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From Bad to Worse, Gus Johnson and FOX Sports’ Coverage of Champions League Sinks to a New Low

gus johnson eric wynalda From Bad to Worse, Gus Johnson and FOX Sports Coverage of Champions League Sinks to a New Low

During the past two weeks, FOX Sports’ PR representatives have been busy at work securing interviews with top media outlets such as Esquire, Associated Press, Sports Illustrated, New York Post and, bizarrely, Rolling Stone. Their mission was to generate positive press about soccer commentator Gus Johnson in the lead-up to the UEFA Champions League Final in order to combat all of the negativity about the voice of FOX’s soccer coverage.

To FOX’s credit, the mainstream sports media bought the Gus Johnson story hook, line and sinker, taking the words of Johnson and FOX executives verbatim and, without any counterpoints or criticism, glorified the man that FOX Sports has groomed to be the voice of World Cup 2018 and 2022 (as well as Women’s World Cups 2015 and 2019).

But more importantly, the above-mentioned publications allowed FOX Sports to change the message. FOX’s new positioning about Gus Johnson is that he’s an “American voice” for American soccer fans instead of a British voice for hardcore soccer viewers.

In the Associated Press article, FOX Sports President Eric Shanks said it this way:

“I completely realize that Gus and Eric, having two American voices, is a change for the hard core, absolutely. It’s a change that I believe in.”

Obviously Shanks believes in the change since he championed it and rubber-stamped Johnson’s exorbitant contract. But the new positioning of Gus and Wynalda as “American voices” falls flat on its face because it’s not true. It’s not what soccer fans want.

Soccer fans want authenticity. Soccer fans want the best talent available to call a game, no matter what accent they speak with. The criticism of Gus Johnson has never focused on recommending English commentators. All along, the debate has focused on hiring the most authentic voices for the sport.

Soccer fans in the US don’t want just “American voices.” Soccer fans want the best voices for the job. If the decision is to hire American soccer voices, more power to FOX. But instead of hiring two American voices that are rookies when it comes to announcing soccer games, why not hire the best American talent available who are (1) more exciting than Gus Johnson, (2) qualified to do the job and (3) authentic — who know how to announce the game instead of the woefully weak combo of Johnson and Wynalda?

In my articles on the topic during the past 12 months, I’ve repeatedly made suggestions of better qualified commentators who could and should be hired full-time by FOX Sports — experienced American commentators such as John Strong, Phil Schoen, Glenn Davis and Steve Cangialosi. But the suggestions have fallen on deaf ears. Reason being is that FOX doesn’t care nor listen to the overwhelming majority of soccer fans in the US who are critical of the poor job that Gus has done calling games.

Instead of interacting with soccer fans and engaging with the soccer community, FOX is sticking to its guns with Gus Johnson and have gone to mainstream media to change the message, hoping that the trickle-down effect will influence sports fans. It won’t. Soccer fans are intelligent, well-educated and can see through FOX’s attempts to change the message.

Turning to the commentary of the UEFA Champions League Final today between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, it was honestly a painful experience having to listen to Johnson and Wynalda suck the excitement and drama out of the game. My chief criticism of Johnson is not his voice or accent. It’s his delivery. It still feels (and probably will always feel) like an alien plucked from another planet, forced to call soccer games. He doesn’t commentate. He screams. “THE WORLD’S MOST EXPENSIVE PLAYER… MONEY. WELL. SPENT.” He doesn’t speak in complete sentences. He’s the king of catchphrases.

While I enjoyed the game, the experience of having to listen to Johnson and Wynalda make mistake after mistake was irritating to say the least.

Here are some of my observations from their commentary of the game:

1) Gus Johnson’s announcing style is getting worse. After reading out pages and pages of statistics (if his announcing career doesn’t work out for him, there’s always a job as a statistician), Johnson tired in the second half and got lazy with his commentary. I pity the soccer fans who had to listen to the Johnson commentary on radio as they must have had no idea what was happening on the pitch. Johnson’s tendency to shout out player names whenever anything remotely exciting happens is tiresome (“BALE!!!!” — followed by several seconds of silence. “RONAAALDO,” followed by more silence. “DI MARIA A LASER!” and so on). There’s no description. He just seems to shout the first thing that comes into his head.

Other annoying habits of Gus Johnson include calling a Ronaldo free kick that went wide a “low, line drive” (this isn’t baseball), the way he repeated the fact that Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid were from the same city several times during the broadcast, and his mispronunciation of the Atletico Madrid team name. Johnson repeatedly referred to Atletico Madrid as “ATHletico Madrid.” There’s only one “Athletic” in La Liga, and that’s Athletic Bilbao. Atletico Madrid is pronounced without the H.

2) As bad as Gus Johnson was, Eric Wynalda was even worse. His commentary was high school-level at times. How often does he have to utter “WOW, what a game” or throw in “WOW” to describe an exciting moment in a match. How is that analysis or insight?

And his analysis that Diego Costa’s injury and exit from the game in the ninth minute was “scripted” is inane. Why would a coach want to waste a substitution just to script Diego Costa into playing for 10 minutes and then walking out of the game? To make matters even worse, FOX Sports’ soccer analyst Warren Barton repeated the same thing at half time, saying “Obviously they had something planned. Maybe it was psychological.”

It’s this type of analysis that destroys everything they do well. It’s a perfect example of why I’m still concerned about what FOX Sports is going to do with the World Cup.

Since FOX Sports won’t listen to the complaints of soccer fans about how bad the coverage is, here are some select quotes from actual World Soccer Talk readers regarding today’s UEFA Champions League Final:

“Gus Johnson offers nothing as a match announcer other than name checks, time checks and shouting whenever the ball is in the penalty area. Other than that it’s mostly dead air. He has absolutely no clue what he is watching.”

“Do they pair Gus with Wynalda so Gus sounds better by comparison?”

“Well boy am I excited now if Gus is shouting. I’m so glad Fox has him to help me understand my soccer emotions. And he’s been very helpful telling me the distance between Mardid and Lisbon. And that Madrid has two teams – one in white and one in red and white stripes. Thanks Fox. Thanks Gus.”

“Gus has used up all the stats on his sheet and we are only 20 minutes in. Second time he’s informed me it’s an all Spanish final.”

With Johnson, today’s commentary is an example of how “good” it’ll probably get with him. I can’t see him reaching the level of an average professional soccer announcer. And I don’t see him changing his style any more than he has done already. Unless FOX Sports wises up and realizes they’ve made a mistake, or their advertisers understand that their brands are being tarnished by being associated with an inferior TV product, I don’t see things changing or getting any better.

FOX’s coverage of soccer has moved from being a joke to something that’s just second-rate. Unfortunately, I have no confidence or faith that it’ll get any better in the future. We’re stuck with it unless soccer fans continue to make their voices heard.

