After the game, I was lucky to hang out with some of the players
and friends in a restaurant/bar next to their hotel. As ESPN's
Sport Center appeared, several players checked periodically
for any coverage of their outstanding effort earlier that afternoon.
Even with all the celebrations and laughter, I could sense some
disappointment at ESPN's myopic provincialism.
We left to rejoin almost the entire team at Sequoia in Georgetown,
a large outdoor terraced restaurant/bar right on the Potomac,
with a beautiful view of the Kennedy Center. Many patrons
celebrated with the U.S. team members. Even ex-coach Bora, who
selected and developed this team -- except for Kasey Keller,
and some of the U.S. Soccer hierarchy joined the festivities.
(At an earlier reception at the Mexican Cultural Institute,
Coach Bora commiserated with the Mexican media on the resultado
triste and the mistakes of the two new central defenders for Mexico.)
It was a wonderful nightcap to a very happy Father's Day. Thanks to
the U.S. players for a great game and a fun time afterward.
Good luck against Colombia, and let's not get over-confident.
Returning to the sad subject of the U.S. English language broadcast media
coverage of big-time international football. We all know it mostly sucks,
to use vernacular.
What's a U.S. football fan to do ? In a consumer, market-oriented
society, the answer is simple. Shop around.
Let your local TV stations know that you watch the excellent football
coverage on Univision/TeleMundo, and that you've noticed the rising
ratings of the local news program on the Univision/TeleMundo affiliates.
(In L.A., Univision affiliate KMEX is almost the #1 rated local TV news
program -- because of their football coverage, I like to think.)
Conversely, write in English to your local Univision/TeleMundo
TV station and let them know you enjoy their football news and
game broadcasts, and maybe they'll knock off one of those dreadful
telenovelas for more futbol.
Andres Cantor and Norberto Longo of Univision have rightly criticized
some of the directorial decisions in the U.S. TV broadcasts of the
U.S. Cup games, which are also being transmitted (en espan~ol)
by Univision. U.S. TV still does not know to place an "off side"
camera at the edge of the penalty box, for the replays of questionable
off side calls/no-calls. First, let's get an "off-side" camera at
the edge of each penalty box, then we can worry about showing
the replay at the right quiescent moment of the game. Second, there
are still way too many crowd shots, coach shots, and other miscellaneous
***shots when there is significant action being missed. Again, let's
wait for the right pause in the action, ball out of play, injured
player, etc. As Longo condescendingly and correctly comments, "no saben."
We should also duly recognize the good work of several journalists
for major U.S. print media.
Steven Goff of the Washington Post (great 1st Sports page photo of
Thomas Dooley bursting through the middle of the Mexican defense
with the ball in front of his eyes, courtesy of Claudio Reyna,
driving for the second U.S. goal -- Nike, think about using this
John McDonnell picture in your ads, the "swoosh" is everywhere,
except Dooley's shoes), Grahame Jones of the Los Angeles Times
(who was in Sweden for the women's World Cup, so the L.A. Times
ran the AP story on page 2, with a color photo of Cobi Jones on
the first page), Scott French of the Long Beach Press and
Soccer America, Roscoe Nance of USA Today, Ridge Mahoney
of Soccer America (though we often have to wait two weeks to
read the story, despite a subscription rate comparable to Sports
Illustrated), and, of course, several electronic correspondents
in this forum (you know who you are).
Interestingly, Ridge Mahoney was the only U.S. journalist covering
the 1st women's World Cup four years ago in Chine, when the U.S. won,
garnering front page bylines in the Washington Post and a wife.
Unfortunately for the U.S. women's team, Mahoney stayed home
to cover the U.S. Cup.
Stadium 1 (here I come)