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Gus Johnson’s Commentating Goes From Bad to Worse On FOX Soccer

Never before has a commentator been so reliant on his co-commentator during coverage of the beautiful game on FOX Soccer.

In most matches, the co-commentator adds color by occasionally sharing some analysis or bringing more insight to the game by making a stark observation. But in the matches where FOX Soccer’s Gus Johnson has been in charge, the role of the co-commentator has been more pronounced, speaking far more often than usual and being a more pivotal player in the broadcast experience.

While Warren Barton jostled for air time with Johnson in the Real Madrid-Manchester United match, and where Ray Clemence papered over the cracks in FOX’s broadcast of Arsenal-Bayern Munich, today co-commentator Lee Dixon stepped up to the plate and played a pivotal role in joining the dots with Johnson’s scattered commentary of Manchester City-Chelsea where he often let his commentary hang in balance until Dixon picked up the pieces to finish the thought.

One example (out of many) of Johnson’s inability to read the game and finish his thoughts, presumably because he’s unsure what is exactly happening before his eyes, was the second half incident when Jack Rodwell was knocked down in the Chelsea penalty area by defender Gary Cahill. The referee was having none of it, and didn’t signal for a penalty but the incident was described by Johnson’s commentary as “Cahill. Rodwell. In the area.” And that was it. No following through to share his opinion or to explain that the ref didn’t deem the collision harsh enough to award a penalty. Dixon, thankfully, joined the dots.

Johnson’s commentary style is distracting to viewers who are trying to enjoy the game. He’s not a paint by numbers announcer, so his words and unusual terms of phrase are jarring to the ears. His combination of American sport terms and staccato commentary are unique to the game. You end up either loving it or hating it.

The first three minutes of the Manchester City-Chelsea match found Johnson and Dixon setting the stage for the game. Instead of providing match commentary of the game that was being played in front of our eyes, they ended up talking about what Dixon expected to see in the game, last season’s result and what it meant to have John Terry on the bench. By doing so, the duo instantly forced a distance between the viewer and the game. The match needs to be the focal point, not the stories, statistics or off-the-field ongoings that have little to do with the actual match itself.

After Johnson and Dixon spent the first few minutes distracting the viewer, they quickly got into a rhythm together as the match unfolded.

In the first half, Johnson put his foot in his mouth again by calling Eden Hazard a Frenchman. Someone must have quickly admonished him in his ear piece, though, as Johnson soon corrected himself and said the talented Chelsea midfielder was, in fact, Belgian.

In the fifteenth minute, Johnson again made another error that has been a consistent trait of his work in the three matches he’s commentated thus far. Again, he failed to read the game correctly. The incident was the wonderful header by Matija Nastasić that was brilliantly saved off the line by Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech. His “What a save!” call, this time, was appropriate, but the major point that both Johnson, Dixon and the half-time FOX Soccer pundits missed was the fact that the referee blew his whistle immediately after the save to signal that Kun Aguero was in an offside position. No matter how wonderful the header and save were, it wouldn’t have been a goal even if the ball went into the back of the net.

Unfortunately, both Johnson and Dixon missed the call by the referee after being signaled by the assistant referee. And the game proceeded on without either commentator mentioning anything about it. Later in the game, Johnson remarked that “Petr Cech has kept Chelsea in this game.” If you rule out the Nastasić header that wouldn’t have counted because of offside, Cech had only made one other crucial save off Jack Rodwell up until that time in the game, which was a point blank save.

Where Johnson did shine was in the three major incidents in the game — the penalty save by Joe Hart, the opening goal by Yaya Toure and the last goal of the game when Carlos Tevez put the match out of reach for Chelsea. In each of these three instances, Johnson’s calls beautifully captured the energy and excitement of the game. In my mind, these were the three best calls of all three games Johnson has commentated on thus far for FOX Soccer.

But goals and penalty saves are few and far between in a 90 minute match.

Late in the game, in the 90th minute, Dixon and Johnson were so occupied talking about  the prospect of Chelsea playing Manchester United in the FA Cup that they both completely missed Yaya Toure getting into a heated argument with David Silva. Incredibly, despite the heated debate on the pitch with Roberto Mancini worryingly looking on, neither Johnson or Dixon said a single word about it.

Yet again, it was another example of the TV viewer having to figure out what was happening instead of being informed by Johnson. We, the viewers, were left trying to decipher the incident with no help of the commentating team.

By now, we’re more familiar with Johnson’s style of commentary, which is overflowing with statistics, corner counts, ages of players (even “42-year-old referee Andre Marriner”) and identification of player names as they pass the ball around the pitch. Any average soccer commentator can do the same or better in that regard. But where Johnson shines is in his unbridled excitement in key moments in matches. Unfortunately, it’s an uncomfortable and agonizing experience listening to Johnson until he gets to those shining moments in games.

Mistakes and inability to read the game correctly aside, whether you enjoy Gus Johnson’s commentaries comes down to the style that you prefer. I’ve been trying to remain fair and objective in my reviews of his commentating, but just when I start getting into his style, he either leaves the TV viewer in the dark with his inability to describe what he’s seeing or he makes a simple mistake.

FOX Soccer is providing an inferior experience with Johnson behind the mic instead of the usual commentary team. If FOX Soccer (and/or FOX Sports) are comfortable with broadcasting a sub par experience while giving Johnson much-needed practice, then that’s their decision. But sadly for soccer fans, we’re the ones missing out and being treated like guinea pigs when Johnson is commentating some of the biggest matches of the season.

Gus Johnson’s next scheduled commentary is Sunday’s north London derby between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal. You could argue the match will be one of the biggest of the Premier League season as it’ll go a long way to determining who will finish in fourth and fifth positions in the league if the current top three positions remain the same at season’s end. Until then, there’s plenty of time to look forward to his commentary or to find alternate ways to enjoy the game without listening to the hype.

PS Gus, it’s pronounced Premier League, not “Premiere League.”

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  1. Khuelbig

    May 25, 2013 at 7:02 am

    He is ruining the most important games of this season. I hope that Fox will realize how horrible he is. He is not the only American who can announce soccer games!

  2. james reynolds

    May 19, 2013 at 9:55 am

    This guy is horrible. He ruins the viewing experience for me and soccer is all I watch on TV. If he announces Champions League final I am stabbing myself in the knee with a steak knife.

    • The Gaffer

      May 19, 2013 at 10:46 am

      He’s calling the Champions League Final live on FOX.

      The Gaffer

  3. damien

    May 5, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Gaffe, thanks for the article! I guess we’re stuck with Gus…. I’m not sure if Gus’ lack of soccer insight is more annoying or his ill-timed screams (when players are not even close to have an opportunity), or his awful pronunciation and butchering of the players’, coaches’ and stadium names…. as Gaffer noted “Premiere League”…! Or as Gus would scream Mawdric (for Luka Modric) or Rawben (for Arjen Robben)…! What a nightmare if Gus stays on for the World Cup!

  4. jdgriswald

    May 2, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Seattle Sounders FC tried this same experiment with Kevin Calabro, a great basketball announcer, and horrible soccer voice. At least he copped to his short comings and had no problem with his dismissal after one season.

  5. DJ

    April 21, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Tottenham V Man City, who’s the foreign guy screaming in background and why are we having to listen to him? Once again commentary spoiled by background noise.

    • The Gaffer

      April 21, 2013 at 9:04 am

      Hopefully they’ll fix it at half-time. As distracting as it must be for we viewers, it must be tough for Peter Drury to think straight with the other commentators in the background.

