Soccer has been growing in popularity in the U.S. in recent years, but most of the announcers for the game still come from other countries. John Strong is one of the few American play by play announcers for Fox Sports’ Major League Soccer broadcasts, and he started here in the Pacific Northwest. Strong began his career announcing his high school football games on the internet, and quickly worked his way up to one of the TV announcers for the Portland Timbers.
On early success:
“The first ever Timbers MLS game in 2011 was in Denver. And I was at the time 25 and I remember in the minutes leading up to the game I actually got a little bit teary-eyed … ‘this is all happening!’ As a young kid, at the time … when British voices were seen as in vogue because that’s what you need to have to have an authentic soccer broadcast … and I had next to me Robbie Earl, an incredibly accomplished player and broadcaster … I had a lot of insecurity, truth be told, about what I was doing.”
On being a Blazers fan and the appeal of sports announcing:
“The way that I lived my fandom as a young kid was through the voice of Bill Shonley. And I think in retrospect the romanticism of that voice being the connection between you and the team … and that always really appealed to me … being able to be a voice that narrates, in this case for me, the growth of soccer, and the burgeoning of a new era for the sport in this country.”
On his personal play by play style:
“Rather than shout ‘GOOOAAAALL!’ —which I can’t do, it sounds terrible, it’s not authentic. But what I will do is if there’s a player who has a vowel sound at the end of their last name I’ll [draw out the last syllable of the player’s name] … that’s an influence from Spanish language broadcasting.”
On the popularity of soccer in the US:
“The growth of soccer in this country has been generational. There was never going to be a big bang moment of the U.S. wins a World Cup … and all of a sudden 40 million Americans wake up soccer crazy. … A lot of the predictions trying to tie youth participation to fans being adults … completely false. Otherwise tetherball would be a sport we see on ESPN2.
“What it took was a generational shift … When I was in elementary school, we all played soccer on the weekends, but at recess we were all wearing our Blazers or our football jerseys playing kickball. I go past [my old elementary school now] and they’re all playing soccer on the playground. “
Credit to OPB who originally published this article
Warriors Fans Throw Objects At Charles Barkley On Inside the NBA Set
“Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.”
Charles Barkley is no stranger to being the object of fans’ ire. The cities of San Antonio and Cleveland have a history of being the butt of the Round Mound of Rebound’s jokes. Thursday night in San Francisco, fans of the Warriors took things to a different level, throwing objects at Barkley on the Inside the NBA set.
The TNT studio show was broadcasting live from outside the Chase Center. The crowd chanted “Chuck, you suck!” at Barkley before the game. After Golden State clinched a birth in the NBA Finals, things got physical.
Fans threw things at the set, including a rolled-up t-shirt, which hit Charles Barkley in the back of the head. That resulted in Barkley leaving his seat and bowing up to the audience.
“Come on Chuck!” Ernie Johnson pleaded as Kenny Smith repeatedly said “Sit down Chuck.”
Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.
Now that the Western Conference Finals are over, TNT’s NBA schedule has concluded. That doesn’t mean Charles Barkley won’t return to San Francisco for the NBA Finals, but it is highly unlikely given the reception he has received there.
Barkley spent most of the postseason telling Golden State fans they were annoying and need to shut up and saying the city of San Francisco has “dirty ass streets”.
Jon Miller To Call MLB Sunday Leadoff Game On Peacock
“According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict.”
Legendary play-by-play man Jon Miller will be returning to the national broadcast booth on Sunday. He will call the San Francisco Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds game for Peacock. He’ll be joined in the booth by Barry Larkin and Shawn Estes.
According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict. Benetti, the regular play-by-play voice of Peacock’s MLB Sunday Leadoff, is also the television voice of the Chicago White Sox. NBC Sports Chicago has prioritized this weekend’s series between the White Sox and Cubs, making Benetti unavailable to the national broadcast.
Miller has been calling Giants games since 1997 and previously shared the Sunday Night Baseball booth on ESPN with hall of famer Joe Morgan.
The broadcast, called MLB Sunday Leadoff, will begin at 11 a.m. with pregame coverage hosted by Ahmed Fareed. The game broadcast begins at 11:30 a.m.
The game will take place in an exclusive two-hour broadcast window prior to the start of the rest of the league’s day of games.
Amazon Eyeing Pat McAfee For Thursday Night Football Megacast
“No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.’
First it was the Mannings. Now it’s McAfee. Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reports that Pat McAfee could be at the center of an alternate broadcast of Thursday Night Football on Amazon in the 2022 season.
No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.
Rumors of Amazon’s interest in McAfee began to bubble up last month. While he never directly addressed them, he did make mention on his show that he was “up to something” and insinuated that Amazon wasn’t the only company he was talking to.
McAfee has said on his show in the past that he wants to be part of an NFL broadcast. However, he is firm in that it would not be in the broadcast booth.
“I can’t call games. Not yet,” McAfee said on a show in February. “Have to be done with this show to call games. Because that’s like a 3-day, 4-day thing.”
In addition to his daily show, McAfee is also committed to the WWE. He is on the road for Smackdown every Friday.
There is no word on exactly what a Pat McAfee-centered broadcast would look like. When reports first came out regarding discussions with McAfee, Ryan Glasspiegel of The New York Post reported that moving The Pat McAfee Show to Amazon was on the table. If that happens, it would make sense to use his entire crew on the Thursday Night Football presentation.