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Dave O’Brien Comes Out In Support of FOX Soccer’s Gus Johnson

Dave O’Brien, the sports announcer who still gives soccer fans nightmares after his dreadful World Cup 2006 calls, has come out in support of FOX Soccer’s Gus Johnson.

The promotion of Gus Johnson to FOX Soccer’s lead commentator has been met with a mixed response from soccer fans. Many have been energized by the addition of the basketball announcer to the broadcast of the world’s game. At the same time, there has been a lot of vocal opposition to his appointment from viewers who believe the quality of commentating has dipped as a result of Johnson being added.

O’Brien is in the Gus Johnson camp. In an interview with Sports Illustrated, O’Brien said:

“First of all, I think it is an inspired choice. Gus is a mainstream sports guy like me and not the first announcer I’d expect to call the World Cup. But I heard the same thing in 2006.

“There are soccer fans in the U.S. who are Premier League devotees and [are] used to British accents on game calls. There is a perception among those fans that that group of play-by-play announcers are the only ones who can best understand the game and interpret what is happening in the match. I have always disagreed with that. As long as the matches are well done and they are broadcast well, I would not care [about] the accent or nationality of the individual calling the game.

“But I think it’s a smart move to have this long of a run-up for Gus. That will benefit him tremendously. I think much of the criticism leveled at me and ESPN was predetermined. Gus has to be true to himself. Not everyone is going to love him and that’s just a fact of life when you are an American calling soccer.”

Not surprisingly, I think O’Brien has it completely wrong. It’s not the accent that is the issue. It’s a combination of knowledge, experience and authenticity that is lacking from Gus Johnson’s two games so far, and was severely lacking from O’Brien’s pitiful commentating in 2005-06.

My stance is that FOX Soccer should hire the best talent for the job. That doesn’t mean it has to be an Englishman or a Scot. It could be an American or someone from another country. Quality needs to be the main priority, not nationality.

In the case of both Gus Johnson and Dave O’Brien, the gulf in talent between those two and most soccer commentators is vast (although, to be fair, Johnson is miles better than O’Brien ever was). Johnson will improve over time, and shows far more potential than O’Brien had. But while FOX Soccer continues with the Johnson experiment, the level of commentating quality has certainly taken a nose dive.

In a recent interview with Men In Blazers, Johnson responded to some of the criticism and said that some people are fearful of change. I welcome change, but it needs to be an improvement over the status quo. Expecting a soccer novice to be dropped into the Santiago Bernabeu or Emirates Stadium and to deliver a world-class commentary is unrealistic. And at the end of the day, everyone loses. Gus Johnson does the best he can, but makes mistakes. Soccer fans feel disrespected because we’ve been given a sub-par commentary experience. And FOX Soccer has egg on its face.

I get what FOX Soccer (or is it FOX Sports executive Eric Shanks) is trying to do, but the execution of the idea has been poor. I’m open to Johnson being the new voice of soccer in the United States, but he needs time and patience to improve. Putting him center stage in such high profile matches is, I believe, the wrong strategy. He’ll learn, but we as soccer fans will have to suffer along the way.

It’s not an attack on Gus Johnson. It’s wanting what is best for the soccer fan, the viewer.

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  1. john

    June 8, 2014 at 10:59 am

    To: Dave O’Brien (thought you were gone forever, by the way):

    it’s not the accent, you boob. your insistence that football supporters would enjoy a match commentated by Hugh Grant or David Cameron tells us everything we need to know about your connection to the sport, your ability to commentate, and FoxSports’ concern for its audience. Hugh Grant might actually not be too bad.

  2. Stephen

    July 3, 2013 at 1:56 am

    I don’t have a problem with an American doing play by play, but to this point I have heard only two that have some talent. JP Delacamera is no Ian Darke but he gets the job done. I was really impressed with Beth Mowins during the women’s world cup, but I feel like some people would have a problem with the fact that she is a woman.

  3. Mark

    March 7, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Guys named Gus fly rockets they don’t call football. Any game called by an American gets muted in my house. Case in point today’s Europa games. His comparison to basketball was the final nail in the coffin, I almost shot the TV. I will be cancelling my cable service and moving on. Best of luck.