      My guess is that it’s a crowded gantry with Drury and co-commentator positioned too close to the other commentator, where the mics are picking both of them up.

      The Gaffer

  6. JT

    March 14, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    He is terrible. No other way to say it. I will do whatever it takes to not have to listen to him including hitting mute, which sucks as you cannot get a sense of the atmosphere in the stadium. Just so bad.

  7. Jesse Ramirez

    March 10, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    Please make it stop fox. This Gus guy is horrible. Or at lease give me the SAP option so I don’t have hear him butcher players names or call it “MAN U”. Clearly has no passion for the game other wise he would have know that. He ruined today’s game and clearly is not doing the leg work needed to commentate professional football.

  8. Sarah walz

    March 10, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    I hate Gus Johnson as a soccer announcer. If there is a petition to sign or a Facebook page to join, please let me know.

  9. tom

    March 4, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    While I agree with the general view that Johnson is useless, he brings, at least for me,two advantages

    – I dont get annoyed anymore at the crappy sound balance between the crowd and the commentary that is a hallmark of FSC, it successfully blocks out Johnson’s monotone.

    – At least I don’t have to listen to Tony Gale or Craig Burley who make Johnson sound like a superstar football commentator.

  10. David

    March 3, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    What great relief to realise that Johnson wasn’t going to ruin the North London derby today. Great commentary during the match.

    However, why on earth do Fox continue to serve up such drivel before and after the game. Piers Morgan on his habitual hobbyhorse – the only saving grace was that his opinionated views even drowned out the abrasive Wynalda.

    Can’t wait for NBC to take over.

  11. Bryan

    March 3, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Three games in, and I’m already done with the Gus Johnson Experiment. His call of the Bayern-Arsenal game was an improvement over his first outing only in the sense that he didn’t shout “FIRE” as much. So glad that Fox lost the rights to EPL games; listening to Johnson do games every weekend would be just awful. One thing that’s going to always hold Johnson back, even if learns the game, is he’s not very erudite. He doesn’t have much of a vocabulary; the best English announcers sometimes come out with something close to poetry when describing the action. Johnson will never come close to that.

  12. Scrumper

    March 3, 2013 at 8:46 am

    Not sure which is more terrifying: Gus Johnson’s mangled commentary or a trip to the dentist.

    • Scrumper

      March 3, 2013 at 9:04 am

      What was I thinking? Two shots at the dentist and the pain disappears for ninety minutes.

  13. Cantona

    March 1, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Ok … So we know we have to deal with Johnson for the north London derby this Sunday.. Then the return leg of the Man U Real match…. Has Fox pencilled in this idiot for any other matches? Just want to make sure I have alternate means available.

    Also did anyone watch twitter explode last Sunday when Johnson was commentating? Every other tweet was about how bad he was…. You would think Fox would be getting the message by now, but those idiots are probably thinking the rating for the Man U Real game was because of Johnson….of they only would realize it was the premier matchup of the tournament so far.


    • OT

      March 1, 2013 at 11:01 am

      FOX Soccer (channel) will likely go out of business on July 31 (rebranding announcement and press conference with Eric Shanks and co.: all 3 specialty sports channels at FOX are going away. SPEED becomes FOX Sports 1, FUEL TV becomes FOX Sports 2, and FOX Soccer becomes FXX. Presumably FOX Soccer Plus will become FOX Sports Plus and will be the new home of the Dutch Eredivisie for the next 12 seasons.)

      In the meantime, FOX Soccer is the “Gus Johnson school of soccer broadcasting”.

      FOX Soccer (channel) is nothing more than a laboratory for Shanks to do whatever he pleases. The likes of David Hill and the Murdochs no longer care.

      You guys are beating a dead horse.

      Shanks will assign Gus to EVERY high-profile match on FOX Soccer between now and July, including:

      – 1 UEFA Champions League match each week

      – Every EPL match involving 2 of the “Sky 6”

      – The CONCACAF Gold Cup Final

      – Likely the US women’s friendlies

      JP and John Strong will get the lower profile matches, i.e. the UEFA Europa League and the CONCACAF U-20s.

      • Cantona

        March 1, 2013 at 11:21 am

        I never expected him to yank him totally, but after all the outrage I had hoped he would have been reassigned to lower tier matches or even the world feed on SAP… But unfortunately we dealing with an egotistical executive who thinks he is god… Hopefully twitter will light up again at Fox this weekend.. Especially bad since they are bringing back Piers Morgan… Another WTF moment


    • Fog

      March 1, 2013 at 11:42 pm

      Sunday won’t be just about Gus Johnson…we will be blessed with Piers Morgan as an in-studio guest!!! Will this misery ever end???

  14. Wongo1

    February 26, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    FOX please listen to this in full play close attention from the 16:00 mark and know that you have failed in your duty as the stewards of the great game in the USA:,,27973_8525011,00.html

    • dust

      February 26, 2013 at 6:15 pm

      That link gets a 404 page

      • Fog

        February 26, 2013 at 6:23 pm

        Copy whole link and paste it…then it works.

  15. dust

    February 26, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    This must be what its like to be a Chelski fan, the executive team at fox soccer are pulling an Abromovich and completely disregarding what the fans of Soccer across all clubs want.

    • Schadenfreudian

      June 5, 2014 at 12:54 pm

      Insatiable greed is baaad…but when coupled with dismissive arrogance…you get Gus Johnson driving for the six.

      Why not hire Dick Vitale? Same shtick.

  16. dust

    February 26, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    How about Fox give a just stop pushing this guy on the viewers.

    Gaffer is there anyway you can run a poll that requires a sign in of sorts to validate the entries that asks what people do when they watch games he commentates on.

    Do they:

    a)watch the game and have no problem with the commentary
    b)watch the game but mute the audio
    c)watch the game, mute and listen to different audio
    d)I can’t watch the game and sync another audio source so I find another feed online to watch.

    If A please leave your thoughts on Gus Johnson’s performance Positive or Negative.

    If C then what other audio source do you use and why.


    Just a thought, there has to be a way before the game on sunday to show fox what is going on, so they use the regular feed.

  17. Cantona

    February 26, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    If Fox really wanted to grow the game in the US then they should have left the commentators alone and replaced “the American” Rob Stone with Erin Andrews.


    • Fog

      February 26, 2013 at 6:20 pm

      Erin Andrews…NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

      Please, let us have some improvement…going sideways is no improvement. The only thing Erin Andrews has going for her is that I think she probably looks better in leather pants…although, I haven’t seen Gus in leather pants so I will withhold my judgement there.

      • Fog

        February 26, 2013 at 6:41 pm

        I haven’t seen Rob Stone in leather pants either…so I’ll withhold judgement on him also.

    • OT

      March 1, 2013 at 11:03 am

      There are younger girls in the FOX stable.

      E.A. is way too expensive, is way past her “sell-by” date, and brings way too much unwanted baggage to the table. ESPN, Inc. was correct to let her go.

  18. bucky

    February 26, 2013 at 11:22 am

    It is ridiculous that Fox claims he has been working on this commentary for 6 months.i guess they dont realize how long it takes to understand the game. He is good at doing football games. he has been watching football his entire life. The arrogance that Fox believes new football fans need to hear an American. What they need is intelligence and help the fan at home feel what it is like to be there on the day. I am so tired of this network that has constantly failed. It helped bring the game here, but it has been resting on that for a very long time.

  19. tim

    February 26, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Nice formula you got going.

