Why Can’t ESPN Pronounce English Soccer Terms Correctly?

Forgiving the Gaffer’s scheduling criticisms, ESPN mostly has been wonderful for soccer promotion in the U.S..  Top goals are making the top-ten plays.  Sportscenter features highlight reels.  Yesterday’s Real Madrid-Liverpool match, though it was not the greatest testament, featured on the flagship network.  Much has been done, and the burgeoning community of soccer fans is, or at least should be, grateful.

Despite the progress one issue does remain and that is pronunciation.  Soccer’s a foreign game in the U.S. played by largely foreign men.  I can empathize with a Sportscenter anchor stumbling over Spanish.  Italian can be tricky and Portuguese perplexing.  English pundits often do no better.  A level of malapropism and muddling should be tolerable for foreign languages, but why is it happening with English?

The native tongue can be confusing for some folks, as half of the United States thinks thinks that “nuculur” is a word.  Some English soccer terms can still be difficult.  No one in America would intuitively understand that the English pronounce Derby, “Dar-bee.”

However is it really that hard to pronounce “Arsenal” correctly?  Three syllables.  Flows nicely.  It means the same thing on both sides of the Atlantic.  It requires no Latin flourish.

Since Steven Gerrard is one of the most recognizable athletes in the world and has appeared in many Sportscenter reels, why is it impossible to remember that it is Steven, not “Steve” and “GERrard” not “GerRARD.”  (That Will Mays was a hell of a baseball player.  So was Mike Mantle.)

I understand ESPN anchors not following or liking soccer.  I feel similarly about golf.  I think it’s a frustrating, tiresome little game.  I don’t know why the participants are considered athletes, when a corpulent chain smoker can win a major tournament.  But, that doesn’t mean that I discuss “Tigger” Woods and “Philip Michaelson” facing off at “Agoosta Nacionale,” before inciting a giggle fest with my own ignorance.

No one expects you to break down Liverpool’s 4-5-1 formation, comment on Arsenal’s transfer policy or expound upon the Premier League’s impingement on the English National Team.  But, please ESPN, just read the highlights professionally.  It’s not too much to ask.  Or, start spelling things phonetically on the teleprompter.

25+ Channels With Sports & News
  • Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
  • Watch Premier League, Liga MX, MLS & World Cup
  • Includes ESPN, FOX, Univision, TUDN and more
Favorite Leagues At The Best Price
  • Starting price: $7.99/mo. for Live TV Package
  • Watch Argentine league, Brasileirāo and Copa Libertadores
  • Includes beIN SPORTS, GolTV, TyC Sports and more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
  • Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
  • Features LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, Copa del Rey & more
  • Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
Live TV, Soccer & Originals
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo.
  • Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & more
  • Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
  • Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
  • Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
Get All 3 And Save 30%
  • $13.99/mo. for ESPN+, Disney+ & Hulu
  • Includes Bundesliga, LaLiga, NHL & the home to UFC
  • Features Marvel, Star Wars + shows & movies for your entire family

21 Comments

  1. Kartik March 11, 2009
  2. Django March 11, 2009
  3. Charles March 11, 2009
  4. Django March 11, 2009
  5. The Gaffer March 11, 2009
  6. Jay March 11, 2009
  7. Django March 11, 2009
  8. eplnfl March 11, 2009
  9. todd March 11, 2009
  10. eplnfl March 11, 2009
  11. Chessi March 12, 2009
  12. Chessi March 12, 2009
  13. jm March 12, 2009
  14. hal March 12, 2009
  15. mm March 12, 2009
  16. jimmy squirrelpants March 12, 2009
  17. eplnfl March 12, 2009
  18. tracey March 12, 2009
  19. Footballer March 13, 2009
  20. cftv March 13, 2009
  21. Przedrzag July 11, 2014

Leave a Reply

Translate »