Dellacamera deserves better than this from ESPN

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.

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35 thoughts on “Dellacamera deserves better than this from ESPN

  1. +1.

    There are some fans out there who don’t like J.P. Frankly, I don’t understand them. He’s always prepared, knows his stuff, doesn’t go off on ridiculous tangents, and is a fan of the team without coming across as a fanboy.

  2. I’ve been a critic of J.P. at times, but he earned that job. If Guus Hiddink took over tomorrow, dream scenario as that might be, I’d still be gutted for Bob.

    The one positive is that Taylor doesn’t plan on treating the viewers with kid gloves.

  3. I’m glad we’ll have Tyler. I enjoy his calls of games.

    And re: Rob Stone, the shrieking and cackling you hear is coming from his perfect hair.

    Finally, is ‘slightly ubiquitous’ the same kind of thing as ‘slightly pregnant’?

  4. Count me with those who hope that JP is kept for the USA matches.

    While JP is competent, Martin Tyler is very good. That said, JP has a familiarity with the USA team that Tyler cannot match, due to his weekly MLS broadcasts on ESPN and the fact that he’s called the USA games throughout qualifying, and the fact that he’s called soccer games in this country longer than some posters have been alive.

    (To wit, if you ever see video of Caligiuri’s famous shot in Trinidad & Tobago in 1989, that’s JP Dellacamera on the mic, calling the game.)

    For all the other matches, they’re welcome to have Martin Tyler as their #1 PBP man. But I think that the fans would be better served with JP on the mic for the USA matches.

  5. JP has been among the best since 1994. He and Harkes at WC 2006 were the best commentary duo for the US ever. Hands down. I really hope that ESPN decides to keep these guys together for their 2nd tier crew.

    I think anyone who is the first team crew for ESPN has a really tough job, and JP/Harkes aren’t the first to go downhill in that role. If you watch Rob Stone do college football, Dave Obrien do baseball or Jack Edwards do hockey, they are actually pretty good/entertaining/well-balanced voices. They were absolute buffoons on soccer broadcasts.

    The best part of the Martin Tyler appointment is that he’s not likely to be pushed around. And even if you find him unentertaining, or lacking in US team knowledge, he at least won’t come off as an annoying jerk. Or spend 85 of the 90 minutes evaluating the referee (Balboa).

  6. Oh, give me back Jack Edwards already! He’s a legend in Boston, for pity’s sake!

    [ame=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Md87HwvfHGs”]YouTube – Best Of Jack Edwards – Boston Bruins Announcer[/ame]

  7. Why don’t they use the best American sports announcer, Al Michaels? He’s already on the ESPN payroll.

    JP is OK. Like so many American announcers, he likes to talk too much, and about things that aren’t always relevant to the game being played.”Hey, we’re doing US vs Spain, so let’s talk about Torres possibly leaving Liverpool for 15 minutes and about how great the Premiership is.” WTF?

    Harkes is not that great either. Better than Balboa for sure, but not much of an upgrade from Wynalda. Harkes doesn’t seem to share the passion of openly berating US Soccer at every turn like Wynalda (I always enjoyed Wylanda’s little rants). Harkes also has trouble putting coherent sentences together, which isn’t a good quality to have when your job is to give insightful analysis of the game. Too many balls to the head?

  8. I was always struck by JP’s different sound back in the days when I bothered watching the WNT and could compare his work there with the Champions League. He sounded extremely knowledgeable and professional when calling the CL games.

    He sounded like a fanboi, forcing enthusiasm when the conditions didn’t dictate, and bordered on unprofessional when calling WNT games. He continually said “…GOING LONG!” every time an errant clearance was made, but with a faux-excited expectation of something great.

    Really weird.

    However, I mostly agree – he’s got to be the guy to call the US games in SA. He’s totally earned it and he’s not nearly as irritating as he was when calling the WNT games way back when. In fact, he sounds measured and mature, but still enthusiastic, and uniquely American.