    Continually writing the same old story about how a rookie announcer is doing an allegedly bad job=lots of pageviews=lots of comments=higher ad $$$.

    We get it. You think he sucks. Writing about it ad nauseam won’t change anything–not watching will.

    • The Gaffer

      February 26, 2013 at 8:35 am

      Tim, just because the article is getting a lot of comments doesn’t mean it’s getting a lot of pageviews. Take a look at the ‘What’s Trending’ bar on the right sidebar and you’ll see that none of the Gus Johnson articles are not in the top 8.

      Tim, I’m not writing ad nauseum about the topic. Each article is a completely separate angle regarding the story.

      The only reason I’m writing these articles is because I feel very strongly that FOX Soccer is making a grave decision. Obviously other people agree with me too.

      The Gaffer

    • Pete

      February 26, 2013 at 9:05 am


      I don’t know if your making a comment because you don’t have your information correct or if you’re commenting to get some kind of reaction out of The Gaffer.

      But Gus Johnson is not a “rookie” announcer. He has done MLS matches for a good amount of time now.

      The bottom line is his involvement (and Fox’s decision to hire him) is upsetting a large portion of the football viewing fanbase.

      I don’t mind him doing MLS matches because it’s a lower league of professional football. But I want top commentators for the top matches.

      Skysports doesn’t break out Martin Tyler (sorry to keep using him as an example) for the Sunderland-QPR match. They save him for the big ones and let other announcers handle the “smaller” matches.

      Fox should’ve left Johnson to cover their college soccer and other lower level matches.

      If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    • Guy

      February 26, 2013 at 11:22 am

      Tim, there is no “allegedly” about it. Fox seems intent on ramming this guy down our throats despite his lack of adequate background to handle the job. I think any of the regular fans on this blog could do better with or without a stat sheet by their side. At least they understand the culture and dynamics of the game.

      I do not dislike Gus Johnson personally. I am sure he’s a great guy, but he is simply not equipped for the job he is being handed. Unless he is going to move to Europe, immerse himself in the culture and call a couple hundred Championship/League One and Two matches he never will be.

      The only person I can think of who might think Fox’s move is a great one would be Tony “This square peg will fit in that round hole!” Pulis.

      • IanCransonsKnees

        February 26, 2013 at 12:36 pm

        The only person I can think of who might think Fox’s move is a great one would be Tony “This square peg will fit in that round hole!” Pulis.

        Can he play left back? Pulis might try to sign him even if he can’t.

    • dust

      February 26, 2013 at 4:10 pm

      Not watching is not the answer, turning the sound down / mute and trying to sync another audio source is the only real option…

      I cant wait for the BPL to go to NBC.. its a shame fox has the UCL, FA cup and world cup with this horrid commentator… it wasn’t broke with english feed so what was the point, you can’t improve from what was there with Gus..

      Not watching, I would love to not watch, perhaps if you/fox (im gonna take a guess you work at fox) make the same games available online with a different audio and NOT GUS
      I would not watch the fox soccer channel 803 broadcasts.

      Unfortunately 803 is the only legit HD option to watch the game… don’t watch how ridiculous.. Mute mute mute mute… is unfortunately the only option.

      I stop paying the extra “satellite on online options” i had.

      Ruin my NL Derby game with the worst football commentator to date…. I would rather you let Lalas have a go, thats how bad Gus is …unbelievable… Don’t watch…

  20. Tom

    February 25, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    The criticism is warranted, but let’s try to keep it in perspective: He’s only ever announced american collegiate basketball and american professional and collegiate football. He’s not familiar with calling football games. FOX is breeding him to be the voice of the 2018 world cup. 2018! He has five and a half years until summer 2018. He’s not going to be perfect right away, so there’s no use throwing in the towel after three calls. He’s got the excitement to make a great announcer and has done well considering his lack of experience so far. Let’s give him a shot and understand that he’s going through a long learning experience.

    • BrandoX

      February 25, 2013 at 11:21 pm

      He should practice OFF THE AIR.

    • Fog

      February 25, 2013 at 11:30 pm

      Sometimes throwing someone into the deep end of the pool to force them to learn to swim doesn’t work. Sometimes they drown.

      I think that it is best that Fox rescues Johnson from this experiment and pull him from the pool…and find a different Michael Phelps. Or better yet, go with the established swimmers/announcers already available.

    • Wongo1

      February 26, 2013 at 12:26 am

      No Tom he HAS not done well. If he had we would not all be bitching.

      If you think he has done so well and should be allowed to practice on air, let me suggest the following if you ever need an operation let a complete novice do it and just because he did not cut your heart we say well he was a success.

    • Rob

      February 26, 2013 at 3:06 am

      No let’s not understand his long learning experience. let him call college soccer games to get used to the game not the biggest games in the biggest leagues.
      Sunday’s game was awful, he totally spoiled a game I had been looking forward to. This year Fox have really gone backwards in their coverage and this guy is only making it worse.

    • Pete

      February 26, 2013 at 7:17 am

      A great point was just made. There are NUMEROUS individuals who could have stepped in and done a better job than Johnson. Why Fox signed him to a contract when all they have to do is take the feed directly from Sky (or any other service) is just foolish.

      I need to see the survey they took which proved to them that Gus Johnson’s name attached to a football match would bring in more viewers.

      Not to beat my initial point over the head…but when I see a match worth watching, my last thought is “Oh, who’s the commentator going to be?” I usually don’t think about it until I hear their voices.

      In the case of Tyler-Neville, I know I’m in for a good experience. Everyone else is just like background noise to me.

      But Johnson booms his voice over the game and brings a false excitement. At least it comes of false.

      I couldn’t stand him on CBS during college basketball and I definitely can’t stand him now.

      • Schadenfreudian

        June 5, 2014 at 12:46 pm

        Perhaps it’s more readily understandable in this maddening context: Sunil Gulati was/is executive director of the USA Men’s National World Cup team. We think so little of soccer, we put the same egomaniacal sociopaths in charge of our national team as corporations put in charge of their scams. It takes precious little leap of logic to understand how a journeyman (at best) announcer is being “bred” to become the face/voice/annoyance of American soccer for years to come.

    • Schadenfreudian

      June 5, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      Frankly, I found your term “breeding him” to be at once skeevy and Michael Cricton-esquely frightening.

  21. matt

    February 25, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    “Today on EPLtalk, the Gaffer beats a dead horse again.”

    It is what it is. Just enjoy the game. Harping on things like “he said Chicharito instead of Rafael” is pointless.

    Our President once said there are 57 states. People make mistakes. Big deal. If it ruins the match for you, then you need to grow up.

    I don’t like Gus doing matches either, but enough whining.

    • The Gaffer

      February 25, 2013 at 4:00 pm

      Matt’s slogan… “Let’s embrace incompetence and give everyone a free ride!”

      The Gaffer

      • Wongo1

        February 26, 2013 at 12:23 am

        America these days Gaffer, everyone gets a gold star and no one is a failure.

      • matt

        February 26, 2013 at 5:14 pm

        I’m not embracing anything. I’ve agreed with the rest of the world that Gus isn’t a good fit, at all, to call matches.

        What I am saying is that instead of writing a 19 paragraph essay on how the commentator stinks, after writing a few others on the same subject, perhaps we all just move on and get back to doing what this site was intended for – discussing the Premier League.

