FOX Sports soccer pundit Warren Barton says that Gus Johnson is one of the best soccer commentators in the world.
Johnson, who has only been commentating soccer games on TV for one year, is “as good as anybody in the world,” according to Barton who was interviewed by The Big Lead. Here’s what Barton said:
“I think Gus Johnson is as good as anybody in the world. Yes Martin Tyler is the benchmark but you’ve got Gus Johnson 15-20 years in the game and he’s right behind him. I’m a big fan, not just because he’s with us, but for what he does with the game, how strong he is to put his reputation on the line, to do that. That takes not only guts, but it takes confidence to do that and he’s got all our confidence and the network behind him.”
Barton’s words are another example of how FOX Soccer is out of touch with soccer fans in the United States. To tout Johnson’s 15-20 years of experience in basketball, UFC, NASCAR and other American sports as transferable to his skills as a soccer commentator is laughable. Johnson’s embarrassing commentaries for FOX Soccer last season were distracting to the viewer who just wanted to watch a soccer game without having to wince at the repeated mistakes that Johnson made on live television.
To even mention Gus Johnson in the same breath as Martin Tyler is ridiculous. Tyler and many other pros, many of them Americans such as Phil Schoen and Glenn Davis, have been paying their dues and perfecting their craft for decades, not just the one year and handful of games that Johnson puts in on a part-time basis.
With Barton coming out to defend Johnson, he now joins Dave O’Brien on the short list of industry talent who believe in Gus.
In his quote above, Barton mentions that he’s a big fan because of what Gus Johnson does with the game. But what exactly has Gus Johnson done “with the game”?? That is, other than to shout that anything that comes close to the net IS ON FIRE!?
FOX Sports has already invested a massive amount of money in signing Gus Johnson to a lucrative contract, so Warren Barton and his FOX Sports colleagues will continue to try to defend Johnson no matter what the viewers think. Based on the latest PR campaign, expect Johnson to return to the FOX Sports 1 airwaves to commentate a UEFA Champions League match next month. And prepare yourself for another massive backlash on social media from soccer fans who are sick and tired of being treated like second-class citizens with an inferior commentator ruining games.