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. View all posts by Christopher Harris →

176 Responses to From Bad to Worse, Gus Johnson and FOX Sports’ Coverage of Champions League Sinks to a New Low

  1. Harry Cee says:

    thankfully in the bar where I watched the game, the volume was on low. The commentary from the bar crowd was much better.

    • clint says:

      The restating of the overlooked foul in the box during the first half, which was far more obvious than the foul called in the second resulting in Ronaldo getting the free kick, and other discussions of ref behavior were totally unstated.

  2. Blaque Costeau says:

    Admittedly, I thought some of the comments about Johnson’s announcing have been overstated. This time, however, I fully agree. He was awful.

    He’s not an awful announcer in general; it’s just that he tries to call soccer like he does basketball and football. There’s just not that much urgency in soccer. Furthermore, his reliance to fill silence with calling each person’s last name when they have the ball is really, really annoying.

    And what’s worse is that you’re absolutely right: Wynalda is WORSE!

  3. Evan says:

    Wynalda also thought that Gabi was a defender.

  4. Michael says:

    So they aren’t Darke and Macca….but I like Gus’ enthusiasm.

    • Kei says:

      If enthusiasm is all he has to offer, then he’s better off going to a bar and losing his mind while watching the game unfold.

    • John J. says:

      He’s not even Phil Schoen or J.P. Dellacamera.

      Hell he’s not even Rob Stone. And Rob’s not great.

  5. Stephen Lucey says:

    Pathetic, Gaffer. Sitting by, waiting for FT to post what you’d already prepared? Wynalda had his best effort by far, was actually enthusiastic and willing to criticize and state an opinion. Johnson mostly stayed out of the way, which is an immense sign of growth.

    If Costa comes off after 10 minutes, surely that is a known quantity on the Atletico bench?

    • Kei says:

      Wynalda’s “best effort by far” was still embarrassingly poor.

      • Stephen Lucey says:

        I won’t argue with that. But it was a brilliant game, and if you (not you specifically) let those two ruin it, you’re the bigger fool.

        • Guy says:

          Stephen, you are basically saying we should lie back and enjoy it. Not going to happen….nor should it.

  6. MrD7000 says:

    Just goes to show how far Fox has plummeted. When compared to the superb NBCS footie program they are not even to be taken seriously. Shocking commentary and i hread one say early in the first hale “what a great foul that was”. I cringe with embarrassment. God knows what the produces were thinking when they assembled that line-up. Terrible program.

  7. Robert Jackson says:

    I’m a huge Gus fan. I enjoy him on CBB/CFB and like the ‘style’ of ‘passionate’ announcers.

    Something just never feels right when I’m watching soccer with him. Your analysis breaks it down more but I agree with many points here.

    Maybe it’s because I know him from other sports, but I just don’t see a future for Gus with calling any soccer matches. I’m surprised FOX, with all of their resources, didn’t go after Phil and Ray, but I’d think they’re pretty good with beIN and its stability of having a ton of soccer. Unless FOX were to pickup rights to one or two of the other top-tier leagues (EPL, La Liga, Serie A, etc.) I doubt they’d want to leave.

    • John J. says:

      The problem is the authenticity. His language is wrong. It’s like watching baseball and the announcer says “The short stop passes the ball to 1st plate for the out.” It sounds like you don’t know what you’re talking about and you stand out like a sore thumb. When you watch a hockey game the announcer never says it’s a “pass interference.” he knwos what a cross check or boarding is. If you watch the game you don’t have to fake it. He doesn’t seem out of place with baskeball cause he doesn’t have to fake it.

    • Gus Gonesoon says:

      During the FA Cup final he kept saying Buh-Car-Eh Sanja. Not Back-Ah-Ree. Drove me nuts. No, wait. DROVE!!! ME!! NUTTTSSSSSS!!! (Gussy Style). lololol :P – I always feel embarrassed when I’m forced to watch Gus and Fake old-guy Eric on Fox. ——– Wynalda, with the glassea, and the “elder statesman” I’m so distinguished vibe. Gahhh. Barf. Dude’s trying to seem like he’s mid-fifties already. Like a 19 yr old with a sh$&ty half-patched “beard” thinking he can pass for 35. Just doesn’t work. At all. ——– ZERO-POINT-ZERO. Ack. Ack.

  8. Sloth says:

    Another irritating example of the ineptitude was Gus switching back and forth in his pronunciation of Gabi throughout the match — Gabby and Gahby. I would better understand choosing one and sticking with it, but he is so unsure of what he is watching he can’t even apply consistency to things that he should know before the match even starts. Just terrible.

    • jor says:

      It’s not the first time. I get it, he can’t pronounce things. But why switch in the middle of the game?

  9. Kei says:

    Did the production team not give the pronunciation guide for the player names to Gus or Wynalda? It was borderline hilarious hearing them call out “Day-vid Villa” and “Mah-dritch” every time they touched the ball.

    Gus Johnson stopped calling the action on the pitch after Ramos goal. He basically abandoned the bare minimum of what was required for a commentator of any sport, let alone a soccer announcer calling the biggest match in club football. It was so embarrassing.

    I’m sure the rah-rah flag-waving American crowd will say something along the lines of “only Eurosnobs hate Gus Johnson” but it’s impossible to overlook how piss-poor he and Wynalda have been in calling these high-profile matches.

    • RJ says:

      Hey, we ALL hate Gus Johnson. Not just the Eurosnobs.

      • dhr says:

        agree. best way to deal with gus “mr. soccer announcer for idiots” johnosn is just turn off the volume. no audio is better thsn sn idiot.

    • rkujay says:

      Carlo Enchiladi…Christian (not Xabi) Alonzo. Then he says NOTHING when Cassilas is chipped for a goal. Nothing. Dead air. Why not wear a sign which says, “I got a super huge contract and I don’t care to do my homework and learn a few things about the game or the names of the participants” ?

  10. Kei says:

    Coasta! Day-vid Villa! Ickur Casillas! Mah-drich! Gabby! Carva-hall! BURN-A-BAYOU!!!

  11. Todd says:

    While I completely agree, I think FOX knows what they have here: soccer fans who will tune in to their matches regardless of who is commentating. So, we will continue to tune in and watch these matches even with the most pathetic of announcers because we love soccer. Sure, most of us will mute it and find alternative commentary when possible, but from their end all they see are the number of viewers.
    The only other answer to this is to boycott FOX. Find alternative (pirated?) streams or simpky not watch at all.
    In the meantime they can point to their viewership numbers and continue to force feed us gus johnson all the way to the world cup. There is, quite literally, nothing stopping them from doing this.
    Once the next world cup comes for FOX they will have enough viewer numbers to warrant keeping him.
    The opini

  12. DiscoBallsDeep says:

    its embarrassing, as an american soccer fan, to know their are international fans watching this coverage. it’s like they were reading @USAsoccerguy tweets.