  4. Spurs fan

    February 24, 2013 at 10:48 am

    Why is Fox trying to Americanize the Premiership? Would you want watch the NFL with English announcers on Sky? And get rid of those 3 stooges in th studio!! Can’t wait for NBC covering the Premiership next season!

  5. Alex

    February 23, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    OMG this guy is terrible. If the camera shows a player being happy or sad because he scored or conceded a goal, I want a commentator to explain why he is like that. What he did good or bad. HThe commentator needs to feel the game. I don’t need to know how many goals he scored or conceded in the year and his entire career in all competitions. Stop this stats nonsense. Soccer is all about passion, and this guy has none.

  6. Tom

    February 22, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    I’m an American and I would rather have a British announce just for the accent. The game is being played over there. Let their people announce it. It’s just something about the accent that makes it a more authentic broadcast. Maybe there will be a great American announcer in the future, until then I would rather here a British announcer.

    As for the talk about how announcers shouldn’t get excited over goals and how they should talk about the tactics… do you not watch soccer as entertainment? You have to admit soccer is not the MOST exciting sport to watch for 90 minutes. so when those couple goals happen, the announcer SHOULD get excited. i’m pretty sure scoring goals is the most important part of the game. talk about the tactics during the replays, but when the goals happen, I want to hear the announcer really get into it. maybe not to the extreme level spanish announcers do for goals, but they should be excited.

    And this brings me back to the accent subject. hearing a British announcer describe a goal is so much better than when Americans do, and i believe the accent has a major impact on that. Maybe it’s cause i’m American and the accent is novel to me but anytim I hear a British accent, I think of soccer. Obviously, i think the accent plays a big part in the broadcast of the game.(plus let me remind you I am American therefore i’d rather hear Gus commentating March Madness and football cause I think he’s one of the best in those sports)

  7. Scrumper

    February 22, 2013 at 3:40 am

    There has to be a real image problem for Johnson if they’ve had to wheel out Dave O’Brien to show his support.

    Pathetic and desperate move.

  8. Dust

    February 22, 2013 at 12:09 am

    If you get a chance, listen to Spurs v Lyon call on foxsoccertogo by Ian Danter of talk sport. No co commentator… Just him, it is a fabulous call, he is very very good..

    On the live feed on fox soccer it was strong and McBride… Which was better than Gus but sucked in comparison to @talkdants real quality

  9. Guy

    February 21, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Anyone who watched the Spurs v Lyon match today heard American commentator John Strong do an excellent job…and therein lies the problem. Why is Fox throwing a novice like Gus Johnson into this when they already have someone infinitely better on hand?

    If they want an American voice in the big matches give them to Strong or someone else who already knows his stuff and let Johnson learn his craft in lesser ones.

    The Johnson move makes no sense.

    • The Gaffer

      February 21, 2013 at 6:16 pm

      It ends up coming down to money. FOX thinks that Gus Johnson will increase viewership. Unfortunately they don’t care whether he’s perfect or not. They care about the number of eyeballs watching games so they can demand more for advertising.

      The Gaffer

    • gbewing

      February 21, 2013 at 6:35 pm

      actually he didn’t he called the Dembele goal Livermore’s initially and later refereed to the Lyon goal as from Umtitti (who scored in game 1) instead of Ganalons. I also found his presentation a bit pedestrian and boring-He was confused several times on game action, if Johnson made the same errors we’d be having a hissy fit to the 10th degree. Do I think Johnson was great last game? no but in game 1 he was ok and in the end it’s not that deep. I can’t get too worked up if Fox is trying to create attention and develop an American broadcaster for the sport in this country. They’re damned if they do damned if they don’t. If they don’t try and do things to build the sport then they get hit with that. The tv viewer they are reaching out to is the American basketball and football fan who isn’t steeped in English tradition. Of course the British broadcasters are superior, the point is we need to start building our tradition not just chase the English game around. Personally I think the truly bold move would be installing an Hispanic pbp voice. I’m not going to be one of the sheep who gets upset over every little thing media tells us to get upset about -that’s my objection and I don’t think there’s enough time being given to looking at other side of it.

