Alright, so it’s very likely that even among die hard fans of FC Dallas, I am in the minority of people who stayed up late Wednesday night to see if rain and lightening would let up in Toronto so that the Champions League game could resume, and I’m likely in a smaller minority of fans that spent Thursday morning watching the replay of the washed out game via the internet. Okay, I get it. I love a team in a sport that some think is really just played by their under 12 kids. And my obsession might be greater than those that actually know that Dallas has a professional team.
But I am consistently disappointed that ESPN radio in Dallas cannot find space in their Sportscenter updates to provide a brief story or even the score of matches, even the most important ones. As I drove in to work after the game yesterday, I noticed that the bulk of the update was filled with dialogue and filler concerning the beating that the Texas Rangers took at the hands of the Boston Red Sox. Then there was Dallas Cowboy news, something about a guy getting signed for five years and several million dollars, which I’m sure never happens in the world of football.
Look, I know that soccer is less popular than football, basketball, and baseball, and maybe a few other games that are not really sports (don’t get me started on auto racing). And I know that there is a very limited window of time for providing these scores and news headlines. But so much of these “updates” contain material that probably is best left to the shows ESPN broadcasts or just left out altogether. Come on! If the Rangers get beat by more than 10 runs, do we really need to hear Ron Washington tell the world “Well, we got beat. That’s all there is to it.”?
I thought things would change when ESPN started broadcasting Bobby Rhine’s Soccer Today show on Saturday mornings. But no. The link on the website doesn’t even take you to a page with information about the show. I should have known. Last year, when FC Dallas made it to MLS Championship, neither ESPN radio nor the local television news teams could find a minute to mention it.
ESPN needs to quit dismissing the game of soccer, and remember that there are plenty of fans out there that love the game and want to hear about their team. I’m don’t expect the beefheads on the ramble-around-and-say-the-same-thing-for-three-hours commentary shows to cover a soccer story. When soccer is mentioned, it is usually with derision. But how about a score every now and then? How about acknowledgement that Dallas has one of the top teams in the country? Did anyone there notice we were the first U.S. team to win a game on Mexican soil? Did they hear that two of our players were named to the U.S. National team? (Well there is a story about the latter on the website , but I heard no mention of it on the air.)
For now, I’d like to just see some much needed editing in these “updates,” and inclusion of game’s final score.