        No gold star for anyone involved in this decision Wongo, except for the person who tried to think outside the box to help draw some more viewers to the sport. I just don’t see the point in beating a dead horse. Gus isn’t a good fit for FSC. The FSC folks, who probably read this forum, understand that. I don’t think we need 19 more paragraphs next week to move the needle. The point’s been made enough times.

        That’s all. I’m far more interested in reading about, you know, the game than I am in re-hashing all the times Gus misstated someone’s nationality.

        • The Gaffer

          February 26, 2013 at 6:04 pm

          Matt, you don’t get it…we are discussing the Premier League when we talk about FOX’s decision to hire Gus Johnson. The commentary in an EPL match is the heart and soul of the game, so if the experience is ruined by having a soccer novice calling the game, then we have every right to stand up, complain and tell FOX that we’re not happy regarding their decision.

          Many of us have grown up listening to Martin Tyler and other top commentators. We’ve been hearing them bring the games into our homes for 18 years or more. Now we hardly get to hear Martin Tyler at all because FOX wants us to listen to soccer novice Gus Johnson instead.

          The Gaffer

        • Schadenfreudian

          June 5, 2014 at 12:38 pm

          Oh, here’s thinking outside of the box, too, Matt…since merely thinking outside of the box is reward/achievement enough: Replace Gus Johnson with Sofia Vergara. That might attract more viewers, too, and she quite possibly knows more about the sport.

  22. Gerry Binks

    February 25, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    All we need now is a press release from NBC stating that all EPL games in 2013-2014 will have Gus Johnson and Arlo White as the commentary team.

    If so, I ‘ll have to get the wife to remove all sharp instruments for each weekend.

    • Fog

      February 25, 2013 at 5:06 pm

      With Ray Hudson as their co-commentator…

  23. Brian B

    February 25, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    If Fox wanted to use a broadcaster with no football experience they could have tried to get Al Roker from NBC, at least he could give us a weather forecast during the game.

    • rkujay

      April 19, 2013 at 3:09 pm

      Fox did in fact use a throwball guy in the UCL two years ago. He kept making inane remarks trying to compare the ’86 Giants to something happening on the pitch. The clown was so full of himself, he didn’t realize he was an embarrassment.

  24. footbalfanaticinarizona

    February 25, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    This is just a disgrace. No Martin Tyler doing a huge match like ManCity and Chelsea but Gus Johnson. Pleeeeasee, this guy is a college basketball announcer, where the game is fast pace and every possession can result in a score but football come on Fox. And then this guy is also doing the Champions League as well. YGTBE Shite’n me! please send him back to work NC-Charlotte vs. Duke in the NCAAs.

  25. ChrisJ

    February 25, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Must make other arrangements. Won’t suffer this guy again. VPN helps but anyone have suggestions for matches on Sky?

  26. Don

    February 25, 2013 at 11:54 am

    I am also in the camp of it’s not so much his “Americanization” of the game but more his lack of knowledge…knowledge you can’t really learn unless you have at least played and lived the game for a decent amount of time…you mean to tell me this is the best they can do? It really does feel at times that your intelligence is being insulted by some of the comments he makes…the commentator should be able to add value and insights to the commentary…Gus unfortunately isn’t dong that at all but is actually serving as a distraction to the product….oh and an “American” announcer won’t draw an audience…an announcer with knowledge of the game who is insightful, intelligent, coherent and maybe funny and engaging will..that should be the sole criteria for choosing an announcer…

  27. Phil

    February 25, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Spoiled the match for me. And can someone tell Gus it’s the goal line, not the end line. It’s all these petty annoyances and inaccuracies that ruin the experience.

  28. Stevie G

    February 25, 2013 at 11:26 am

    This is ridiculous – cant wait till May 2013, not sure what NBC Sports coverage will be like however, but this is horrible from FOX. Sorry guys, but I actually will only watch MLS games on ESPN when Ian Darkey is commenting!! Theres something about watching football (soccer for you others) with a Brit commentator – its just how its been since the inception of broadcasting football matches. You know, imagine going to a baseball game and instead of beer they are now serving you wine. It does the job, but its completely out of place.

  29. COYS_USA_D1

    February 25, 2013 at 10:38 am

    I don’t think our hate should be directed at Johnson what so ever. The hate should be firmly directed at Fox for forcing an announcer with as much football knowledge as a youth coach on us. It proves that they do not care about the loyal fans who simply love watching great football regardless of the match up. Johnson is solely there for the fair weather football fan. The people that might watch it because its a big game between two well known teams. Also the people that watch the world cup every four year as long as USA qualify. Makes me glad NBC is taking over. Can you imagine what EPL would be like for the next 6 years with Johnson announcing every Man U, City, Spurs, Scum or Chelsea match. No matter what happens it wont be as bad as ESPN’s Dave O’Brien. Im just glad he hasnt compared Man U to the Yankees or Ronaldo to Peyton Manning like some of these American announcers do. Give Johnson some time and I think he will at least be decent. For now the mute button has been great.

    • Pete

      February 25, 2013 at 12:01 pm

      I will say this. After a few minutes of the match, I said out loud, “I’m so happy Fox lost the EPL rights. I can’t wait for NBC to take over”.

    • Schadenfreudian

      June 5, 2014 at 12:30 pm

      “Can you imagine what EPL would be like for the next 6 years with Johnson announcing every Man U, City, Spurs, Scum or Chelsea match[?]”

      Yes, yes I can: a lot like Dick Vitale announcing every Duke, Connecticut, Kentucky, and Kansas/Kansas State “match.”

      Gus was bio-engineered at the same lab as Dukie V.

  30. Matt

    February 25, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Okay, I was wrong…

    Please go back to CBS, Gus. March Madness needs you!

  31. Larry

    February 25, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Maybe Fox thinks that all this criticism of Gus Johnson is good for them. The more people talk about it the more curious others will be to tune in. There’s no such thing as negative publicity.

    Also he has lowered the bar for his success. He will now be judged by how far he has come rather than against others who commentate.

    • Schadenfreudian

      June 5, 2014 at 12:25 pm

      So, “outcomes based” policies have now infected soccer announcing…this is how the world ends–with banality and incompetence at every turn.

  32. Mufc77

    February 25, 2013 at 8:46 am

    So what’s the over/under on how many total screw up Gus makes in the Arsenal v Spurs game?

    • dills47

      February 25, 2013 at 9:18 am

      45 at least… if you count a screw up as a commentator yelling “drives”… nothing else, play continues and a shot is saved and he yells “Rodwell, too much power!!”… get rid of this clown

    • BrandoX

      February 25, 2013 at 11:41 am

      Does mischaracterizing a block as a deflection count? How about calling a slide tackle as a “nice slide”? How about calling a save as a block? Would it count if he said Bale is an Englishman? How about continuing to call the play even after the offside flag is raised?

    • COYS_USA_D1

      February 25, 2013 at 11:57 am

      Its going to be bad man. Cant wait till he calls Wilshire the best english footballer. Or calls Szczesny’s bumb ass a great keeper.

  33. Daniel

    February 25, 2013 at 7:47 am

    To the people saying that American announcers need to be heard, I can agree with that but that voice should not be Gus Johnson. I’m sure there are lot of announcers out there who could do a good job. Possible candidates should be baseball announcers more comfortable with a conversational style and not having to raise their voice at every perceived “event”.