  13. NashRambler says:

    Thanks to comments on WorldSoccerTalk I’ve been made aware of the Talksport site which offers live match commentary. I watched the FA Cup Final last week and the Champions League Final today with the sound on the TV off while I listened to the Talksport commentary.

    I will continue this practice on all future Fox broadcasts with Johnson and or Wynalda whether Champions League, FA Cup, or the World Cup.

    While I am grateful to Fox for broadcasting these events on FS1 and over-the-air on Fox Network it is deeply disappointing the way they disrespect the viewers with such poor commentators.

    The way Christopher has described the situation it is as if Fox is saying “Screw You” to U.S. soccer fans. My response is “Screw You” to Fox, I will never listen to the mediocre commentary from Johnson and Wynalda again.

    • Jordan says:

      Unfortunately, this practice does nothing to really harm Fox as a way to force a change. I don’t think their ratings change at all with mute. My goodness, I wish it did.

  14. zulunation says:

    Screamers shouldnt do English language broadcasts of soccer.

  15. Rick says:

    By mistake I recorded the game on FoxDeportes in Spanish. I didn’t understand a word but enjoyed the whole game- I didn’t have to listen to Gus Johnson. HAHAHA

    • Raedae says:

      Actually I watched today’s final on FOX deportes and like you, I found the Spanish (which I don’t understand) far more enjoyable than the annoyance of Gus.

      In fact, I’ve been watching games in the Spanish ever since FOX brought Gus back.

  16. EPLNFL says:

    I am a big supporter if American vocies of the game. Gus Johnson has been a quality voice for other American sports especially basketball. Fox has tired to bring his talent to soccer and unfortunately it does not seem like the the game and Gus Johnson’s style will ever be a good match. By all accounts Johnson has tried hard to improve his knowledge of the game but that seems to be something he can’t completely master. Soccer fans in Amercia are a passionate and knowledgable group about the game, an announcer must meet both of those exepectations.

    As far as “Waldo” goes he always has and always will sound like he cares less.

  17. cnl. onions says:

    What annoys me is that two American voices(John Strong and McBride) called the Europa League final and I really enjoyed them. The answer is right under their nose.

    Just sucks that my concentration is completely thrown off by the commentating. Can’t enjoy the game as much.

    Hate how Wynalda is so strongly opinionated about certain things and is clearly wrong. Was calling out Carvajal and neglected to acknowledge the replay where he was blatantly caught. He’s a douche that I have no desire to hear.

    • Bo says:

      Which is another reason why I’ve enjoyed the Europa league this season- a Gus free experience!

    • Gus Gonesoon says:

      Not McBride. No no no no no no no no no. Oh, god. No. Dare I say it… I’d take Gus over McBride. Brian, seems like a nice guy, but holy cow, that dude just murders the microphone. He is simply N O T a good commentator. Period. It’s painful at best, suicide worthy at it’s worst. For me, trying to watch the Europa final with him and JS was simply not happening. Think I lasted three minutes. Game over. I waited a bit, picked up the Euro coverage that night.

      • john says:

        good at headers though, McBride.
        now I know why Mrs. Wynalda liked both Eric and John Harkes — they are similarly appalling when speaking.

  18. Jordan says:

    Its sad really. Makes me mad when I realize they had a way better announcing team in John Strong and McBride who are just toiling away with Europa League games.

  19. nick says:

    I might not be in the top 100 PBP announcers in the world and all the readers of this blog may never get the opportunity to call a match on TV but even I can guarantee the following…every single one of us can read from a stat page and scream a players name anytime they get near the penalty area.

    I actually feel sorry for Gus and I know speaking as a fellow commentator that he probably has a pit in his stomach every time they ask him to call a game.

    He should go and speak to Shanks and either 1. ask for professional help (I am available) or 2. ask to be taken off this bizarre experiment that simply is ruining his career.

  20. dcudiplomat says:

    After reading this article along with some comments its sad that the writer continues to whine And complain about Gus Johnson … I ťhink like most of not all soccer fans just want to watch the game. Fox network is a major American player in the sports business and knows soccer has to bridge the gap between mainstream sports culture fox is doing a good job. ?. Sadly some of you people can’t relate or feel that american broadcasting is nit to your liking

    • Kei says:

      If this is the kind of product that Fox Sports wants to peddle, then no, it’s most definitely not to our liking, and we’ll make no further attempt at trying to relate to it.

      Whatever happened to demanding maximum value for our entertainment dollars?

    • Bo says:

      But there’s a serious problem, other American Broadcasters actually put quality work into their soccer broadcast…. and it works!

  21. dcudiplomat says:

    I highly doubt the writer know what’s the best ingest for American sports fans. How do you expect the game to grow and get a higher Profile by showing boring British voices ?

    • Cantona says:

      Winner for most idiotic comment of the day

      Cantona—

    • Guy says:

      Do you know who John Strong is?

      Why is Fox using Johnson when they have Strong on the payroll? It is ludicrous. Gus can’t carry John’s jock, let alone his microphone.

      • scott says:

        I don’t get why these Tv exes can’t see what a talent John Strong is. He is by far the best America has to offer in soccer commentary. Hopefully some day they will pull their heads out of their a$$’s and see what a gem they have in Strong and give us the American commenter we deserve.

    • tobyjim says:

      Afraid your comments aren’t very diplomatic, dcudiplomat. Your dislike of Brits and their accents is clouding your judgment on what the good people here are saying about gusto gushing Gus. Fans dislike him because he’s not very good at what he does. In fact he’s crap. V. E. R. Y. crap. The worst. That’s all. Nothing to do with his accent or nationality. It’s his cringe worthy job performance. How can you not understand this point?

    • David says:

      Apparently you haven’t seen the record ratings this season on NBC with their coverage of the Premier League. And by the way, they are using British voices.

    • Gus Gonesoon says:

      D-Cud.

      You win!

      Officially, WORST COMMENT EVER.

      lmaolololol

      Bruv, you no zero about footy. Plain/simple.

      Thanks for the literal belly laugh.

      Cool story, bro.

    • john says:

      2 questions:
      Are you merely a wind-up artist?
      Are you using Bing Translator to express yourself in English?

  22. Jessie says:

    He can’t win with you guys. He either talks too much or talks too little, he’s either too excited or not excited enough etc. You guys never give Americans a chance. You hear the accent and all of a sudden he’s a horrible mess. Great criticism, that’ll make things better (sarcasm). Why don’t all of you commentators call the games yourselves? I wouldn’t mind hearing a non-American call NFL and vice versa, there shouldn’t be such a negative stance against Gus. He’s trying.