      • Guy

        February 21, 2013 at 7:21 pm

        Most of the negative commentary is about Johnson’s lack of knowledge/experience and the fact that he is being given big matches in which to practice, rather than work his way up. There are American commentators, such as Strong, already more qualified for the task. Exactly, what would be the “other side” we should be looking at?

  10. Paul

    February 21, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    lets be real here, people were always going to have a problem with Gus Johnson regardless whether he was good or not.

    The truth is, they had a problem even b4 Johnson ever did play by play. Confirmation bias at its best

    • gbewing

      February 21, 2013 at 4:00 pm

      absolutely, I’d love as much costernation and posts about other issues facing the game far more important than this – only thing missing is “STATS” from Morgan

    • Guy

      February 21, 2013 at 5:49 pm

      The fact that many people’s fears were realized is not exactly proof of confirmation bias.

    • Frill Artist

      February 23, 2013 at 4:21 pm

      Don’t worry. Gaffer is still giving him a “fair chance” in his mind.

      • The Gaffer

        February 23, 2013 at 7:37 pm

        Frill, let’s see you write an objective article about Gus Johnson — his pros and cons. And if it’s good enough, I’ll post it on EPL Talk.

        The Gaffer

  11. Fog

    February 21, 2013 at 7:23 am

    It is interesting to see how Fox is handling their commentators this week. Fox also has NASCAR’s biggest event…the Daytona 500…this week.

    Interestingly enough, they do not have any “new” commentators. Or any commentators that are not from the sport. Fox knows that they cannot mess with NASCAR fans.

    If they tried the stunt with their broadcast team for NASCAR that they have pulled with the American soccer fans, they know that they would be crucified!!! The press would crucify them, the fans would crucify them and most importantly, to them, their sponsors (read $$$$) would crucify them.

    I guess we need to put soccer in perspective on the American sports landscape. Like it or not, Fox feels safe that they can screw with the soccer fan.

    And yes, today I will be watching Danica “live” and recording the Europa League matches.

    • jtm371

      February 21, 2013 at 9:32 am

      danica style over substance.

      • Fog

        February 21, 2013 at 10:09 am

        So my choice is Chelsea, Liverpool or Danica. Two with no style and no substance and one with style and the pole position.

        I would rather watch “Chelsea Lately” than Chelsea later…

        • Dust

          February 21, 2013 at 1:02 pm


    • BA14

      February 21, 2013 at 10:45 am

      You can’t compare this to Gus Johnson. If England has die hard NASCAR fans and they put in a new voice to do their telecast in England then it’s a fair comparison.

  12. Marc L

    February 21, 2013 at 6:20 am

    This is kind of analogous to Courtney Love coming out and saying that Lindsay Lohan really has her s*%# together in a general sense.

    I’d honestly rather watch the Spanish feed than Gus Johnson. In fact, I think that will be the plan from here on out. And I don’t even speak (much) Spanish.

    • Fog

      February 21, 2013 at 7:25 am

      There are only three words that you need to know when watching a Spanish language soccer broadcast: “Goooooooo” “ooooooooooooo” “lllllll.” 🙂

      • Marc L

        February 21, 2013 at 8:07 am

        “Hola Bonitas!” as well, when the camera picks up on some hotties in the crowd. (And I have TOTALLY heard Spanish-language announcers do this on more than one occasion.)

        • Fogette

          February 21, 2013 at 8:17 am

          Richard Keys and Andy Gray tried that…see where that got them!!!

          • IanCransonsKnees

            February 21, 2013 at 1:53 pm

            Smash it.

    • jtm371

      February 21, 2013 at 9:34 am

      just pick your favorite music, album(i know i am showing my age) turn down gus it is not a bad substitute.

      • Guy

        February 21, 2013 at 9:49 am

        Get your earbuds in jtm and let Spotify roll! 🙂

  13. dust

    February 21, 2013 at 2:44 am

    Todays champions league game definitely highlighted the gulf between Gus and what good commentating for football is, it was a pleasure to listen to, even alan smith was a delight compared to barton.

    Fog’s analogy to athletes and the speed of the game makes sense, but his comments about the understanding of the game are more precise as to what is at the root of any new voice (In this case gus) to the game IF they have no real background and real understanding of the flow, tactics or history, let alone vernacular, ten they will always be chasing the game, they cant anticipate or know when to build tension.