    What I find most grating about Gus Johnson is the incessant data spewing out at unnatural rhythms. I don’t want to sit next to the know it all at the pub-that would be annoying and I think its why Johnson is so polarizing. I want to hear what is going on at the game and maybe hear a couple of timely facts once in awhile. Its tiring to hear all that in one sitting

  34. BrandoX

    February 25, 2013 at 5:10 am

    Gus should do off the air announcing of 20 or 30 PL games, then compare his work on each game to that of the Sky on-the-air announcer for that game. That ought to go some ways towards honing his skill.

  35. BrandoX

    February 25, 2013 at 4:55 am

    Fox is grooming him for World Cup 2014, because they want an “American” voice. As things stand, he will make the W.C. unwatchable. Fox would do better to have a knowledgeable British announcer work with a speech coach for the next 16 months to learn an American accent, than to hope Johnson will ever be good enough by the summer of 2014.

    • The Gaffer

      February 25, 2013 at 5:24 am

      ESPN has the rights to World Cup 2014. FOX is grooming Johnson for the Women’s World Cup 2015, as well as World Cup 2018 (and presumably World Cup 2022).

      The Gaffer

      • BrandoX

        February 25, 2013 at 11:30 am

        I stand corrected. That means Fox has even more time to find some qualified Brit and teach him to speak “American.”

  36. Cluedweasel

    February 25, 2013 at 1:48 am

    Interesting that Fox Soccer News tonight used the Sky commentary, rather than their own.
    Could be worse though. Two words – Tommy Smyth.

  37. BA14

    February 25, 2013 at 1:08 am

    Just think if you could get this many responses to a match instead of a bitch and moan session.

    • Guy

      February 25, 2013 at 8:25 am

      They are in response to the match and therein lies the problem. The commentator(s) should never become the story. If they do, then something is definitely wrong….and it’s not with the fans.

    • Wongo1

      February 25, 2013 at 1:07 pm

      BA14 I was not going to reply to this but after reading it again i can see your snide, smug face making that comment so here is my reply.

      We love the game, speaking for myself I love football/soccer/footie. I watch more games than i know what to do with. I am a Man United fan but I watch games on numerous channels and sites, I watch RAI, Telemundo. i love all the leagues and enjoy hearing all different types of commentary. The one thing I can tell you what they all have in common, whether I totally understand the language or not; the commentators know the game, they have a very distinct cadence, they do NOT scream at me for every single thing that happens in the box, they do not have stupid catch phrases and more importantly let me repeat, THEY KNOW THE GAME!!!

      Now if the commentary ruin the game that I am trying to watch guess what I am going to do…..I am going to moan and complain that the damn commentator f-ed up the game for me period.

      Now I hope that explains the moaning for you mate.

    • Schadenfreudian

      June 5, 2014 at 12:18 pm

      Gus??? Is that you???

  38. Gerry Binks

    February 25, 2013 at 12:21 am

    Gus is worse than fingernails on a blackboard.

  39. dills47

    February 24, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    Every time a winger or back is carrying the ball down the flank and cuts inside he yells.. “Crosses over”… ive played since i was 5.. ive never heard anyone use that term for soccer because its indeed a basketball term… Rafael scored in Man Uniteds game not Chicharito.. Hazard is Belgian.. he said (I believe it was Ageuro) “Couldn’t keep it in” along the attacking end line when he let it out on purpose for a corner… simply put he does not know the game at all

    • Wongo1

      February 25, 2013 at 9:48 am

      On this note he continually calls the sidelines the touch line which drives me nuts. But my nuts are now IN THE SIX so all is okay!!

      • rkujay

        April 19, 2013 at 3:05 pm

        The ‘sideline’ is in fact the touchline. One way to remember is that a player touches the ball to effect a throw-in. The ‘endline’, is called the bye line.

  40. San Fransiscan

    February 24, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    I’m just wondering what kind of questions he asked Sir Alex on the eve of the Real Madrid match. I’m sure Sir Alex’s eyebrows were raised a couple of times.

    • Fog

      February 24, 2013 at 11:22 pm

      He asked him why his mother named him “Sir.”

      • Guy

        February 24, 2013 at 11:25 pm


      • Frill Artist

        February 25, 2013 at 12:58 am

        CRACK UP!!!

      • Wongo1

        February 25, 2013 at 9:46 am

        Just peed my pants laughing!!! Nice one Fog!!

      • footbalfanaticinarizona

        February 25, 2013 at 12:34 pm

        Classic, LMFAO!

  41. Garry Craske

    February 24, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    It’s just Fox sticking their middle finger up at the PL.

  42. Fog

    February 24, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    In my life there have been very few successful multi-sport announcers. The late Bill King used to call the Oakland Raiders (NFL), Oakland A’s (MLB) and Golden State Warriors (NBA).

    I believe the best going today is Mike Tirico of ESPN/ABC. He is exceptional at every sport he calls. He is always impeccably well prepared, has a wonderful low key delivery and works beautifully with his co-commentators. If any American could become a voice of soccer…he is the one. Please Fox and NBC, leave him alone. He is too valuable where he is!!!

    • Guy

      February 24, 2013 at 11:08 pm

      Great comment. Tirico is golden.

  43. Todd

    February 24, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    I would liken Gus Johnson’s commentary on Premier League games to throwing me (or any other amateur) into broadcasting an NHL game. I don’t watch hockey and it would be moving so fast that all I would have time to do would be to call out players names and where the puck is going.

    That is how it feels for me to listen to him.

    At this point, I put on TalkSport and mute the TV. Sometimes I even leave the volume on, just so I can laugh hysterically when he botches a call.

    • Scott

      February 24, 2013 at 8:57 pm

      There’s a recent clip of Joe Buck calling a St. Louis Blues game for like 2 minutes while making a booth appearance for the Blues TV broadcast. He sounded like he’s called hockey his entire career.

  44. JasonB

    February 24, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    Fox should understand that putting someone behind the microphone who has charisma or a distinctive sounding voice is no substitute for knowledge of the sport.

    Just yelling out players’ names or using a few catch phrases doesn’t add to the viewer’s experience. It’s bad enough that he hasnt played the sport or watched it from an early age, it’s worse that he hasn’t taken the time to learn about the nuances and intricacies of soccer. It’s not rocket science but neither is it a simple sport.

    • De Selby

      February 24, 2013 at 8:55 pm

      Well, he did do some San Jose MLS matches on the radio last year and I also read that he has spent a month or two traveling around Europe going to matches and getting instruction.

      I don’t question his effort, I question that without any historical knowledge that he is capable of competently announcing the game.

      If he makes it to 2018 I figure he will be better but since, as you say, he hasn’t watched the sport from an early age I don’t think even five years is enough time.

      • Guy

        February 24, 2013 at 11:05 pm


  45. De Selby

    February 24, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Amen to the title of this article. I wasn’t sure he could get worse but I was mistaken.

    Of the many terrible moments that haven’t been mentioned yet I think my favorite(?) was when Rodwell drilled a shot that was tipped over the bar by Cech. Johnson’s call was “RODWELL!! TOO STRONG! Good idea.” He thought the shot was blasted over. Never made any mention of the save. And blasting a shot right at the goal when you have a great view of it is a good idea? I’ll have to remember that.

    His other worst call was right after the penalty was called. He just shouted “MISTAKES!!!” followed by silence, then “MANCINI!!!” followed by some more silence.

    Another of the main problems to me is that not only does Johnson not know what he’s talking about but that I know that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I live in a small to mid market area and often see inexperienced reporters getting “broken in”. It is sometimes very confusing because when you can tell they don’t know what they’re saying then you can’t understand them either. It’s very distracting.

    • paddy h.

      February 24, 2013 at 8:57 pm

      fantastic, bang on.