    • Kei says:

      He and Wynalda are trying, and they’re both failing miserably. Clearly out of their depth. Turn the mic over to any American commentating crew that can do a better job — it shouldn’t be too difficult to find.

    • Guy says:

      Jessie, you and all the others who try to bring up the “anti-American” or “accent” argument continually ignore the fact that Fox has a more than competent American announcer in John Strong.

      He knows the teams, the players and the history, but Fox continues to feed us someone who knows none of that. Our criticism is well justified. Yours is off the mark.

    • Smokey Bacon says:

      There is a reason why Martin Tyler or Arlo White for that matter don’t call NFL games. It’s because they don’t have a clue when it comes to American Football.

      • Raedae says:

        Actually Arlo white is an example of why accents don’t matter.

        Arlo is British and still a dreadful commentator.

        So please don’t claim we’re discriminating Gus because of his accent. He’s just not good enough. Simple.

      • Michael says:

        Um, Arlo White is actually a huge NFL fan who used to call the London games for BBC Radio Five Live. Heck, he even called a few Super Bowls for them.

    • Cantona says:

      I want the best announcer for the sport PERIOD

      I don’t care if is golf, hockey, rugby whatever..

      I don’t know what this big hangup on an “American voice” is… I really don’t give a monkeys!!

      But he has to know what the hell he is talking about … Gus Johnson is in the twilight zone

      So if he is Vietnamese or South African I don’t care as long as he is a credit to the sport.

      This stupid “it needs an American voice to grow the sport” is the most ignorant argent there is. It’s a 1994 mentality.. ESPN had it.. And you know what they learned from it… They have collected a fantastic stable of credible commentators for their World Cup. They don’t care that the commentators are not American, but they have a fantastic lineup of talent.

      That’s what you do when you really are a world wide leader in sport

      Cantona—

    • john says:

      what are you, his mom?

  23. Smokey Bacon says:

    GUS………………..JOHNSON…………..IS…………..AWFUL!

    Shanks is some sort of idiot if he believes this matches NBC for quality. We are the hardcore now are we? No, we are your viewers, the people your advertisers pay you to reach. And yet you spit in our faces rather than listen to us like NBC does. You deserve all the ridicule you get. It’s not about accents. It’s about having people call the game who understand the game and have something to offer. I can’t think of two people so undeserving of being in that stadium today than Wynalda and Johnson.

  24. Guy says:

    Please. Please. Just one of you Gus Johnson apologists explain to me why he is being used rather than John Strong. I dare you to give me a cogent argument.

    • Remy says:

      Even if they put John Strong in there, the people on this site would complain. They complain about Kyle Martino. They complain about Rob Stone. They complain about anything that does not sound British. I just watch the game and do not bother with such banalities. Maybe they should move to Great Britain and watch the game from there. Soccer life would be perfect then.

      • Flyvanescence says:

        You dont see me complaining about Martino. In fact ive praised him several times.

        Stone i have no opinion of.

        However, the commentary yesterday: Gus was terrible. Didnt know how to describe the action besides naming players.

        Wynalda was absolute Captain Obvious, and with Captain Shallow Analysis making several cameos. Compare Wynaldas analysis to Gary Neville on Sky Sports, who doesnt have a great or catchy voice, but his insight into the game is amazing. Watching a game commentated by Neville makes people a smarter football fan. Watching a game with Wynalda makes people think they are first rate comedians because making fun of him is too easy.

  25. Cantona says:

    Fox has really put a PR push his last week trying to legitimise Gus Johnson… What’s been the prevailing theme?? “Oh he has showed measured improvement in his second year” —– NO HE HASNT

    Even some pieces from Matt Yoder said he was getting better.. I actually thought he was doing a good job of being critical of Gus until his last piece … Gus has NOT gotten better … He really is worse

    Pronunciations are bad.. He doesn’t even care.. It’s like he
    Thinks he can get by because he is talking to an audience that never watched a football match before.. And then there are the rules… He doesn’t even know them.. This is my biggest criticism … How the hell can you commentate on a sport without understanding the rules

    This is Johnson’s fault and no one else.. Poor preparation.. It shows to football fans the know the game.

    Richard Deitsch even joked around with a Fox PR girl this past week and noted there were on a PR push she wen admitted as such knowing they we cherry picking the tweets they posted.

    Gus even mentioned in one off their puif interviews that “I don’t care about those guys on the internet”

    Well Gus you should, both you and Eric Shanks should, we are you audience and we demand a better product..mainstream fans even want a better product.. So you should rethink your fcuk u to he fans , because we will have the last laugh

    Cantona—

    • rich says:

      You sir, are annoying. You probably work for this site to post comments and fuel conversations to make it seem like people actually believe this $hit. You really need the commentator to tell you what is going on? Then you know just as little as you claim he does. Quit sayin he doesnt kno the rules. Theres not that many pal. N of course british soccer PA cant call baseball or football. They dont even kno the pitches. I watch/play/know baseball and i cant tell you wtf he just three but the announcer does. Way more complex then saying the guy has the ball and is going towards the goal

  26. JeffJ says:

    For everyone who is now claiming John Strong is the answer, I’m confident that if John Strong was calling the games, there would be complaints on him. Maybe not as much as for Gus, but it would still be there. Complainers complain. I watched the game with the sound on and enjoyed the game. I don’t think Gus is good either, but I still enjoyed the game, because I was “watching” the game. I feel comfortable enough about my knowledge of the game and players that I’m not dependent on the commentators. I just need a way to watch the game with a good visual presentation in HD. That’s it. The same is the case with NFL games. If you are not the top NFL game of the week, you are going to get stuck with lower tier announcers, but I still enjoy the game, cause I watch it for my team, not to listen to it. In an ideal world, FOX would hire the best announcers to call THE game of the season. Makes sense. But it’s not happening, and no amount of posts about Gus is going to change it. Just start praying now that FOX/ESPN don’t get the EPL back.

    • Cantona says:

      I have to agree.. If he was commentating we would still be asking for Martin Tyler.. But at least he understands the game.

      If you are commentating on a European league I want my commentator in Europe and knows the stories day to day.. Really understands the teams. Not some guy on a European vacation pretending to know all about European football. That’s why I don’t think a john strong would work either. I don’t want two jokers in Miami pretending to be all knowing either.

      Give me someone who really is ingrained in European football. That’s why John strong would not work for me. He needs to live and breath euro footy every day.

      Cantona—

      • Guy says:

        As I am the one who keeps bringing up cousin John’s name, I would not necessarily disagree with either one of you. My sole point about him is that he is competent, yet Fox insists on using someone (Gus) who is not. For the life of me, I do not understand that.

