February 5th, 2013 at 1:30 PM ^

Euro 2012 was great.

I even liked Bob Levy with Ballack and Lalas with the studio coverage.

Ian Darke and Martin Tyler are the gold standard right now for soccer commentators.

For the love of Goc, no more Taylor Twellman.


February 5th, 2013 at 5:32 PM ^

I remember when he did the World Cup for the cup before the last one. ESPN did a good job last World Cup with Darke, Adrian Heatley, and Martin Tyler. 

For me, I'd prefer a British voice, then Spanish (even though my ability to properly comprehend the Spanish language eroded years ago after I graduated from High school), then American. But if I want an American to call the game, it would be Gus. 

Gus is also new...but I feel like this will be different from the O'Brien fiasco. For one, Johnson is being "groomed" and is conducting copious amounts of research at the moment to prepare for the role. The WC he'll be calling isn't for some time, so one would hope that he would be properly prepared when it does commence. 


February 5th, 2013 at 12:09 PM ^

I don't think it's an awful idea, to be honest. Most of the American viewers of the world cup wont know much about soccer, so it doesn't matter that Gus doesn't know that much either, especially if he gets paired with a good commentator. I would prefer we just leave it to the pros and use european guys, but if Fox is set on using american commentators who don't know much (and from watching Fox Soccer they sure as hell seem to be), may as well be Gus. If he learns enough about the sport to commentate well he could bring a lot of excitement to the game.


February 5th, 2013 at 12:12 PM ^

who don't know much is the problem though.  ESPN has proven that you can put on world-class coverage of major soccer tournaments, and still get really good ratings, by using knowledgable pros and taking the sport seriously.  Using Gus Johnson is just going to piss off a huge portion of the people who are actually likely to tune in to significant portions of the World Cup.    


February 5th, 2013 at 12:23 PM ^

I understand, and agree completely. As a big soccer fan I'd love to hear some real commentators, and Fox could make that happen easily. However, I still understand the move.  Big time soccer fans are going to watch regardless, even with a less informed american commentator. Less interested viewers may be turned off by commentators with thick british accents talking in terms they don't understand, and for the World Cup that's going to be like 90% of the american audience. I'd love a real commentator, but if it's going to be an uninformed american I'd love for that uninformed american to be Gus Johnson.


February 5th, 2013 at 5:35 PM ^

Yeah, I think this is right. I have no doubt he can learn the game, he's got five years and has already been calling MLS games. I just think Johnson, like most American announcers, are taught to fill dead air, when a lot of time there's not a lot going on in a soccer game. At those times, the announcer needs to be more conversational. At other times, he just needs to convey the barest information, who the ball is passed to, and then he needs to explode in excitement or disgust when something happens.

Gus's mode is pretty much shouty all the time. He's perfect for NCAA basketball, particularly the tournament, when you're often tuning in for the end of the game. Or for boxing. But I fear that he's so trained in calling sports with more constant action that he won't let the game breathe. For example, can you imagine Gus Johnson calling a baseball game?


February 5th, 2013 at 12:15 PM ^

I'll never really understand why Ray Hudson doesn't do major network soccer broadcasts.  He is outstanding.  Think Gus Johnson's energy but more opinionated and colorful.



February 5th, 2013 at 1:04 PM ^

If anything, Gus and Ray are more like each other.  Both can be hilarious, both have immense passion, and both are extremely fun to listen to.  Vitale is just straight up trash.  He has had the same one liner for the last 25 years.  Hudson has a hundred one liners.


February 5th, 2013 at 12:44 PM ^

Ray Hudson is the truth.  All you Ray haters annoy me.  Nobody calls a game like him.  I literally laugh my ass off for 90 minutes.  He gets away with saying the most outlandish Stuff during games.  Favorite Ray quote as coach at DC as to why his team couldn't score, "without penetration, it's masterbation.  And we were just playing with ourselves out there, man".  How can can you hate that shit, it is hilarious. 

I think Fox soccer should hire Gus and Ray. 


February 5th, 2013 at 12:27 PM ^

The guy is good at what he does. He has 5 years to learn the soccer way, I trust he can do it! I've only been a fan of League soccer for 5 years and I probably could do a full broadcast, especially if I studied up on the 2 teams.


February 5th, 2013 at 12:30 PM ^

He's doing the Madrid-United match next week and the Arsenal-Bayern match the following week. He'll get a crash course in high level play very quickly and should get lots of feedback since I'd expect a decent audience for both games. I'll be interested to see how he does.


February 5th, 2013 at 1:35 PM ^

I can imagine this working out--it really depends on how Gus approaches it. Or, maybe, how Fox approaches it. If they're trying to liven things up for non-soccer-fans it'll be a disaster, but I used to really enjoy Max Bretos and Allen Hopkins in the early FSW days and they were both pretty enthusiastic, in their own way.

I'm glad they're giving him some years to learn the sport and its tempo; it might be a sign they'll do it the right way.


February 5th, 2013 at 6:30 PM ^

Please no. We don't need another Joe Buck. On second thought, Buck isn't particularly good broadcasting in general, regardless of sport, so the comparison isn't that apt.