  46. Wongo1

    February 24, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    Gaffer, today was an example of exactly what we chatted about around his MMA outings. He is not taking enthe time to learn the game at all, this is obvious by his lack of the basic knowledge of the team he has claimed as his own. He appears to absolutely not care about th tactics of the game at all and is only interesting in screaming “in the six”, “fire” and all his other nonsense phrases.

    His call on the goals and penalty save were loud and “exciting” however he missed the intricate nature of the action. Toure goal was great for sure but there was a big deflection and was also a complete break down defensively by Chelsea. The penalty save was excellent by Hart but it was one of the poorest penalties Lampard has taken in years,if he had done even a bit of research or watched even one old Chelsea game as research he would know this. The goal by Tevez was also a bad defensive lapse that allowed Tevez the space but no mention of any of that, only “he fires and he scoressssssss! He even ruined that for me.

    I really just find him a repulsive commentator now and I blame FOX for that as they put him in this position.

    Majest1c who should they get you ask, well I have heard Keller call a game and he was actually pretty good. Give him a bit of time to hone his skill and he would be very good. Better yet if the goal is to have an”American” voice just hold open try outs and then get them trained up don’t just dump them on us in the biggest games.

    • Mufc77

      February 24, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      That’s where I know his face from its MMA. Didn’t he do a couple of CBS shows with Frank Shamrock several years ago?

      • Wongo1

        February 24, 2013 at 10:32 pm

        Yes he did Strikeforce and was horrible, did the research Gaffer. He appeared to think that all it needed was a bunch of shouting. MMA like footie is very technical and you really have to know your sh** a la Joe Rogan.

        • Mufc77

          February 25, 2013 at 8:42 am

          I’d take Joe Rogan commentating on soccer over Gus Johnson any day. They probably have the same amount of knowledge about the sport but Rogan at least be funny.

          Can you imagine outcry if Fox took Martin Tyler and asked him to call UFC shows after going to a couple of events.

          • Gerry Binks

            February 25, 2013 at 9:11 pm

            Or Piers Morgan doing the NBA.

  47. dust

    February 24, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    I want to correct my earlier post about Gus wanting to do Commentary for “One man and his Dog”. it’s actually a competitor on Channel 4 called “Sheepdog Trials”.

    As a Chelsea fan Gus has used his influence to attain Rafa’s tactical chart from the Man city game and used in in the opening sequence of his new show.

    Give it as long as you can but I think Gus moving to this show is definitely going to spice up this Sport.

    • dust

      February 24, 2013 at 7:21 pm

      watch the first 30 secs then skip to 1.38 is when the commentary starts.

  48. Kevan

    February 24, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    Every time this guy yelled “RODWELL!” during the game today, I winced. It was like he yelled a name every few seconds.

    • Todd

      February 24, 2013 at 8:17 pm

      That and MATAAAAAAA. It’s almost as bad as rob stone yelling “THE AMERICAN” whenever an american player is mentioned.

      • RG23

        March 4, 2013 at 12:58 am

        He was saying MADA

  49. Kevan

    February 24, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Call me a Eurosnob, but I want the Sky commentators back. I don’t care about the growth of the game in the US; this is not the MALS or CONCACAF CL or whatever, this is the Premier League. I want to hear the original commentators that are AT the stadia. And I don’t want Fox Soccer to send their commentators to the Champion’s League Final, either. I want to hear Martin Tyler.

    • Guy

      February 24, 2013 at 10:59 pm

      And the congregation again chants…….

      • RJ

        February 25, 2013 at 11:33 am


  50. Jim G

    February 24, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    I’m actually a Gus fan for football and college basketball, but he’s killing me and my enjoyment. He needs to be doing more practice games or ‘C’ games. Leave the big matches to the better announcers.

  51. Vinny

    February 24, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    The match is where the entertainment is… When Gus gets his mind wrapped around the game he will be a fantastic commentator. I have faith in him. Of course, the growing pains are very evident.

  52. CTBlues

    February 24, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    What the networks need to do is get a young announcer that actually knows and loves the game and send them over to Europe like this and have them cut their teeth on League Cup, FA Cup, Europa League, and lesser EPL matches. Not someone that doesn’t know anything about the game.

    • Schadenfreudian

      June 5, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      AND who isn’t related to someone either by marriage, sexual relations, or out-of-wedlock.

  53. Pete

    February 24, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    I really avoided watching the recent matches on Fox Soccer because I have never been a fan of Gus Johnson. I used to mute the sound when I watched March Madness on CBS.

    Unfortunately this morning, I couldn’t find a non-Gus Johnson feed for the City-Chelsea match, so I decided to give him a shot.

    Needless to say, he’s the exact same thing I hated while he was covering college basketball.

    He literally screams over portions of the match. I could sort of understand a but of screaming for a goal. But not on every cross. It’s something that most Arab and Spanish commentators do and it drives me insane (I expect it from American commentators in varoious sports, because they like to make the sporting event about themselves,rather than about the event).

    He also had two different pronunciations of “David” for David Silva.

    His attempt at a catch-phrase (“in the six”) is so juvenile and annoying.

    If Fox’s decision to bring in Gus Johnson is based on the idea that he brings a different audience to the table, I’d like to tell the people at Fox that I don’t watch sporting events for the commentators. I watch the event for the event. You are actually ruining the viewing experience for a hardcore fan of the sport (me).

    For any sport, I would prefer the commentator to be knowledgable. I don’t mind some genuine excitement from the commentator. But I’d like them to allow the event to be the focal point of the viewer’s attention. Not the catch-phrases and antics of a person who is desperate for stardom on some level.

    • gargoyle

      February 24, 2013 at 6:02 pm

      This – “You are actually ruining the viewing experience for a hardcore fan of the sport (me).”

      • Fog

        February 24, 2013 at 8:54 pm

        Fox is driving me to hardcore…

    • Guy

      February 24, 2013 at 10:57 pm

      And the congregation says, “Amen.”

  54. JasonB

    February 24, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    After 5 minutes I switched to Fox Deportes. I didn’t think it was possible for a commentator to get worse as he did more games.

    Clearly Fox needs to rethink it’s strategy not just for the remainder of the EPL and Champions League this season but for the future Champions League and World Cup campaigns.

    • gargoyle

      February 24, 2013 at 5:43 pm

      If they are intent on American why not Max Bretos? I know he seems to grate on some people but his passion for the game and knowledge are unimpeachable. I loved his work on FSW way back.

      Johnson is just a gimmick and Fox is treating these games with a lack of respect byfoisting an amatuer on the audience.

      • Guy

        February 24, 2013 at 10:53 pm

        I’m afraid I’m agreeing with you too much, gargoyle. Unhealthy. 😉 Just the same, you have touched on one of my biggest gripes in all this. There are already American commentators with more background and expertise than Gus.

        For one, John Strong’s work on the Spurs v Lyon match was far superior to anything that Johnson has ever done, even in his dreams. So why must we be subject to the ramblings of a rank neophyte? It just doesn’t make any sense.

        • RJ

          February 25, 2013 at 11:30 am

          Strong would have been great. But this isn’t about getting the best person in there.
          I blame Bill Simmons. He built up the Law of Gus legend and Fox is thinking Simmons’ millions of fans will want to see what this is all about. I won’t be surprised when Simmons has an article about how great this is right before the Champions League final. Ratings will be up and Fox will pat themselves on the back.
          Ugh. I’m gonna go cry.

