So ESPN’s gone out and signed Martin Tyler to be its no. 1 commentator for the 2010 World Cup.
Good. He’s a very good, if slightly ubiquitous, commentator. He won’t embarrass ESPN like Jack Edwards, Dave O’Brien or Marcello Balboa and he’ll make a lot of US World Cup viewers very happy.
That said, I don’t want him doing US matches. That role should remain JP Dellacamera’s. He has done an outstanding job as he always has, and he should have a chance to broadcast the US on the highest stage finally after finding himself shunted aside behind an idiot like Edwards and then an incompetent like O’Brien. Dellacamera has earned this chance by being his usual competent, well-prepared self while schlepping across CONCACAF throughout qualifying.
Tyler deserves to be ABC/ESPN’s no. 1 announcer based on his pedigree and unrivaled international experience. Fine, I get that. But Dellacamera knows the US national team and these players better than any commentator out there and he has earned his way to South Africa just like the players did. For ESPN to boot him aside in favor a foreigner should be the last straw for the guy. If he were to get booted off US telecasts, he should tell ESPN to stick it where the sun don’t shine and march off elsewhere even if its away from soccer. This is battered spouse stuff otherwise, going back repeatedly to a dysfunctional partner that just keeps mistreating you. JP deserves better than that.
Fans of MLS should be behind Dellacamara being the voice of the US. Because you can be sure, if he bails on ESPN, he won’t be back doing MLS telecasts either, likely leaving fans stuck with the shrieking, cackling Rob Stone.
I completely understand ESPN going and getting Tyler and I commend them for it. But JP has done a spectacular job with MLS and the USA throughout the years and ought to be our national team’s broadcaster on the biggest stage.