July 13, 2014

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 9 comments

Today is the last day of ESPN's World Cup run before handing it over to Fox. I've grown to dislike almost everything about the Beast of Bristol, but this was the exception. They've done a fantastic job broadcasting this. I hope Fox can poach some of their bigger names before the next one.

posted by rcade at 09:48 AM on July 13, 2014

I feel the exact same way. There's a bit of a wake aspect to this for me; I tried (not really) to have an open mind about Gus Johnson on the Champions League games but he is awful. I don't like his schtick for US sports and listening to him on soccer reminds me of a line from Patrick O'Brian: "Your friend has a singular genius for striking the wrong note." Just checked and God help us all, Fox has the rights to Euro 2016 as well. I'd like to think they can poach some of the talent from ESPN and/ or leverage their Sky commentators, but I think a flaming puck approach is more likely.

It would be great if the one legacy of ESPN's coverage was to bring the producers and talent behind the World Cup coverage into Bristol to re-work some tone and approach for the mainline shows.

posted by yerfatma at 11:12 AM on July 13, 2014

I read on WorldSoccerTalk last night that ESPN has the rights to Euro 2016, which expands to 32 teams and ought to be great.

posted by rcade at 01:27 PM on July 13, 2014

rights to Euro 2016, which expands to 32 teams and ought to be great.

32 teams?!

With that many, who DOESN'T get into the tournament?

There are only 54 UEFA nations to start with, and after you discount the ridiculously small populations of Faroe Islands, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Gibraltar, San Marino, that leaves you with 32 places for 49 teams (or a 66% chance for the larger countries).

It's positively 1980's NHL-ish.

posted by grum@work at 03:36 PM on July 13, 2014

Fear the Liechtenstein.

posted by Bonkers at 05:26 PM on July 13, 2014

Settle. It's 24 teams.

Fox Sports in Australia does a pretty good job of covering football, including the A-League and most overseas leagues. We were luck with three decades of SBS coverage that set a very high standard, which Fox seems to respect.

posted by owlhouse at 09:56 PM on July 13, 2014

Forget the Euros, the tournament of Summer 2016 will be the Copa America Centenario, which the US will win in thrilling final against Colombia*.

* Or so my daydreams claim, though sometimes we beat Chile

posted by billsaysthis at 12:04 PM on July 14, 2014

Your ideas are intriguing to me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

posted by bender at 12:55 PM on July 14, 2014

rights to Euro 2016, which expands to 32 teams and ought to be great.

Even at 24 it's going to be a bit longer than it need be I think, but I may have caught the sniffiness of the Guardian writers. Assuming you really enjoyed Tahiti's in the last Confederations Cup, Euro 2016 should be chock-full of stories of left backs who are full-time plumbers, etc.

posted by yerfatma at 02:07 PM on July 14, 2014

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