    How naive of fox to think that “commentating is commentating” if you can do one sport you can do them all, it’s quite evident it’s the position of the decision makers at fox.

    Gus as an individual is probably excited by the challenge, but he is in no way being set up for success by fox, its trial by fire and its is NOT working out, all that is going to happen is his confidence is gonna take a mauling, one he may not recover from. Who is he going to learn of, do fox genuinely believe that just giving him the champion s league games the next 4 years that he will just get better for the world cup?

    He is so bad he needs more than that, he needs and internship at sky, sit next to tyler for a few years and practice in his hotel room and play back the tape to tyler for review.

    Tyler can be his Miagi, talk on talk off! up in pitch, down in pitch, fact…tidbit… fact… tidbit… anecdote..react to a play..back to anecdote… and so on. fox could do another reality show off it, they love those!

    Maybe after all that tutoring he will be great.. but as it stands…no no no no no

  14. trickybrkn

    February 21, 2013 at 2:31 am

    brought back memories of Michael, Beckham, and a botched story about Joe Cole calling Prince William a geezer, and the then the question, on air… what is a geezer. 2006 WC was the low we had since the 94 cup.
    I don’t care where you are from, just don’t distract from the match, and like bad refs, that is what bad commentary does. distract.

  15. Fog

    February 20, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    This is Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated take back in October 21, 2011, the day Fox was awarded the Men’s and Women’s World Cup coverage:

    Can Fox come close to the quality of ESPN’s World Cup 2010 coverage? A lot can change in the next seven years before Fox’s World Cup ’18 moment: individual commentators, philosophies, even the landscape of sports television. But based on their recent treatment of the biggest soccer events (ESPN for World Cup ’10 and Fox for the UEFA Champions League final), Fox has a long way to go to catch ESPN when it comes to smart, high-quality coverage of the world’s most popular sport. ESPN treated viewers of South Africa 2010 like adults and never dumbed down the presentation as Fox did during this year’s Champions League final with inane features on Michael Strahan comparing football and soccer and Gerard Piqué’s relationship with Shakira. I’m willing to keep an open mind on Fox, but soccer watchers in America already have big issues with Fox and need to see some improvement.

    Sound familiar???

    • BA14

      February 21, 2013 at 1:02 am

      Would Wahl say the same thing now that he works with FOX?

      • The Gaffer

        February 21, 2013 at 7:43 am


        The Gaffer

  16. Brian

    February 20, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    As per most of the comments GJ is lacking experience.
    I personally really detest that stacatto style of speaking.
    “The ball is out of play. By Arteta. Throw in. ”
    But if I was convinced he knew the game I might be able to live with it.
    What galls me is that he’s given the high profile games to practice on. Fox has a great opportunity to bleed him – Europa Cup games.
    The less said about the current commentary on those games the better. But if they feel he has potential, why on earth start him out on the high viewership games – let him learn the craft first.

  17. gbewing

    February 20, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    how many more articles can we trudge up on this subject clearly overkill

    • Frill Artist

      February 21, 2013 at 4:37 pm

      Seriously, I don’t understand the moaning. No one is forcing anyone to sit in front of the TV and listen to him.

      • Cantona

        February 21, 2013 at 5:46 pm

        So I get it… You like crap amateur announcers… Well lets all hope you get Ian Crocker on your next NBA finals series


  18. jtm371

    February 20, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    I don’t like arlo white calling football matches and i don’t like gus johnson calling football matches so now i would like to know how you will stereotype me.can’t wait to hear this one.

    • Fog

      February 20, 2013 at 10:06 pm

      Anyone who dislikes Arlo White is obviously very intelligent. 🙂

      • Guy

        February 21, 2013 at 9:51 am

        See, jtm? Completely unbiased.

  19. Fog

    February 20, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    This isn’t about Gus Johnson. It is about Fox!! Fox has made the decision to put a new voice to soccer in America. Gus Johnson is the messenger…not the decision maker. He has been put in a near impossible situation.

