If you’re stuck at your dayjob and can’t sneak out to a nearby bar for two hours without getting caught, it’s been hard to follow the World Cup games. Supposedly there are online radio broadcasts, but it seems they’re blocked from reaching the U.S. somehow. I’ve relied on so-called online “gamecasts”—no audio, no video, but with various graphics and moment-to-moment commentary typed in by anonymous reporters.
The official FIFA/Yahoo site (sponsored by Emirates Airline) had very dry play-by-play descriptions and an extremely annoying real-time “fan chat” feature.
The BBC site had the advantage of British commentators who were willing to interject a little more personality into the play-by-play. Their descriptions were very detailed and well-written, but I couldn’t see any graphics while watching the live-text feed. I like the graphics to help me imagine the play on the field.
My favorite has been the ESPN gamecasts. The graphics are good and informative and are visible along with the live commentary. The ESPN guy (guys?) is clearly British also. He called some player who took a dive “a girl’s blouse,” and he says some pretty snarky stuff sometimes. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the first round:
"Babic attempts a pass to an imaginary player. He finds him."
"Ukraine are now playing with a back three and it's safe to say 3-4-2 wasn't Blokhin's ideal formation."
“81 Mins – SAUDI SUB: Massad comes on to replace Sulimani; Sulimani looked like Saudi Arabia’s best attacking player, but he is hauled off.
82 Mins – Massad’s first contribution is to throw himself to the ground, scream in agony, and then get to his feet when he realizes the free-kick has been given his way.”
“20 mins - Barnetta is annoyed when another free-kick decision goes against him. ‘Yargh,’ he cries. That's Swiss for ‘I disagree, referee.’ “
Or, from the second round: “Australia have lined up with what seems to be a 3-1-4-1-1 formation. Possibly.”
I find this stuff hilarious, and it helps take the sting out of my favorite team (NOT the Sockeroos, by the way) getting knocked out in the second round.
Speaking of the Sockeroos, here’s a listing of the official nicknames of every 2006 World Cup team.
Unfortunately, it’s from the Big Grey Pack o’ Lies, which I guess explains why USA are supposedly known as the Amerks.
And here’s some separated-at-birth visuals courtesy of a very nice English blog called OverYourHead. There’s more where that came from.
Thanks for reading my blog entry this time, and may God bless.