Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Messing Up A Mediocre Soccer Match

Shep Messing dropped a doozy during the broadcast of the Columbus-New York match on Saturday when he admonished the Crew fans for not showing up en mass to the opener. One could argue that the team Mr. Messing covers lives in a glass house and he shouldn't throw stones, but what makes his comments even more astonishing is the fact Messing wasn't even at the stadium. You see, he called the game from a studio in New York, not the fridged confines of the Crew Stadium press box.

So why am I writing about Shep Messing? Well, for the better part of the previous four seasons, I lived in an area of New York which carried Metrostars/Red Bull home games. I've definently had my fill of the New York broadcast team. One thing I like about Shep Messing is his mind for the game. He was a keeper with the Cosmos, Minutemen, as well as spending the waning years of his career playing indoors. He's been around the block and then some when it comes to the US soccer scene.

The problem I have is he belongs in the studio, not the announcers booth. His comments are usually way too distracting when he rambles on while there is legitimate action on the field that needs to be called. I would have loved to know who the left defender is for the Crew when he gets a touch here and there, but such information gets omitted for Shep's "color commentary". I'll put Eric Wynalda in that same category. I didn't miss Waldo getting upset with players and telling us how bad they were playing on Saturday. Foudy took some heat on the messageboards, but she didn't overwhelm the broadcast like Messing or Wynalda are known to do. I would love to see Messing and Wynalda in a three man setup similar to the way ESPN covers other sports. They'd be allowed to elaborate and throw bombs to their hearts content without spoiling the calling of the games.

Getting back to his comment about the attendance in Columbus, there were so many classier ways to get a point like that across. The problem is, I've watched broadcasts he has done when there were literally 1/3 that size at Giants Stadium, and that's in the most population dense region in the country. Shep didn't have anything to say then, so he should have kept his mouth shut about another team's issues.


grant said...

you're way off. half the fun of watching a red bull game is shep messing. his commentary is right on, and the odd gems he pulls out make the game that much more interesting. i think you should re-evaulate your thinking. and jp dellacamera is the caller - shep provides the color, that's why he's the colorman and not the guy saying who's touching the ball. watch the movie major league, it'll teach you about that whole dynamic.

Blue Blooded Journo said...

Good point. We need more soccer games being called like baseball games. Screw the on-field action. I want to know where Colorado ranks as a state in geography and the name of the Galaxy's trainer and where he's from, and where he went to school.

To each, his own. However, I don't like being distracted by controversial points.