    Fox is messing with us…not Johnson. I admire Johnson’s intestinal fortitude to even try this. He has a successful career already. Personally, I don’t care for his style in calling football or basketball, but that is not the point. He is doing what his boss tells him to do. He is doing it to the best of his ability.

    Again, Johnson is just the messenger. Fox management, or lack there of, has put him in this situation.

  20. rockstarbigdaddy

    February 20, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    the thing is, Gus Johnson is a very average announcer, not just for soccer, but for all sports he’s worked on. he doesn’t know soccer well enough, the nuances, history, to make his broadcasts even remotely interesting. if Fox Soccer wants to bring in somebody like Johnson, then one would hope for something ‘new’ to be brought to the table, which he does not. I’d be happier bringing in a total wildcard like Monday Night Football did with Dennis Miller, than bring in such an average broadcaster when there are so many more available that are just simply better. as for Dave O’Brien, he has no business saying anything about this at all, and with his lack of credibility, if I were Gus, I’d tell Dave to “please shut up.”

    • Cantona

      February 20, 2013 at 9:42 pm

      Yes after his history with the sport this the last person you would want to hear coming to your defense.

      I’m still hoping Fox will do the right thing and have the Sky/world feed on SAP.. But I think the arrogance of Eric Shanks won’t let it happen.


    • BA14

      February 21, 2013 at 1:00 am

      Really Dennis Miller type????? Gus is more than an average sports announcer.

      • Wongo1

        February 21, 2013 at 10:48 am

        BA are you Gus’ significant other or are you actually Gus? Your comments in defense of the guy are poor at best and are doing nothing for him. Better you just say nothing.

  21. Todd

    February 20, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    I debated getting involved simply because at this point it’s akin to the cliche of “beating a dead horse.”

    I am writing in hopes that someone from FOX Soccer is actually reading these comments and attempting to understand where fans of the sport are coming from. Having someone like Gus Johnson coming in is fine with me if they are brought in and gradually given opportunities throughout a season.
    If they wanted an American voice (which I’m fine with) then they should have started it on day one. FOX should have used him in smaller matches throughout the season. There were plenty of chances for him to learn the game by both sitting alongside other commentators as well as broadcasting for some decent matches earlier on (such as Reading v Stoke on day one, plenty of chances to see what the EPL is like).

    What blows my mind is their choice to throw him in, like a sheep to wolves, in two of the biggest matches of the season. Even more baffling is their choice to already slot him in to the two matches that will most definitely be the biggest of the season in the finals for the FA Cup and Champions League.

    I don’t have a problem with hearing an American accent in either match while watching here in America. What I do have a problem with is exactly what is outline here (and other articles): his absolute lack of experience and knowledge of the game in general and the larger history surrounding matches. I have followed the EPL for nearly 15 years now and there is still so much history that I have missed out on.

    If my job was to be a full time commentator I would be spending even more of my time working on my knowledge of the sport. I felt like his second go of it in the Arsenal match was even worse than the first, and I agree that it came down to a lack of knowledge.

    A shorter version of this comment would have been: why didn’t FOX start using him at the start of the season for smaller matches and help him build his repertoire? Instead they have thrown him in to what is becoming a no-win situation for everyone.

    • paddy h.

      February 21, 2013 at 1:28 pm

      send your comments to them at the link below – i’ve been sending them links recently to epl talk threads so they can read what fans are saying on these posts.

      message subject = TV
      TV = fox soccer channel

  22. Harold

    February 20, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    The difference between the British commentators and Gus Johnson, et al, is that the British guys have learned that your voice is always going to be behind the action. If a goal is scored the live TV pictures and the reaction of the crowd is going to beat you every time

    Watch next time a goal is scored. The more experienced commentators will be much more relaxed. For the viewer I’ve seen that the goal has been scored, or just missed. Now I want some reaction to what I’ve just seen – or some tactical analysis from someone smarter than me to tell me what is special about what I’ve just seen or why it happened. Nationality or accent should be no barrier to getting the commentary job and I can understand the reasoning behind putting someone in place 18 months before the World Cup so that they have time to gain experience. I guess that it is figured that any fans are going to watch the matches whoever is commentating. I’m not sure that it’s a great strategy though, if you’ve made your living calling other sports why would you change your style now? Commentary of a basketball game is very different to commentary of a soccer game

