Well it’s time to discuss some topics on what’s been going on for the past week. As we all know about Announcer Gate, John Paul Dellacamera (His full name) has been the voice of American Soccer for as long as I can remember.
He has been on T.V. for ESPN during past UEFA Champions League Matches, MLS Match of the Week, US Men’s & Women’s National Team matches as well as a former MetroStars/RBNY announcer. Recently he has been hired as the New Philadelphia Union T.V. Announcer on the local Philly ABC station. He was also the voice that called Paul Caliguri’s goal heard around the world when the USA defeated Trinidad & Tobago down in Port of Spain to qualify for the 1990 World Cup.
I have met JP in person during the 2007 RBNY season and I can tell you all he is a wonderful person to talk with, he will give you his opinion and advice whenever you need it. I have nothing against Derek Rae or Adrian Healey whom I also enjoy listening to their commentary for MLS, US Soccer & UEFA Champions League on ESPN. But this is an American network and for my money JP deserves to be apart of the TV broadcasting team and not relegated to the Radio.
For those who have typed their comments wanting Dellacamera gone, I can honestly say that I am ashamed at you. This snobbery has gone too far when it comes to those who announce the matches on TV. How are we to grow the game here in the States on the field as well as off the field? While I agree that Dave O’Brien was not the right man to be the lead announcer on ESPN’s 2006 World Cup Coverage, that doesn’t mean we have to stop allowing American’s to have a job doing play-by-play on the sport.
You can give me all the example’s of why it’s better for a British commentator to do the job, but if you want to continue the snobbery of it then do me and everyone a favor that is upset by this. Call Sky Sports & BBC Sport and ask them to teach our guys on how it’s done. Don’t sit there and continue to type on your computers and complain, do us the favor and beg them to teach our American announcers on how it’s done.
Now it’s time to look at the C.B.A. problems. Yes we know that it’s not signed yet and as Randy Capps has informed us a mediator has offered his services to both the League & players union to try and help push the problem into a solution.
As much as I want to see the players get what they want and to see these idiotic rules disappear completely, I hate to say that these annoyances must remain. I keep remembering the end of the 2001 season after both Floridian sides in the Miami Fusion and Tampa Bay Mutiny were contracted and when only three owners helped keep the league afloat. I didn’t like it, but I did understand why it had to be done.
With sixteen clubs starting this season only four of them are still paying rent to facilities that they don’t own. DC United still plays at RFK Stadium; Houston still plays at Robertson Stadium on the campus of U of Houston, Kansas City plays at a minor league baseball stadium & San Jose plays at Buckshaw on the campus of Santa Clara. Thankfully the Wizards Stadium project looks like construction is about to start.
There is still plenty of work to be done to make this league better. My feeling is that the players should just swallow their pride and sign the agreement, because there is more to lose than to gain for them, the league and us the supporters. Just one single day of a strike is enough blood in the water for sports writers outside of our sport like Jim Rome sharpening his claws and getting ready to toot his horn that this league is dead. One wrong move and all the positives that have been built will completely fall apart and this is not the time to smack the table and say “We Strike”.
I hope that both sides will listen to this mediator and will shake hands. Sign their John Hancock’s to the new C.B.A. and get ready for the 2010 season. The players time will come in the future, but as of right now just get ready for the season and let’s have a strong American squad for this summer’s World Cup.