Thursday, April 05, 2007

Wynalda's "Rant"

There's been a lot of made out of Eric Wynalda's interview with from a bar, specifically his lewd and threatening remarks about Jim Rome. Here's the interview if you need to catch up. As it turns out, Wynalda's apology seems a little sketchy with the source confirming his remarks were on the record. My take on the whole situation is that Wynalda needs to be more careful where he allows himself to be quoted on the record. A bar should never be such a place.

For full disclosure, I am a big Jim Rome fan. I am in total disagreement with his opinion of the sport of soccer, but I find myself laughing out loud to most of his takes on the game. To him, the sport is exclusive to the two extremes: the rioting ultra extreme and the orange slice, soccer mom extreme. Both of those aspects of the game I can do without, and I don't mind them being the butt of his jocularity. However, his takes do come from an ignorant point of view, so they aren't nearly as entertaining as the other issues his show tackles.

Eric Wynalda is actually the only soccer guy that Jim Rome respects. He goes on the show about once a year. Whenever Rome slips in a crack, Wynalda's always quick to make a steroid or deadbeat dad reference about the "major" US sports. Personally, I like Wynalda's brash takes on the sport and his willingness to take on the powers that be. I also believe that 90% of his editorializing have no place during a game broadcast, but that's another story for another day.

The fact is, Eric Wynalda's a network analyst working for a company that just signed a broadcast rights deal with MLS. The league can ill afford to have one of their lead analysts saying stuff like that in the press about a colleague. Especially one that is also an employee of ESPN. The league can't have that kind of embarrassment as they begin another push towards legitimacy on the american sports scene. I'll be curious as to what action the league and/or network takes against Eric.

It's too bad. Wynalda said a lot of great stuff in that interview, exposing the problems with the sport's governing bodies in the US. It's just too bad all that is getting overwhelmed by negative publicity.

If you happened to enjoy Wynalda's comments about Jim Rome, here's a shirt for ya:

There's also an uncensored shirt in the shop, if you like walking around in public with expletives on your chest.