  23. stiglet

    February 20, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    Prior to yesterday’s game I did not know FOX was switching things up. (Liverpool fan – don’t really play big games anymore *sobs*). The experience I had drove me to find out what was going on and I read a number of posts on this site. Throughout the broadcast I wondered why are FOX messing with a winning formula? There were clear instances in the game that indicated Gus does not understand the game and you cannot just get 30-40 years of experience of football overnight like Martin Tyler, Alan Parry et al have. He would get excited at moments where an experienced eye could clearly see nothing was going to come from an attack. It felt like he was reading his stats, info etc and it just was not natural. I cannot understand why you would choose to put someone with no tactical knowledge, no anecdotes or big game football experience on commentary on big games for the sake of an accent. As an Englishman I have no problem with an American or any nationality commentating as long as they know the game, the problem was, just from the one game I have seen, Gus is not the man. Would you want Martin Tyler commentating on the NFL? I am really hoping when the forthcoming change happens, NBC use quality, experienced commentators who understand the game and we can leave FOX to its experiments.

  24. Fog

    February 20, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    After listening to Alan Parry announce today’s match between Barca and Milan, I have tried to formulate in my mind what is the difference between him (or Tyler, Darke, Champion) and Johnson (or any number of less proficient announcers). I cannot adequately put it into words, but I will try.

    I will use Johnson as my comparison, but it pertains to many more than just him. When Johnson says a descriptive word…Parry uses a sentence. When Johnson uses a descriptive sentence…Parry uses a paragraph. When Johnson uses a paragraph…Parry delivers a chapter in a book. All in the same time frame.

    Superior athletes say all the time that the difference between their high level of performance and when they began is the speed of the game. When they first started, the game moved so fast that they were unable to keep up. They were alway chasing the game. As they became more proficient, the game slowed down and they were better able to read the game, to anticipate and to make better decisions and execute better. All in the same time frame.

    In my opinion this is just one of the issues that confronts Johnson. Currently, the game is far too fast for him. He is always chasing the game.

    A bigger issue is his grasp of game strategy, its participants, the enormity of the event and the games’ history. These are areas that the best announcers have spent their lifetimes developing. Their whole lives have been their classroom…not a couple of months in a studio or sitting next to a co-commentator…or playing a pick-up game.

    In addition, what makes this so frustrating is that the best announcers are available. The matches that Johnson is calling are also being called by the Parry’s and the Tyler’s, etc. And they are…and will be available to Fox.

    With these other top flight announcers available, comparing Johnson to them is valid. It’s not like comparing Messi to Pele. Pele doesn’t play any longer…and Messi isn’t available.

    I can’t comprehend the enormity of the task at hand for Johnson. I don’t know if I would expect anyone to succeed starting from where he is and the competition he is being compared to.

    • Cantona

      February 20, 2013 at 9:06 pm

      Great comments… Listening to Alan Parry today just shows the difference in the gulf of quality between Johnson and Parry. I agree with the comment that it is fair to compare Johnson to the Parry’s and the Tyler’s because they ARE available to Fox and its their call to use Johnson in their experiment.


      • The Gaffer

        February 20, 2013 at 9:19 pm

        I agree. Excellent insight Fog.

        Part of the problem is that Gus Johnson hasn’t found his rhythm yet. It’s a much harder sport to commentate than basketball or American football, in my opinion.

        The Gaffer

        • BA14

          February 21, 2013 at 12:59 am

          I think basketball and soccer are pretty similar. I wish Gus would use his hoops knowledge more. I think Gus wants to put everything in soccer terminology and doesn’t necessarily have to.

          • Wongo1

            February 21, 2013 at 10:42 am

            BA you really do not have a clue if you make a statement like basketball and footie are “pretty similar”. The speed of the games are different they have a very different cadence and more importantly you have to cover a 45 minutes straight no time outs no commercial breaks, no time to recover. Less reliance on stats etc.

            How would you like your precious basketball done in footie terms? I thought not. What a numpty comment!!

    • paddy h.