        Maybe Gus has pictures of someone at Fox being naughty. If there is a better theory or explanation I’d love to hear it.

        btw, that’s “cousin” with a ;-)

  27. LA Manc says:

    Great points, Gaffer. Gus Johnson does not improve, just tries different schticks.

    I think the most encouraging point within your article is the insight that Fox feels obliged to mount a publicity campaign to bolster Gus Johnson. One can only hope that Fox is feeling heat from the sponsors. Unfortunately, Gus will now disappear for a year to emerge next year with the same low quality performances.

    I agree with the points above about the big match ratings providing Fox false-positive feedback. It may also be true that unrelenting and factual appraisal of Gus Johnson’s performance may, in time, be enough to banish him.

    Thank you, Gaffer, for helping to give voice to the supporters’.

  28. Jerrod says:

    Gus is improving for sure. I actually enjoyed his FA Cup commentary. he was painful at first but has improved a ton, the hate on him gets old here. Criticizing him calling it a “low, line drive” is a pointless criticism, it was a low line drive. a sideline throw is also correct. yelling in statements is his style, which I enjoy and many people enjoy. everyone doesn’t have to copy the English announcers

    • Cantona says:

      Please explain how he was “better”???

      Cantona—

      • Jerrod says:

        much more in the flow of the game, didn’t sound overwhelmed. he recognized a lot more of what was happening and sounded more comfortable overall than he did in those painful first games

        • Cantona says:

          Didn’t even know a goal was scored I with the first goal..

          He has a system now yes..
          Wiki stat
          Wiki stat
          Scream

          He doesn’t know football ..

          You cannot say he is comfortable.. Nothing in his broadcast was comfortable.. And then his interaction with Wynalda was amateur hour at best..

          Please….

          Cantona—

          • Jerrod says:

            I understand you hate him and his style. I enjoy his passion. I was also talking about the FA Cup and the Man U-Bayern game where he was strong. this website seems to have it out for Gus, this is the 2nd time he’s been featured with this same headline, but it’d be a great thing for soccer in America if he continues to develop and become a solid announcer

          • Cantona says:

            Screaming is not passion.

            And whatt is the hard on with the “goal calls”?

            I keep hearing… Gus May not be good but he has great gaol calls?!?!?

            No it’s ALL commentary.. In which he sucks at!

            Cantona—

    • Smokey Bacon says:

      You are the embodiment of the Fox strategy to target recent converts who don’t know any better. But you should know better if you watched any EPL this season.

      • Jerrod says:

        I watched tons of EPL, Bundesliga, and other soccer. Gus is better than the Bundesliga EuroSport guys and worse than Arlo White. Fox strategy is successful then, I love Gus and hope he succeeds and I’m glad he is improving. if he improves it’s great for the game as there is a big section of fans he appeals to

        • Cantona says:

          You didn’t answer the question What has he improved on???

          Pronouncing names?
          Knowing rules?
          Wikipedia stats?
          Yelling?

          Please tell?

          Cantona—

          • Cantona says:

            Here is the strategy Fox should follow:

            Use the best announcers in the world .

            And don’t care where their passport is from

            Americans are past this.. We want people that know what the hell they are talking about.

            Eric shanks , you need to as well!!!!

            Cantona—

          • Jerrod says:

            you didn’t ask me a question? up above I did respond to the question you did ask.

            I agree they should use the best announcers in the world and Gus Johnson was arguably the best college basketball announcer in the world before he moved to soccer. The FOX guys think he can use that passion to become one of the best soccer announcers by 2018. hope he continues improving and gets there (though he does have a ways to go and needs a better partner). I don’t get why people seem to be rooting against him and hoping he fails

          • Why? says:

            Jerrod

            Somebody asked how Tyler would do commentating on baseball. The answer is, not would be, totally crap ask he doesn’t know the first thing about the sport, rules, fans etc. I can’t an American sports channel using him in that way, even though he is great at ‘soccer’ commentating. Why won’t they use Tyler then? It’s blatantly obvious. Fox seems to have done this very thing with Gus, I’ve heard him once and thought WTF he on about!
            Clearly I’m English but listen to commentators from all over the World some I think are poor some good, but honestly Gus is in another World I never heard anything like it, I actuality though it was a spoof as I was hearing him on the net.

            I remember John Harkes as an American commentator and thought he did well, what happened to him?

            ‘I don’t get why people seem to be rooting against him and hoping he fails’

            This is simple Jerrod, he’s awful and if I had to listen to this guy, well i just wouldn’t I rather watch pxss poor dodgy web feeds.

          • tobyjim says:

            That is great for you Jerrod. At least the Fox Gus Jonson strategy is working for one person here. Genuine questions. Does Fox pay you or are you related to Gus? Or is it patriotic pride – the meany Brits running poor Gus down again that makes you defend him?

            You say you like basketball – would you put up with a neophyte commentator who Fox was allowing willing to allow five years to get it right?

            Doubt it.

            Why not trust those of us that know the sport better than you do that Gus is useless?

            If Fox were to have Gus read the names of players prior to a game, they could program a computer to replace him.

            Scream name.

            Read stat.

            And who would know?

            Stretching, shouting and screaming players name are not a substitute for informed play-by-play commentary.

            As for the barrage of meaningless statistics, this part of Gus is really wretched comedy.

            The very credibility he desperately wants such statistical knowledge to confer, he immediately undermines by his miss-pronunciation of the players’ name, making it obvious he doesn’t know his subject and is just reading a stat.

            I envy you that you can stomach him. He brings ruin to my enjoyment of the big games I so look forward to. And there are none bigger than yesterday’s game. He and Eric Wynalda were truly awful, Gus more so than Wynalda. Although Wynalda is also getting up there in the out of his depth for such an occasion stakes.

      • rkujay says:

        And. my dear friend Jerrod, do a little reading and then tell gus why only jerks call them MAN U.

  29. jaime says:

    Interesting, I was watching on foxsoccer2go’s mobile app and these two muppets were not the commentators. I was blisfully happy.

  30. AJ says:

    Gus Johnson was horrible today. He’s been horrible period. I don’t know which goal it was but Gus screamed like Howard Dean/Joey Styles.

    I couldn’t believe what I was hearing when he did that and he obviously had no clue that Atletico had scored because he just gave the old “GOAL!” scream.

    Eric Wynalda’s been just as bad his reading games might be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard.

    I was prepared to give FOX props for having the analysts from all 4 basic positions, but the fact they were all really bad today. I almost got the feeling like Friedel wanted to deck Stone, Barton & McBride.

    What on earth made Rob Stone think Brad knew why Casillas ran out into no-man’s land. Do you think Brad has Iker on speed dial or something?!

