts WSD. He’s so much more entertaining on WSD and ever since his comment about Liverpool and the Hillsborough disaster he’s been boring on FFF, quite frankly.

  7. Eplnfl says:

    A light weight opening for sure. Not certain yet who was to blame for it. Maybe, it was a editorial choice to review some events over the summer on the first show.

    Steve Cohen maybe floundering a bit with his new co-host. Geber may have been more of a influence on Cohen then some thought.

    Remember that the purpose of the show is to promote FSC’s product. So a long discourse on an event not to be seen on FSC won’t help raatings. But thats what makes the EPL Talk and MLS Talk podcasts so important to the fans. They have no event to promote. They can speak at length on any subject of interest.

  8. riocharlie says:

    With all of the south floridians on here, you outta get a knowledgable group of 4-5 folks and go to gol tv and put it to them to get it right. Audiences deserve that

  9. Anonymous says:

    A quick question re FFF: Why did the other Nick leave? Does anyone know?
    The show last night was OK. I am sure it will get better with time. Webster actually knows soccer(somewhat).

  10. dave in richmond says:

    I disagree, Gaff. For maybe the first time ever, I watched the show from start to finish. Webster in for Geber is a MAJOR improvement for me – more substance and less snide humor. Give the guys a break as they catch up on some of the soccer that took place over their summer hiatus. I credit them for holding viewers by keeping their EPL topics until later in the show – I used to tune out after the first 2-3 segments when they moved to MLS. Not all FSC viewers are WSD listeners, so the show will get better and better.

  11. MJ says:

    The reason Nick Geber left both FFF and WSD to pursue his poker commitments, which didn’t leave him time to host either show anymore.

    If you listen to WSD regularly, Steven is always talking about how Geber pops his head in their studio for Sirius occasionally and whatnot because he’s in there the same time WSD is broadcasted.

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