As an American who was raised speaking English, some may question me when I say that Univision is far superior viewing for the World Cup. My primary rationale lies in the announcers for each game. While Ian Darke calling US and England games has become a staple, I cannot continue to bore myself with the remaining English speaking announcers ESPN has insisted upon for the other games. I’m a Seattle Sounders fan and having Kasey Keller as the color commentator just puts me to sleep. Therefore, I felt it would be appropriate to express the reasons why Spanish announcers are far better for the viewer than English announcers.
Here are my three reasons:
1. Lack of dead time
When you watch ESPN, how many times during the game do commentators feel it necessary to take a tangent and discuss some player’s personal life or reminisce on the past greats of one of the country’s playing? Or worse, they take time to compare the teams to the US Men’s National Team! Spanish commentators could care less about connecting to the teams to Mexico unless it is in their group. Additionally, the play-by-play commentators remind me of watching hockey on NBC when Mike Emrick is announcing. The speed and accuracy is tremendous.
This is, perhaps, the biggest reason why I find myself so attracted to Spanish announcers. Just go back to Landon Donovan’s goal against Algeria in the previous World Cup. Everyone who watched is familiar with Ian Darke’s classic call:
However, here’s just one example of the type of excitement you can hear with Spanish-language commentators on Univision:
Once I heard Spanish-language commentators, I was hooked on the energy and enthusiasm. Simply put, it is difficult to compete with the excitement of hearing someone simply yell “Goooooooooooooooooooool!” for almost 30 seconds uninterrupted.
3. Learning or brushing up on another language
Let’s face it, being someone who only speaks a single language in such a globalized world is becoming more difficult. That does not mean it is impossible, but how many of you wish that when you see beautiful people from a different county, you knew more than “Hola!” In case that is all you know, try saying “Como se llama?” next time. That means “What is your name?” or “How do you call yourself?” After all, initiating the conversation is half the battle – according to Adam Sandler in Big Daddy.
For myself, I watch to try and follow as much as I can. I was fairly fluent a few years ago, but living in the middle of the country where no one spoke Spanish took away a large portion of my memory and understanding. Thus, watching fútbol enables me to enjoy the game while also expand my knowledge. Also, it brings a little joy every time I’m able to follow the entire sentence – even though it was spoken far faster than I can process.
Also, Spanish announcers rarely care who is playing. Tim Cahill scored a wondergoal against the Netherlands. Neither team is Spanish-speaking. And yet, Cahill’s goal sent announcers into a frenzy of yelling “Goooollllaaaasssoooo!” (That’s the Spanish equivalent to saying wondergoal). The joy in calling the game and the excitement of a goal is not missed when watching Univision. Similarly, the build up to chances also gets Spanish announcers excited. It is not just the goals. It is also the play that drives their vocal inflections. They are just excited to call the game.