  31. Brian says:

    If you follow tennis or cycling in the USA, for example, the commentators on TV come from different countries, USA, England, Australia, South Africa, etc. They hire the best talent to commentate and do analysis.

    What is so unique about soccer that Fox believes it HAS to have an American crew and one not very good at it either? Baffling!

    • Cantona says:

      Great point! Exactly what I have been trying to hammer home.

      Cantona—

      • Iancransonsknees says:

        Too true. The BBC and Talksport always hire foreign talent to broadcast on any sport; McEnroe, Michael Johnson, David Campese, David Ginola etc etc. Look up the commentary and pundit line ups for Talksport, BBC (tv and radio) and ITV.

        Foreign perspectives on whatever sports are being presented seem to be embraced over here because they enhance the experience and you get the best talent your broadcaster can afford. I’m not a huge tennis or athletics fan but if I’m watching I’ll listen to McEnroe or Johnson because they’re excellent broadcasters.

  32. CTBlues says:

    I wonder if they will read all the negative comments on the news sites they feed their bs to.

  33. zombocom says:

    Mr. Harris, you sir have…

    Entirely too much time on your hands.

    Gus is getting better. EW is great. Get over it.

    And if you don’t like EW, you must hate America. Why do you hate America Christopher?

  34. Grayson says:

    Gus was bad today. Wynalda was even worse. I was rooting for them to give an ok performance. They still didn’t do it. But I will say, Gus was better than last year’s Champions League final. Maybe like an F+ or a D-. Not ok with me, but he didn’t scream “IN THE SIX” today, that’s improvement.

    I don’t want Gus or Eric to continue being commentators on any games, I don’t want them to practice for an event they have 4 years from now. The Champions League final is about as big to me as the World Cup final. Don’t bring these guys in for the last few Champions League games every year. It sucks, and they obviously have rights to other feeds.

    But my hugely unpopular feeling today was: Gus didn’t ruin it for me.

    I was shocked.

    Wynalda still sucked.

    I cringed a few times at what Gus screamed. But he didn’t ruin it for me today. I don’t know if I have become better at tuning him out, or he’s been working on his style. I will say he is more calm. Like one commenter said, he’s pretty much only good for name-checking. It felt like before he would randomly shout out names. That’s a start, I guess…

    Maybe I’m an optimist. This wasn’t Gus’s worst performance.

  35. Bo says:

    You trolls need to learn, all we want is people knowledge and professional announcing the game. There are better announcers from America that just aren’t being used. And if you’re not going to use those guys why not use the international feed you already own through your parent company and already put on foxsoccer2go for $20 a month? And it’s not about an “american accent”. Canada, who’s accent is closest to ours, used the sky feed. And besides that, American has tons a different accents ourselves, so how can we have an established accent? how hard is it to understand basic English commentary from an accent we can already hear in many other places on a daily basis unless you’re hiding in a hole. So it’s not about “you guys just hate the accent”. how can I hate my own accent? Fox is forcing these two commentators on us for other reasons besides an American accent.

  36. David says:

    Today was Gus at his worst. I couldn’t believe how awful he was. I can’t for the life of me figure out why Fox is sticking with him. Do they not see the ratings on NBC and ESPN with their Premier League and World Cup coverage? If Fox sticks with these awful announcers for the 2018 World Cup, I’m going to temporarily move to Canada for a month.

    • Grayson says:

      Moving to Canada for a month? Seems expensive. Wait. What am I paying for foxsoccer2go? What about Fox Soccer Plus? Only rugby, aussie rules and Scottish Premiership? Ok, maybe that’s breaking even.

  37. Tony Butterworth says:

    How many times did Wynalda say ”oh man”. But I never really new what he was saying it for.

  38. Soccer Fan says:

    I like worldsoccertalk.com but if I was a Fox executive reading this I’d just think ‘fork you’ and pull the plug on soccer TV coverage.

    How about a ‘thanks’ to whatever TV channels that show live games. Soccer (like it or not) is very much a minority sport in the USA – let’s be thankful for being able to watch it.

    • Kei says:

      So we shouldn’t demand that we get the best value out of the games that ARE available on television? Is that it?

      Fox Sports preys and feasts on fans like you.

    • Gringo says:

      1992 called, it wants it’s logic back.

    • rkujay says:

      Outside of a very few ‘regular channel’ broadcasts, I PAY TO BE INSULTED AND ABUSED BY GUS. I therefore reserve the right to expect a lil more.

  39. Kei says:

    It’s nothing short of amazing that Gus Johnson still has apologists left at all. For god’s sake, he stopped trying to actually call the game after the Ramos goal, and went into bartender mode for the duration of the extra half (which he also did during the FA Cup final).

    If you think Gus and Wynalda make a good tandem for soccer broadcasts, then you’re obviously wracked by self-hatred. How else could we explain their willingness to tolerate those two, instead of having two people in the booth who actually know what they’re doing?

  40. Gringo says:

    I plan on a full boycott of FOX’s World Cup coverage in 2018 and 2022. I’ll simply switch to Univision and listen to the Spanish commentary, which is fine. Or, if I want to hear the English language, I’ll watch a stream feed.

    In the meantime, people can email FOX sponsors and tell them they won’t be watching FOX soccer, and won’t buy sponsor’s products as long as they sponsor FOX soccer!

  41. Mufc77 says:

    Gus Johnson sucks at life in general.

    • Gringo says:

      Stupid comment. I think most people have nothing against Gus on a personal level, in fact, he comes across as a decent enough guy. Check yourself.

  42. Yousuf says:

    This was how bad it was: my wife comes into the living room where I was watching the game and after a few minutes I hear her saying “that commentator sounds stupid”. She doesn’t even watch soccer!

  43. Matt says:

    “I pity the soccer fans who had to listen to the Johnson commentary on radio as they must have had no idea what was happening on the pitch.”

    Wait, did they simulcast it over the radio? In most sports, there’s a completely separate broadcast crew for radio.

  44. Alex Gago says:

    Being multi lingual I watch soccer from all over the world. I enjoy the emotions broadcaster from Argentina, Mexico provide. Lot’s of emotion. Ray Hudson is a new favorite of mine. We have to get this rite or face losing the casual American fans.

    • Cantona says:

      Ray Hudson .. Oh please don’t go there.. That’s a whole other topic.

      Cantona—

      • Mufc77 says:

        The difference between Hudson and Johnson is Hudson knows and understand the game. He doesn’t need to ask his co commentator what’s happening. Yeah he’s annoying as hell with his antics but he’s bearable because he knows the game.

