Watching Aston Villa versus Everton today on Fox Soccer Channel, it’s such a troubling admission that I have a problem. I love football. I can’t get enough of it. I sit at work on a Monday afternoon and wonder about the Man City result. On a Thursday morning, instead of paying attention to quality control on the files in front of me, I’m imagining the possible opponents of my beloved Portsmouth in the next round of the Carling Cup. And my weekends are spent in England, Germany, Spain, Italy and maybe even Brazil with thousands of rabid fans, cheering the highs and bemoaning the lows through my television.
But I have to do it with frustration, as my TV is often turned to Fox Soccer Channel, the ex-girlfriend whose number I can’t throw away. I love FSC for one reason – they put on the beautiful game and little else, outside of a guaranteed Proactiv commercial during every break. The feed is of poor quality, as volume levels randomly go up and down. The picture goes choppy or freezes, then returns a few seconds later to taunt me, knowing I’m no longer looking at a live shot of the action.
The picture quality is, quite plainly, atrocious for any sport. After a summer of being treated to HD on the ABC / ESPN family of networks for the World Cup, I endure something that shouldn’t even be called any level of “definition.” It only reminds me of the days when my cable box had a dial on it, and the channel numbers stopped at 36.
I know that Fox is not entirely responsible for Verizon’s FiOS not offering the channel in HD, but can’t they carry some of the blame? I get TLC and ABC Family in HD – why do I need to see reenactments of women who didn’t know they were pregnant in hi-def? Is HD really going to make Sixteen Candles a visual masterpiece? I would like Fox to, quite simply, try harder to get FSC HD on all available providers. No excuses. It’s the beautiful game. Watching football on FSC is essentially what it would be like if the producers of Mad Men had Christina Hendricks wear a beekeeper’s suit every week.
Much has already been said about FSC’s other programming choices, so I won’t rehash all of it. However, I can confirm that I am NOT interested in what Susan Sarandon has to say on Soccer Talk Live tomorrow. Really? Susan Sarandon? I think she’s a very talented actress, but in the first few shows of a supposedly “cutting-edge” football program, this is who they’re booking? Was Dina Lohan not available? Or can we perhaps expect Flavor Flav on an upcoming episode?
I love the sport of football. Nothing else comes close for me. But Fox Soccer Channel certainly presents obstacles in my love affair with the game. Like that ex-girlfriend of mine, there’s a seemingly endless list of bad qualities. However, all the negatives are put up against the one thing that’s done so well. FSC shows football matches. A lot of them. So, like the ex’s phone number, until a better option comes along or it changes dramatically for the better, I’ll hang on to FSC.
But they should be worried about how I’ll feel tomorrow.