Monday, July 19, 2010

Things Commentators Say

One of the best things about watching World Cup football, and just international football period, is the great commentating. I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that no other sport has announcers as good as the ones that handle big international and European matches. I'm sure part of it is the accent, which seems to fit with the game but the real skill these guys have is with words. They all seem to be very talented wordsmiths who can paint a picture with the spoken word like no one else. They know when to be silent, and when to describe what is taking place. They can take the ordinary and mundane occurrence and bring it to life with a few simple words. They have the ability to find a way to say something different than anyone else would say it to give that extra bit of pizazz. I can't really describe it all that well so I have some examples for you. I jotted down a few lines that I heard while I was watching the games and here they are for your perusal. If you imagine hearing them in a British accent they are even better.

"slightly naughty" -Clearly in this case the player went just barely out of the framework of the rules

"breasted it down" -Um, I guess that's the same as saying "chested"

"he forgot the geography of the goal" -He could have just said that he forgot where the goal was but  
 doesn't that way sound a lot cooler?

"loitering with intent" -I am often a culprit of this as well, just not usually on the field of play

"exchanges looks with daggers in them" -Great line, really adds to the drama eh?

"tickled it down the line" -if you didn't know that you could tickle a soccer ball, well, now you know

"they have the scent of victory in their nostrils" -'nuff said

"an absolute snorter" -not sure if this was the same guy who said the nostril bit but it seems to fit...he was talking about a brilliant goal by the way, the one Van Bronckhorst scored in the semi-final I believe

"hammerblow", "thunderbolt", "wonder-strike" -all great word choices to describe fantastic strikes on goal

"the Dutch defense capitulated for once" -I dare you to try to use the word capitulated in a sentence

"Robben was a sinner rather than a saint" -Nice of them to throw in a religious reference

"hair's breath" -Could there be a clearer, more precise way to describe a close call?

There are some examples of just another aspect of what makes the World Cup the greatest sporting tournament in the world. At least if you watch it on TV with the English commentators anyways.


  1. this post was absolutely smashingly brilliant!

  2. Emily gets mad at me any time I have an 'absolute snorter' in the sink. And now I know why my hair tickles my neck, IT BREATHES! Who knew. Thanks English commentator for informing me so.

    I agree though, the annoucing at the World Cup was fantastic. They can draw you into the game unlike almost any other sports commentator.