  45. goatslookshifty says:

    I synced up Talk Sport but replayed some key moments listening to Gus and Eric. When RM equalised, Gus yelled out “what a save” or something like that. He didn’t anticipate the follow-up by Bale, therefore missed the header. He sees the game as moments and not a sequence of plays. That’s where he fails. He sounds great with the promo sound bites but doesn’t read the game like a commenter should.

  46. Vinnie says:

    This article is as good as the articles written by the same author in the Beckett Sports World Cup preview magazine. Rubbish.

  47. Daniel says:

    Gaffer, keep up the good work. We stand with you on this cause.

  48. Mark Williamson says:

    Gus Johnson destroyed the fantastic final of the FA Cup last week. Very honestly, at times, it sounded like 2 amateur guys commentating a local hockey or football game, and when I say local I mean like a high school game. Absolutely awful. His screaming is totally annoying. If Fox can’t get this right or understand his short-comings then they will never be a credible outlet for football again.

  49. rich says:

    You guys are all biased and dumb. If you rely so much on the commentator then you shouldnt be watching soccer, youre clearly some hipster punks that love to whine. The ball obviously went in the goal yes but he paused to see if it was offside not because he didnt know if the ball went in. Even players on the field were looking around wondering

    • goatslookshifty says:

      Hipster punks? you’re clearly underestimating the average age of the commenters here.

    • jtm371 says:

      Their are people here that have forgotten more about football then you will know.you might want to think twice before making blanket statements. CHEERS!

    • Joe says:

      You have to understand that most people who comment on this site complain about everything! They are a small minority of fans that are never happy and would complain about a wet dream. Calling them hipsters is an understatement.

  50. Tony says:

    These can’t be the commentators in charge of the World Cup games can it? That was incredibly painful to listen to. Absolutely horrible. Mispronounced names, trying to make play by play calls sound like baseball, basketball, and american football plays (“a line drive,” “he’s going long” etc etc) What on earth was Fox thinking?

    Pathetic. Absolute garbage.

  51. John Culea says:

    Gus Johnson did the impossible. He lived down to his past performances and tarnished a marvelous game, especially the second half and extra time.
    He said Bale had “Olympic speed.” His screaming was grating and his cadence and voice tone continue to be awful.
    Wynalda is sentenced to be his partner and overall was not bad except for his brainless statement that all of the Atletico players were “demi-gods.”
    Gus Johnson’s “in the area” and other catch-phrases are wearisome. Johnson and the idiot suits who hired him should in Johnson’s worst catch phrase be FIRED!!!!!!

  52. Ariel says:

    as awful as they are, at least the guys in fox sports deportes knew what the hell was going on, believe me, it was far from perfect, but it was better,

  53. jtm371 says:

    Looks like all the faux interns have gone back to their basements. Wonder if they have learned from their last defense of gus not to post from the same computer. I synced to talksport so i guess you know how i feel abut faux sports cluster. Stay strong Chris we have your back on this.

    • Cantona says:

      I guarantee at least half of the Gus defenders are PR people at Fox… I’ve called them out before..

      It really is amazing how much time and effort Fox is putting in to this to make it seem everyone is ok with Wynalda and Johnson. You have to think this might be a last ditch effort by Eric Shanks to try to save his job.

      Cantona—

  54. Gringo says:

    SIGN THE PETITION!

    forums.worldsoccertalk.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=169

  55. Remy says:

    You have two choices, either you stop complaining or stop watching because I don’t think Gus is going anywhere. If people stop watching, Fox will stop broadcasting. You decide.

  56. Phil says:

    I thought the commentary was very good. The “ALL BRITISH ANNOUNCERS ALL THE TIME” mafia are terrible.

  57. Martin J. says:

    It looks to me like Fox has signed these guys on a long-term contract with guarantees that they feel they cannot afford to change course or it will cost them financially. Also, the person who made the decision on personnel for soccer at Fox doesn’t want to admit he made a mistake.

    Unfortunately I do not see Fox changing course. Fortunately for us there are alternatives to be found on the internet so with little effort Fox’s audio can be replaced and with more effort both their audio and video can also be replaced. And if you understand Spanish there’s Fox Deportes.

    Fox is too stupid to realize that people are finding alternatives to their hideous coverage of soccer.

  58. Alex Riley says:

    The reason I am bothered about the commentary pair of Johnson and Wynalda is the fact that they clearly do not put the required effort to do research and learn about the game before a match. After a while they seem to run out of things to say. Of course, Johnson simply is not a soccer commentator and never should have been hired in the first place. Like many have said before, it’s wrong and disrespectful to viewers for Fox to hire a man who has no background or previous knowledge of soccer to call the biggest matches in the world. But now that he has the job, his mispronunciations of names and ignorance of the rules and basic terminology is inexcusable, and it’s clear that he is not trying hard enough to improve.

    Wynalda frustrates more than Johnson because he is a former pro and has been employed by Fox Soccer for years, but rarely offers anything interesting to the broadcast. He has this complacent, lazy attitude and comes off as a know-it-all in his demeanor and analysis. Wynalda–and Johnson is guilty of this too, is especially irritating in the fact that he rarely speaks in complete and well thought out sentences. Instead, his speech is informal and includes lots of catchphrases and cliches. Contrast his style with a quality color commentator like Stewart Robson and the difference in class is light and day.

    Anyone know of the Fox executives’ emails so we can write to them?

  59. Leo says:

    FOX still shows soccer?

  60. Anthony says:

    Man, I love Gus Johnson.

  61. R.O says:

    I agree with many here regarding Gus Johnson. On Wynalda, he knows the game but he’s just not cut out to be a TV analyst or commentator.

    I simple don’t understand why Gus Johnson (and so many other US commentators) have such a difficult time pronouncing peoples names correctly. Gus was horrible with Modric, Ancelotti and others.

    Why is it that Andres Cantor can properly pronounce complicated Russian, Croatian and other names correctly.

    As for Fox broadcasting the WC 2018 & 2022, I’ll doing what I did prior to 2010 (ESPN was horrible prior to 2010 WC) for TV viewing, watching the games on Univision. Don’t need to understand the language to know what’s going on in the game. When attending a game in person, there aren’t any announcers to listen too.

    The other that irritates me to no end is the use of certain phrases by US announcers, such as:

    1. Laser
    2. Gooalsoo
    3. Bombasoo

    or other sports terms.

    The worst is when US announcers try to sound Latin Americans announcers.

  62. nickp91 says:

    FOX SPORTS REPLACE THE JOHNSON-WYNALDA PAIRING WITH Sky Sports COMMENTATORS

  63. Sam says:

    Well $150 for cable. And still streaming the games online with poor image quality, just to get better commentary says it all. Gus is pathetic. Fox doesn’t care…. they people who want to watch will have watch the game. Ray Hudson is pretty crap too. Gus Johnson is on another level.
    People should start streaming and hit fox where it matters most…. their pockets.

