ESPN has very good Sportscenter anchors, they have some very good analysts for the four major sports, but when it comes to the world of soccer, Tommy Smyth truly struggles.
By Colin Griggs, 6/23/2002
For the past ten years, about the amount of time that ESPN has broadcasted the world's most popular game, Tommy Smyth has been a thorn in my side as I try to watch important international games, maybe an MLS game here or there, and more importantly nowadays the greatest tournament ever -- The World Cup.
I have been wishing that Fox Sports bought the rights to this year's tournament because I have enjoyed watching the English Premier league games so much. The main reason for my love for their broadcasts is that their announcers do not talk for the entire 90 minutes. At times the announcers let the game go on with nothing but the sound of the crowd in the background and the ball blasting off of the woodwork.
Tommy Smyth, and some other announcers from ESPN, decide that is extremely important to show immense amounts of unnecessary statistics, some games that will be on later. Doesn't ESPN (a company I hope to work for some day) realize that anybody who is up at 2:30 in the morning for a soccer game know when the other games are going to be on TV? It frustrates me when there is a promo in the bottom right hand corner of my screen while that is exactly where the defender is tackling the man striving forward towards the goal up the sideline.
During the United States game against Germany this morning, Tommy Smyth would have been all over Tony Sanneh for the header he missed at the backpost towards the end of the game. Jack Edwards and Ty Keough (usually culprits of the unnecessary statistics for 90 minutes) continued to compliment Sanneh for doing his part in an offensive role he has not played for quite some time. Tommy Smyth would have said, "That should have been a goal" at least ten times in a matter of three or four seconds. He is an announcer for the world's least scoring sport. He should know by now that the reason the score of many games includes no more than three goals is because it is in fact hard to put the ball in the back of the net, and thatÂ's why people miss.
Eventually maybe he will learn. Maybe we can hope that when Bruce Arena retires from his duty as the coach of the national team that he will take over the announcing career that Smyth has blatantly ruined time and time again. For now, hopefully Edwards and Keough will do the rest of the World Cup games for ESPN and ABC and Smyth will be fired for his constant blabber, his constant negative comments, and his constant praise for players who do not deserve it.
Oh see, Tommy was incredibly anti-Juve. So much so I sent a letter of complaint to ESPN about his anti-Juve stance. He has lightened up significantly since then.
I hate the guy, and am annoyed as ever with his commentary, along with his JP Della Camera sidekick over there. They are both typical North American broadcasters, and certainly take away from the game.
Contrast that with the other two ESPN announcers, Seamus Mallen and Derek Rae. I find both of them interesting, non-intrusive, and objective. Hard to believe they are at the same network.
Best announcer ever: Paddy Agnew. Anyone listen to his accounts of the games?
You want to try listening to the ITV (UK) commentry team. The night before Juve - Madrid, they said it would a 'disaster' if Juve were to play Milan in the final. They hate the fact that an Italian team is certain to win the CL and to make it worse it's in England at the home of the English Champions who could 'only' make it to the quarter-finals.
They couldn't belive what they witnessed on Wednesday night. They didn't think that another team other then Man Utd or Real could produce such football. Their bellies are full of humble pie.