      • dstorm

        February 25, 2013 at 10:57 am

        Did you really just suggest Max Bretos over Gus Johnson.



  55. Robert

    February 24, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    I think “our boy” Gus will resign soon enough. He was feeling the soccer vibes when he made this decision. But he’s in over his head. He needs to go yell somewhere else with Dick Vitale.

    • Scott

      February 24, 2013 at 5:45 pm

      I was going to make a comment about this, but I’ll say it here. There’s a more than 50% chance Gus is NOT doing the 2018 World Cup. It was such a short-sighted move that it passed them by.

    • Neil

      February 24, 2013 at 7:46 pm

      We live in hope!!!

      • RG23

        March 4, 2013 at 12:09 am

        Hope so

  56. gargoyle

    February 24, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    What’s baffling is that Johnson has never been more than second or third rate announcer of “American” sports. Why he was chosen for this gig is beyond me.

    What Fox has done to this channel over the last few years is criminal.

    • Tony Butterworth

      February 24, 2013 at 6:29 pm

      Because no first rate announcers were available or interested.

    • Neil

      February 24, 2013 at 7:35 pm

      It’s simple. It is a continuation of the lack of respect the game gets in the US. In which other US sport would they consider assigning a commentator who is a novice to major games (the Champions League Final, no less). You have an executive (Eric Shanks) who doesn’t “get it”.

    • Charles Boyer

      February 24, 2013 at 8:12 pm

      Can’t agree with you on that. Many college hoops fans rue the day he left CBS because some of Gus’s NCAA Tournament calls are absolutely classic.

      There’s a difference between not being the best fit for a given sport and being second rate.

    • Fog

      February 24, 2013 at 8:45 pm

      Fox paid big money to get Johnson from CBS…they are trying to get a return on their investment. They are doing the same thing with Erin Andrews…another big money signing. They are trying to convert her from a sideline reporter (read “sideline eye candy”) to an in studio host. It is not going well either. They even used her in today’s NASCAR coverage…but in a sidelines capacity. It is the FOX way. Pay big money and then force their investment on the public. I think that Johnson and Andrews have the same futures as Fox News big money experiments Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck…none.

  57. majest1c

    February 24, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    OK, y’all – I know Gus Johnson is a polarizing figure among sports commentators. I get that he can be grating or downright dreadful at times.

    But who do you or anyone else suggest to bring new eyes and ears to soccer to Americans who think the game is a sissy sport for foreigners? Must we always fall back on the tired rationale that soccer should only be commentated by English/British voices?

    For better or worse, Gus brings new viewers to the game – which we all know is Fox’s thought process going into the 2015 and 2018 World Cups.

    On Twitter today, all the soccer fans loathed his commentary, while casual fans – who probably saw the EPL or soccer in general for the first time because of Gus – praised his work, by and large.

    If you can’t stand Gus, you don’t have to watch the EPL on Fox – there’s always the internet to get your so-called proper voices for the game through legal or illegal means, if you so desire.

    • Scott

      February 24, 2013 at 5:43 pm

      Rob Stone has done a ton of live matches, actually played the sport, AND is American. Why he’s not doing it is beyond me.

      • rkujay

        April 19, 2013 at 2:55 pm

        Rob Stone(d) know little or less about footy. He constantly mispronounces players names and makes light of the fact that he does no background. Fox screwed up when they gave Christian Miles his walking papers. As for Gus Johnson, he is a bad joke.

    • EPLNFL

      February 24, 2013 at 5:48 pm

      I am with you. Johnson brings an American style broadcast to the game. THE GROWTH OF THE GAME IN THE US NEEDS US ANNOUNCERS. Now is the best time to have Johnson learn the game.

      Lets give him a break. I had a hard time with the ESPN team for sometime. Not Ian Darke but Macca but now I will be sorry to see them go if NBC does sign them up. The years of the international feed with faceless voices was terrible for the fan. They where all the same just a English accented drone voice.

      I say give him time to grow.

      • Todd

        February 24, 2013 at 8:09 pm

        I believe that this argument has been mentioned before and most people are willing to give him a chance to learn the game.
        However, the problem is FOX ramming him down our throats right as the season is winding down in the biggest matches of the season.

        If they want to bring an American voice to the game, fine. Just do it at the start of the season and let him build into it with smaller matches.

      • Angry

        February 27, 2013 at 2:18 pm

        Martin Tyler is not a faceless voice! If you were a true football fan you would know this!

    • velija

      February 24, 2013 at 6:34 pm

      How the hell does a commentator have anything to do with bringing fans to the game? Thats like playing GTA and saying the voice acting is the reason I play it

    • Garry

      February 24, 2013 at 6:39 pm

      I’d love to see demonstrable proof that Gus Johnson is bringing new viewers to the game. On Sunday at 8:30 am (ET) on FSC? Mate, only hardcore soccer fans are tuning in for that.

      • The Gaffer

        February 24, 2013 at 6:43 pm

        FOX Soccer released the viewing figures for the Real Madrid-Manchester United game, so hopefully they’ll release the figures for the Manchester City-Chelsea game too so we can see what sort of impact the Gus Factor has.

        The Gaffer

        • dust

          February 24, 2013 at 7:03 pm

          you think they can tell if the mute button is on? if not then its very misleading

        • De Selby

          February 24, 2013 at 7:37 pm

          I don’t think there is any way they will ever be able to figure out with any degree of certainty whether or not Johnson has brought new fans to the game.

          My issue is with the fact that they think he will. I disagree.

        • Wongo1

          February 24, 2013 at 10:28 pm

          Gaffer yes they released numbers but what did those numbers have to do with Gus Johnson. Real does not play United every year so FOX has no comps for that. Now if they show me last year’s Chelsea vs. City numbers and they are markedly better maybe they might have a case and even then if it was at a different time and day I would argue they still are not exact comps.

        • footbalfanaticinarizona

          February 25, 2013 at 12:39 pm

          Hello? A Real Madrid v. Manchester United is going to have huge number no matter who is doing the announcing. No Gus factor. Every football fan would love to have watched this match.

          • The Gaffer

            February 25, 2013 at 12:52 pm

            I agree. That’s why I’m saying I’d be very interested to find out what the viewing audience is for Man City-Chelsea, which — while a big game — was played in the early hours of a Sunday morning when TV viewing audiences aren’t as large as people would imagine.

            The Gaffer

        • xraygav

          February 25, 2013 at 1:51 pm

          I would love to know the figures for those who either turned the sound down, fast-forwarded through the game or just turned it off. It was brutal listening for reasons stated here already. Coupled with the also very poor commentary of the Swansea vs Bradford cup match on Bein it was one of the worst viewing days of my memory…fast-forwarded through the matches as the continuous bombardment of hyperbole an embellishments were far too detrimental to the experience. As an american who grew up on basketball,ice hockey the NFL it was still far too uncomfortable to sit through. I do hope that NBC doesnt fall into the same trap…. it may alienate (or just plain torture) the core fans.

    • Wongo1

      February 24, 2013 at 7:35 pm

      Also where is your proof that Gus has brought “new” viewers. I want to see the number.

    • RG23

      March 4, 2013 at 12:03 am

      He doesnt really kno the game, cant pronounce some players names properly or know their nationality , its annoying .. jus calling the players names as they pass the ball is basically alll he does ….

