Saturday, March 03, 2007

In Hudson's defense, he was probably drunk

Today we'd like to extend a double duece of middle foam fingers to the above dipshits -- Phil Schoen and Ray Hudson of Gol TV, one of the three widely available channels to broadcast soccer in the United States. I'm not even sure where to start with these guys, who throughly stunk up today's Sevilla v. Barcelona match.

I'm really not sure what was worst -- when Ray Hudson revealed the result of the Liverpool v. Manchester United match (which after being broadcast live at 4:40 in the morning PST, was going to be rebroadcast immediately following Sevilla v. Barcelona on competing soccer channel Setanta Sports, something that was entirely conincidental, I'm sure) or when Ray and Phil spent roughly 10 minutes repeatedly praising the cross that led to Barca's opening goal, making sure to heap praise after praise onto the head of Frenchman Ludovic Giuly, who is a fine player who also happened to not be the player who had made the cross. That was Gianluca Zambrotta, a player who is a good head taller than Giuly and also doesn't happen to be wearing bright white boots with matching ankle sleeves, which I would like to attribute to a display of good taste by the Italian; however, they were probably just still in the wash.

I can understand mis-identifying a player. We've all been guilty of it. Still, if it is your job to broadcast these games and to know these players and you have the benefit of multiple slow-motion replays, I would really hope that you would avoid talking about how great this one player is roughly 20 times as it becomes increasingly obvious that the player in question was not involved in the play that you're praising, to the point where you are wondering whether he was offside or not, something that requires intense attention to detail, without noticing that you're looking at somebody else entirely.

Oh, and there was a game, I guess, featuring one of the more controversial, and by that I mean "douchebaggy", players in La Liga:

Sevilla's Dani Alves is one of the best and most infuriating players in the world. Incredibly fast, good with the ball at his feet and capable of great crosses and accurate shots, Alves is also a relentless whiner and cheater.

Every nudge is a serious injury, every call that goes against him is a injustice against humanity and what's more, he seems to relish it, consistently gesturing for cards and melodramatically screaming. In short, he's the Brazilian Frank Lampard, only he's not fat, is actually skillful and plays a different position entirely.

And like Fatty Frank, it's all the more maddening because his team tends to win, often because of what's perceived to be flukey luck or cheating. Today, for example, the second (and winning) Sevilla goal came from an Alves free kick that deflected off the head of a Barca player and behind the grasping Victor Valdes. Not done yet, Alves was then involved in the sending off of Giuly, who may have been vigorously defended by his lovers on Gol TV. I couldn't tell, having switched over to the Spanish-language audio channel at halftime, feeling that incomprehensibility is a step up from incompetence.

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