  9. I’m always amused by Harksie. If you can decipher some of his Queen’s English babble, there is an occasional insight there, but mostly it’s just funny to hear him mix Britishisms and Americanisms in the same grand -ism.

    He just kind of mutters and whatever comes out is usually odd.

    If ESPN can steal Christopher Sullivan for a while to be an analyst, that would be outstanding. Though he might have a gig already in place if SirusXM is signing him up again, assuming they do their World Cup channel this time (which was AWESOME, BTW).

  10. AL Michael’s can do any sport pretty well (Do you believe in miracle’s?!) but I agree with you guys JP totally deserves it. I listened to a podcast interviewing JP and all his experience’s through the years announcing footy. Really interesting stuff, he even announced arena soccer before the MLS was established! I will feel very sad for him if he doesn’t get to do the yanks games in 2010.

    That being said, Cheers for getting Martin Tyler. He’s an excellent choice, always a neutral spirit in the booth.

  11. I like JP but if Martin Tyler calls a more even-handed game with equal focus on what each team is or is not doing, then I think it’s a plus. Besides – he’s hired for the tournament, not strictly for US games. The quote below is sound reasoning IMO.

    “After the [’08] Euros we said, ‘OK, let’s take the presumption that we are going from scratch and start looking at those who can contribute at the highest level to our ongoing efforts in the world arena of football,” said Jed Drake, ESPN’s senior vice president and executive producer, event production. “That’s where our reevaluation has taken us and I think we are going to do very well with our coverage as a result. When you do take this kind of broad view of the world of football, Martin Tyler’s name is always going to be at the top of the list.”

  12. i dont like having a foreigner announce for our national team

    how in the world can that announcer possibly feel any passion or real interest??? they’re just thinking “make sure i dont insult the USA too badly so i can get this money”

    thats not world cup quality announcing guys

  13. I don’t know if I could disagree with this any more. Tyler is a professional, and I’d rather have someone competent calling games rather than a rabid homer. Tyler is more than capable of conveying the excitement of the game – he just does it without shouting.

    And for your last made-up point – Tyler can do just fine without the money. He’s got more work than he can handle.

  14. Why the Hate on Jack Edwards? Loved him! He gave the sport an excited voice that seemed to say that what you are watching was great and important! I thought he was good at WC2002, Ty, I could have lived without(knowledgable but bland) but Jack was fun.

    Anyway, I like JP, think Martin Tyler is a God but hope for JP on the mic for US matches.

  15. We should contact ESPN and make sure they get Andy Gray to call the games with Tyler. Also need to tell them to keep JP and Harkes for USA games.

  16. I love JP, he’ll still get to do plenty of games. But I guess somebody at ESPN thinks the English accent is ‘sexy’ or something.

  17. I agree, but it’s obvious that thine eyes shalt never again see the glory.

    Ty sucked. Not because he didn’t know the game (honestly don’t remember anymore), but because he had like three anecdotes that he would tell 8 billion times.

    Jack, though, was good. I’d have him back. Don’t care about the ladder (far less annoying than the hav-OCK anyway), I’d have him back.

    Bob Ley was good. He’ll be doing the studio show, but I wonder whether they’ll sneak him any games.

  18. JP Dellacamera best since 1994?? Are you high.. the guy has been do0ing soccer broadcasts on ESPN since the early 1980s for the MISL and its game of the week and various national broadcasts.. It used to be him and Samus Malin..

  19. JP for 2010! If ESPN doesn’t want him, I’d be happy (OK, ecstatic) if he took the commentating for the WPS away from Rogondino and/or Hildreth. That duo can make your ears bleed more than anyone.

  20. Agree for the most part…JP is a good announcer with a couple of extremely annoying verbal tics. The worst of which being every shot is a “quick shot!”

  21. why anyone would want to be subjected to commentary by an american is beyond me. surely not all americans are masochists?

  22. I know we are talking about play-by-play guys, but ESPN would make a lot of US fans happy by getting rid of Harkes and replacing him with Chris Sullivan who is hands down the most insightful color guy when it comes to the USMNT.

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