    • Schadenfreudian

      June 5, 2014 at 11:57 am

      That you view American fans with such arrogance reveals an archetypical level of ignorance that you’ve indirectly exemplified in your very comment; how ironic and hypocritical! Millions of Americans are very savvy fans and don’t need an American to lure them into a sport that you think few Americans follow. What IS typical of American arrogance is the notion that somehow an announcer is more important than the sport, or the story. That Fox thinks a non-soccer-following viewer will be attracted by the name of Gus Johnson is another example of patronizing arrogance. Further, I’d like you to provide data showing that viewership’s increased due to Gus Johnson.

      Americans have become inured to their own soccer teams because of the lack of results from players who are pimped and touted as being on a par with players on the best teams in La Liga, Bundesliga, and Serie A, etc. Americans don’t expect much from their teams because their own organizations hamstring and sabotage players and managers/coaches who don’t pay homage to the uber-egotistical Sunil Gunati and his sycophantic know-nothings. Americans are also impatient and frustrated knowing that some of the best athletes in the world are occupied with sports other than soccer–notoriously poorly paying in the USA. Combine all of that with no real development system with cogent plans to identify and nurture a player into professional (UEFA) ranks, and you may understand why soccer has a difficult time attracting knowledgeable fans.

  58. Tony Butterworth

    February 24, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    “staccato commentary” That’s exactly what the problem is.

    • Scott

      February 24, 2013 at 5:41 pm

      American commentators are almost not allowed to have dead air. So he’s trying to learn the understated “soccer commentator” style. It’s not in him. That’s not his deal. His deal is energy and making the viewer feel the energy in the stadium or arena (hence the yelling). That’s one of many fair complaints.

      • Wongo1

        February 24, 2013 at 7:33 pm

        He DOES not need to help us feel the energy, just mic the crowd and you hear the insane singing. There is no need to “spice” that up!!

        • RJ

          February 25, 2013 at 11:20 am

          And that’s the worst part in all this—I don’t want to hit mute because I want to hear the crowd and get some sense of the atmosphere.

          • Sean Downes

            May 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm

            That is precisely my dilemma! I cannot bare listening to Johnson, but really enjoy the crowd. How is it that at home in Ireland, watching on Sky, the sound is always a perfect blend of crowd noise and educated, insightful commentary, without typical American histrionics and shouting!?

      • Charles Boyer

        February 24, 2013 at 8:10 pm

        I noticed that with Phil Schoen and Ray Hudson today. Both sounded (to me) like they’d had an espresso right before air. That may have been my mood this afternoon, but I would have enjoyed a wee bit more space in the commentary.

        • Fog

          February 24, 2013 at 8:36 pm

          Ray Hudson makes Gus Johnson sound like he is in a coma. That is his style. He is my least favorite announcer, followed closely by Arlo White and now Gus Johnson.

          The problem is when announcers think that the fans tune in to listen to them…instead of the game being the attraction.

          • Scott

            February 24, 2013 at 8:50 pm

            Fox wants people to tune in for Gus, which is the antithesis of what fans usually want. That’s the biggest problem.

  59. Paul Dickson

    February 24, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    He is pretty horrible to listen to – he keeps saying
    Person x is “driving” what on earth does that mean?
    Come back regular commentators on then international feed please!, btw why is fox doing this anyway? They are losing the league so thank christ Eric and Warren will no longer bore and annoy the pants off me!

    • Vinny

      February 24, 2013 at 6:21 pm

      That’s a carry over from his basketball commentary. Players will “drive” into the lane or “drive” to the hoop.

      • Wongo1

        February 24, 2013 at 7:32 pm

        That works so well with footie as they drive to the hole all the time. Priceless!!

  60. Tony Butterworth

    February 24, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    I should add, the mistakes don’t bother me. It’s his style.

  61. RBP

    February 24, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    I assume Fox realizes they’re screwed next season when they lose the televising rights, and are just saying “screw it, what can it hurt?”

  62. Tony Butterworth

    February 24, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    I felt willing to give him a chance but it simply doesn’t work for me. I now realize I am completely prejudiced against the American voice on British soccer games (though I don’t remember having issues with ESPN during the world cup). Add to that his unnecessary inflated excitement and constant babble. I also think there is something wrong in the tone of his voice, it’s too flat somehow.

    I hate it and it’s enough to cause me to not watch the games he’s doing unless that feature my team.

  63. The Gaffer

    February 24, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    One of the people on Twitter reminded me of Johnson’s mistake in the 5th minute of the game where he said that Chicharito and Ryan Giggs scored for Manchester United against QPR. It was, of course, Rafael and Giggs.

    The Gaffer

    • Charles Boyer

      February 24, 2013 at 8:09 pm

      I heard that too. Was surprised that he didn’t correct himself.

  64. Mufc77

    February 24, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    I only saw the last 20 minutes of the game but my first thought when I put the game on was why the hell was Lee Dixon talking so much. When he finally stopped for air it was complete silence.

    Gaffer have you personally tried communicating directly with anyone at FSC to maybe get a interview with someone to try and get them to understand the fans point if view?

    I’d imagine they are aware of the backlash from fans at this point and are keeping a low profile but being a credible football site you might have better luck getting someone to understand our frustrations.

    • The Gaffer

      February 24, 2013 at 5:27 pm

      I agree with Lee Dixon talking too much in the beginning of the game, but as it went on, he got better. I thought Dixon did a much better job today than usual, but that’s probably partly because he had to fill in the gaps so much.

      The executives from FOX Soccer and FOX Sports read EPL Talk all the time, so the feedback and comments from the readers are being heard.

      Again, I think they’re more concerned about the mainstream sports fan at this point than the hardcore soccer fans who got them to where they are.

      The Gaffer

      • Mufc77

        February 24, 2013 at 5:56 pm

        It’s a shame FSC has come to this. I was disappointed when they lost the EPL rights but now I can’t wait for NBC to start broadcasting matches.

        Thankfully NBC executives are already aware of fans concerns regarding the commentators they use so the sooner this season is over the better. I hope FSC don’t plan on ever bidding in the rights to the EPL again.

        • CTBlues

          February 24, 2013 at 6:10 pm

          Then you will only hear Gus in UCL matches and maybe bigger FA Cup or Europa League games.

        • Fog

          February 24, 2013 at 8:31 pm

          Hopefully NBC learns…but there are no guarantees. I have a Arlo White voodoo doll…just in case.

      • Rob

        February 26, 2013 at 3:08 am

        Isn’t the pre game show supposed to give us all the stats, details of players, former results, tactics etc? I don’t understand why we have to listen to another 3 minutes of the same rubbish when the game starts.

        • The Gaffer

          February 26, 2013 at 6:47 am


          The Gaffer

  65. G. Footie

    February 24, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Here is his commentary summed up: NAME. NAME. NAME. YELLING. NAME. NAME. YELLING. NAME.

    Just awful, really awful. Glad I remembered that Fox Deportes was also airing the game. The Spanish announcers were far more entertaining.

    • Richard

      March 3, 2013 at 8:06 am

      Gus Johnson = turn down the sound.
      Imagine an announcer who knows less about the sport than 90% of the audience…and this is promoted by FOX as something good. My-O-My!

    • buggyknuckles

      May 11, 2013 at 4:17 pm

      I have to disagree with The Gaffer here although I appreciate his diplomacy. Johnson’s excitement, bursts of yelling that any microphone can’t handle, is excruciatingly painful to listen to. I will watch the UCL Final on Fox Deportes and I don’t speak Spanish.

  66. Buster

    February 24, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    He’s what I do. And it’s a stretch, but its come to this.
    Use the talks port radio app for commentary, and mute the TV.

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