  64. Alan Macher says:

    Part of Fox’s plan was to get casual sports fans to follow Gus. The problem is that they ended up insulting us true soccer fans, who deserve better. Can we call the experiment a failure and find new broadcasters??

  65. Michael says:

    Wynalda’s analysis late in the second half consisted of saying that Atletico’s legs were tired, over and over and over.

    But I’ll give you the worst color guy in the sport from last week. Tennessee’s high school spring sports held their state championships this past week, and the NFHS Network streams the championship games. The color guy they got for boys’ soccer was BAD. And, yeah, I know he’s calling high school soccer, but he was BAD. 20:16 mark of this video: http://www.nfhsnetwork.com/events/95971

    Wynalda’s bad, but at least he doesn’t do what this guy does.

  66. Mufc77 says:

    I guess I should be happy we didn’t qualify for the champions league this season. I Just realized that means I don’t have to listen to Johnson and his sidekick at all next season unless its a fa cup game.

  67. Efrain says:

    Gaffer, you think FOX is reading your articles and don’t care, or perhaps they aren’t aware of your thoughts and our thoughts on Gus. How can the readers help you with this? Do you have an email contact for FOX?

    • Christopher Harris says:

      FOX reads the articles and comments. But they choose to ignore the feedback. Perhaps the only way to get through to them is by contacting their advertisers, but I’m not advocating that.

      • Gringo says:

        I am.

        • Todd says:

          Actions will always speak louder than words. If fans start to boycott coverage of FOX broadcasts, or, possibly, contact advertisers, then there is a chance they just might listen. However, as long as the numbers look good and the money is flowing in, then they will continue with this farce.

      • Arsenal Till I Die says:

        How do you know they read them gaffer?

        • Christopher Harris says:

          …because I’ve spoken to several people inside FOX Sports who say they read the site all the time.

          • He's Livid says:

            Exactly. Bad publicity is better than no publicity. They’re sticking with Gus and Eric, but I think you know that. It’s how Fox operates, or else Joe Buck and Tim McCarver would have been gone years ago.

  68. goatslookshifty says:

    We all have four years to learn Spanish before the 2018 World Cup then we can all watch Fox Deportes.
    I’m now ‘Cabras Miren furtivos’ instead of goatslookshfty.

  69. Jay says:

    I live in Canada and had the choice of either tuning into Fox’s coverage, or a Canadian network who went with the legendary Martin Tyler and up-and-coming Gary Neville. In truth, it wasn’t much of a choice. I will go with the best commentators (regardless of nationality) everyday.

    • Brian says:

      I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, if Fox gets the EPL when NBC’s contract is over then I’m moving to Canada :-) .

  70. Arsenal Till I Die says:

    Lol just lol,
    Wynalda is mystified that for years the criticism of soccer in the U.S. was that the sport is boring, and now people are deriding the addition of an excitable announcer. That goes back to the debate of the best way to drew in new viewers to soccer. Should the matches sound like a British broadcast, or should they be unmistakably American?

    http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2014/05/23/fox-and-espn-disagree-on-accent-for-world-cup-announcing-in-2014-and-2018/

    • Smokey Bacon says:

      FFS! How many more times? It’s not about accents. Johnson is simply unqualified and Wynalda is a lazy, unprepared bore of an analyst. There is no debate.

    • Alex Riley says:

      The nationality of the commentator is irrelevant when it comes to the excitement in the viewing experience. If the goal is to draw new viewers into the sport, then people will respond best to the authenticity of the broadcast.

      For instance, if I suddenly started wanting to get into cricket and cable TV was showing it, I would want to listen to a commentator who knew the sport inside and out–someone who had grown up with it and studied it like a madman. I wouldn’t want someone who knew very little, but whose voice I could recognize and was “exciting” because he could shout loudly.

  71. Brian says:

    The real reason everyone on here hates Gus Johnson is because he is black. The closest racism on here is so obvious.

    Are all of the Brits on this site here members of the BNP?

    Later.

    • rkujay says:

      The word is closet. It is where you should go back.

      You are the first and only person to tie this to race.

      Race baiting?

  72. Bryan says:

    Just got back into town last night and watched the CL final and yes, it’s true- Johnson and Wynalda actually seem to be getting worse. Johnson seems like he’s overwhelmed by the criticism (of which he’s surely aware) and has simply stopped trying to improve. So many faux pas, so little time- like calling a player “a 27-year-old Spanish.” It’s Spaniard. Or constantly calling Ronaldo by his first name, like he and Gus are pals. And Wynalda ? As he would say, wow. His second favorite phrase is “why not ?” You almost expect him to belch after saying it, like he’s sitting on a bar stool somewhere. I still maintain that anyone paired with Dan Dierdorf is automatically the worst announcing pair in America, but J&W are close behind.

  73. Bryan says:

    Fox’s “strategy”- to the extent they have one- seems to be that Americans will only watch soccer in large numbers if the announcers are American. But I’m sure even novice viewers will quickly catch on that J&W are simply very poor at their jobs- especially true if they start tuning in to the EPL on NBC and hear the huge difference in broadcast quality.

  74. Mark says:

    It’s too bad that such a good match was tarnished by such poor commentary. I was loosing my mind every time Gus said “Athletico.” Even my wife, who never watches sports, couldn’t figure out why he kept saying “Athletico” when there is no “H” in the team name.

    I will admit that I do prefer hearing a British accent during the commentary, but that may be because I don’t recall hearing quality commentary from an American. I don’t generally watch MLS since I’m from Minnesota and we don’t have a team, so I can’t speak to the quality of commentary ESPN and NBC are producing for those broadcasts, but I could live with Americans, as long as the quality of their delivery and the analysis they deliver is on par with British commentators.

    During the Premier League season, NBC paired Tim Howard with Arlo White frequently. Tim seemed to struggle a little initially and it seemed like a move to drum up more interest in the US. However, as the season went on, Tim stepped his game up. I always enjoyed hearing Tim on the broadcast.

    Hopefully in the near future, Fox will realize it needs to improve the quality of it’s product and give its viewers the broadcast they deserve.

  75. john a says:

    I think my 16 yo son summed it up best: “Good announcers don’t say anything when they don’t need to and then tell you something you didn’t know”

    Gus Johnson fails miserably on both counts.

    Could be worse though, Fox could sent over a couple of NASCAR guys ….

  76. Remy says:

    You can moan and complain all you want on this site about Gus Johnson. But even with Gus as announcer, Fox had awesome ratings of 5.8 million viewers for the UEFA Champions League game.

    See http://www.deadline.com/2014/05/twitter-tv-ratings-nba-lottery-playoffs-miami-heat/

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