The lad from Knockbridge County

To some extent, I'm very glad that Euro 2008 has been getting good coverage in the States. All the matches have been on one of the ESPN channels, as was the case in '06 with the World Cup. Even though the sport generally, and the European Championships more specifically, aren't of interest to most U.S. sports-watchers, it's nice that they're being given air time.

What is a shame, though, is the poor level of analysis and commentary that ESPN has. Here's an article that well articulates the failings of the "worldwide leader in sports". Gotta give a shout out to the "gnome" Tommy Smyth. He does most of the co-commentating on ESPN, along with Derek Rae, who is fine. Smyth, though, is really grating. Unlike your Robbie Earles and your Trevor Francises and your David Pleats, dude has no experience as a big time player or manager. Sorry, but the German American Soccer League doesn't quite count as "big time". That said, fair play to him for getting the job seemingly on the basis of "sounding like he knows what he's talking about". Smyth spouts all the usual cliches and nonsense that you'd expect, along with some truly great phrases. "Why's his arm that high up? Is he calling a cab? There's no cabs in the stadium!"

His catchphrase, if you will, is "bulge in the ol' onion bag", which really doesn't mean anything. It's not even, like, an old-fashioned saying, which we can forgive on account of the man's advanced years. Nobody in the history of time, sports or television has ever said "back of the ol' onion bag"! I'd tell you more about Mr. Smyth, but an Irish singer-songwriter called Aine Woods has done that for me. I'm not kidding. Click here to listen to her song 'New York Grand Marshall'.


Dan Scapusio said...

Tommy Smyth is such a jackass.

During the World Cup I don't watch the games in English, I go for their Spanish counterparts on Univision or Telemundo. Or is it Telefutura? Whatever.


Savas said...

He is the greatest jackass ever. he clearly hates Turks why let him comment on the Turkish game? He is the most hated amongst Turkish fans in the US.

Anonymous said...

At least he calls football football, unlike the other staff members at ESPN. The game just isn't the same when it's viewed as that other word. That word is suited more for little suburban kids' games. But when it's world class pros, it should be called a FOOTBALL match.

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