      February 21, 2013 at 1:25 pm

      good post. and indeed alan parry is pretty poor when compared to his peers. but i would welcome him as i would an oasis in a desert when compared to gus johnson

  25. Frill Artist

    February 20, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    If FOX’s decision pisses you off so much then don’t watch it. Watching it only reinforces and supports their ludicrous decision.

    • The Gaffer

      February 20, 2013 at 7:28 pm

      The only legal way to watch, for example, Sunday’s game between Man City and Chelsea is on FOX Soccer. I’m not going to miss the match.

      The Gaffer

      • Frill Artist

        February 20, 2013 at 9:10 pm

        So…you hate a restaurant’s food and moan on and on about it yet you still go there because they are the only restaurant in town?

        • The Gaffer

          February 20, 2013 at 9:15 pm

          Frill, this is not an apples to apples comparison.

          Like I said before, I will continue to give Gus a fair chance. I’m not going to give him a free ride, but where he does well, I’ll point it out as I’ve done so already.

          The Gaffer

          • Frill Artist

            February 20, 2013 at 10:21 pm

            “You will continue to give him a fair chance?”

            That’s not what your first article sounded like when his hiring was announced.

      • Larry

        February 21, 2013 at 9:44 am

        You can also watch it on Fox Deportes if you don’t mind the Spanish commentary.

        • The Gaffer

          February 21, 2013 at 9:44 am

          I don’t get FOX Deportes on my cable.

          The Gaffer

    • Wongo1

      February 21, 2013 at 10:36 am

      Frill you are you seriously comparing watching the game to eating. Let me make it very clear for you, FOX currently owns the rights in the USA to the Premiership so there is no choice as a view if you want to see the game unless as the Gaffer pointed out you want to go the illegal route. Frill are you advocating going illegal?

      The difference is that if I don’t like Jean George I can go to Daniel there is a real and legal choice there. I hope this clears that up for you.

      On to your other point, the Gaffer was pretty fair with Gus and like the rest of us his main complaint was and remains the fact that FOX gives a novice the CL and other top games to call so that the viewing audience has to suffer as he “learns and hones” his skill, why should we have to deal with that? They don’t just let a novice heart surgeon start operating on his own do they?

  26. Gerry Binks

    February 20, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    The accent argument is bogus. Arlo White has an English accent and he is just as inept as Gus.

    Its a matter of knowledge, experience and knowing when not to obliterate the match with constant banter.

    The most respected Engllish actors are those who say few words, except where and when neccessary for the benefit of the play, movie or whatever.

    • Morgan Wick

      February 22, 2013 at 4:26 pm

      I’m surprised that, on the flip side, there’s been no mention of JP Dellacamera and this blog’s lament that he wasn’t able to call TV games for the 2010 World Cup.

  27. Dean Stell

    February 20, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    I hate this idea that accept matters and how some people imply that people don’t like someone like O’Brien or Gus just because they don’t have a non-American accent.

    The thing that Gus suffers from is not being able to add to our enjoyment of the minute-to-minute action because he doesn’t understand it well enough himself.

    Now….he might fix that. I’m a newer fan myself so I’m sensitive to this idea that you can’t ever become knowledgeable if you didn’t grow up with the sport. Of course you can……but you have a LOT of catching up to do. If this is Gus’ fulltime job, he should be able to watch 2 matches per day and then discuss them with smarter people. Eventually he’ll learn what to look for and start to have his own opinions.

    But…the thing is that we’re watching Gus’ learning process live on TV. He really should have to do the work first.

    • Dean Stell

      February 20, 2013 at 6:51 pm

      I should also add to this thought part of my own experience as an example.

      Example: I write a few columns for EPLTalk. BUT…I’m a newer fan, my knowledge of tactics and performances is still limited to hearing smart people talk about things and recognizing them myself. I’m starting to have my own ideas and I’ll figure it out. Give me some time and I’ll be surprisingly good. BUT….in the interim, I’m not going to write tactics pieces for EPLTalk because I just don’t have anything THAT interesting to say. So….I write about wiping up vomit with scarves and stuff like that. 🙂

      • Mufc77

        February 20, 2013 at 7:52 pm

        When you figure out the whole tactics thing be sure to send a copy to Arsene Wenger and Brenda Rodgers as they can go with some help.

        • Wongo1

          February 21, 2013 at 10:28 am


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