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Oliver Tse: Why MLS turns off TV viewers

(June 11, 1997)

10. Squished, distorted picture on national telecasts on that four-letter network with the grungy graphics and that damn blue line at the bottom.

9. Big, ugly, non-transparent sponsor bug on regional telecasts. No, we will NOT eat at your McDonald's.

8. Those homer shrills on regional telecasts: "We root, root, root for our boys." Where's that mute button?

7. The three blind mice with flags or whistles. "Hey, that was a handball! ANDBALL! HANDBALL! How can you miss that? You're blind!"

6. Players that stop playing when the clock counts down to around to 0:10 to the end of the first half. Instead, they blast the ball straight up into the air or 50 rows up to run out the clock.

5. Are the 22 guys on the field players, or are they cartoon characters with corny nicknames dreamed up by a bunch of suits at McCann-Erickson over a three-martini power lunch?

4. Those shrills behind the mike who insist on using those silly McCann-Erickson nicknames. Another reason to reach for the mute button.

3. The suits who negotiated and signed the exclusive DirecTV out-of-market pay-per-view deal. So the suits don't want our business, eh? No problemo, man. We will watch Futbol de Espan~a, Futbol de Alemania, Futbol de Argentina, la Copa FA de Inglaterra, y los elimininatorias de la Copa Mundial Noventa y Ocho instead.

2. The suits who insist on playing jock rock at the stadiums. WHILE THE BALL IS IN PLAY! Bush league.

1. One word: CRAPShootout!

Oliver Tse is producer of soccer TV ( www.soccerTV.com), the complete guide to soccer on American television.

Articles and opinions expressed by other columnists are not necessarily the opinion of SoccerTimes.