The best part of this World Cup: No more O’Brien and Balboa

balboa.jpgdave o'brien.bmp Marcelo Balboa and Dave O'Brien:
" A beautiful night at the Olympic Stadion, Berlin"
The two blathering idiots put on quite a show in the finals. The camera panned onto Jacques Chirac a few times for about 20 seconds each time. It did not pique the interest of O'Brien and Balboa who probably did not know who he was. They mercifully did not hazard a guess otherwise we would have been told that the Dalai Lama was in attendence and was hanging out at the behest of Alessandro Del Piero who has decided to take the eightfold path to nirvana.
I have no idea why ESPN ever got the brainwave to hire Dave O'Brien the play by play commentator of the Florida Marlins and the NY Mets, both baseball teams. His commentating has the feeling of a bunt that plops in front, the pitcher starts to run towards the ball, and the batter to first base, only to have it roll back over the line, and be declared a foul ball. A lot of extraneous crap that goes nowhere but leaves you with, "Whaa?"
Marcelo Balboa, the color commentator, found coaching easy while he was in the box. "You havta, you wanta, you needta." The most amazing part for him was how a team would attack after being scored upon and the defence of the opposing team would fall back on.... defending. Why they did that was a mystery to Balboa, as much as the missing link, and the unified theory. If they had only listened to Balboa, all 32 teams would have still been in contention.
But mercifully we do not have to listen to them anymore. And though the US lost, we can thank our lucky stars that they lost on a beautiful Nuremburg afternoon, courtesy Balboa and O'Brien. And as Balboa and O'Brien kept reminding us in the final that the only team that stole two points from the Azzurris was the US team. Which deconstructed means that we just kicked ass. Not.

6 comments on “The best part of this World Cup: No more O’Brien and Balboa
  1. they were especially horrendous for the final. Zidane had many great touches on the ball and they failed to complement any of them. Also I noticed them praising Henry as “finally getting pumped up” because he was gesticulating on the ground after a failed pass in the bix – He was NOT pumped up – he was gesticulating that his teammate did not make the right cut.

  2. I have to agree with your assessment of O’Brien and Balboa.
    I found myself laughing on more than a few occassions at their commentary. O’Brien knows nothing about soccer and that comes across in his comments and Balboa tried to smooth over his partner’s gaffes.
    They were supposed to enhance our viewing experience but they were comical at times.

  3. Their Chirac snub was the same silent treatment we got every time Chancellor Merkel was on screen.

  4. Well it comes to an end…
    What can I say it’s been absolutely fantastic!!
    Congrats to Germany for all the hard work they put into the Tournament which turned out to be great!
    It’s definitely a World Cup to remember…
    For more soccer news or just a good read check out my blog at :
    ALot of work went into it, you wont be dissapointed :)

  5. totally agree. just one more point – after balboa (and wynalda for that matter) ripped the 4-5-1 used by the US as useless, i found it very interesting that they did not comment that both France and Italy went with the same shape for essentially the entire tournament and somehow made the final.

  6. Before we rip Balboa and O’Brien (and I don’t rip Marcello much at all); if one thinks they reflect ignorant Americans on soccer, one might check out a recent four four two, that does, yes, show some perplexing humourous comments that announcers in that country where we inherit our English language from. Balboa did okay for me and it might be warranted, when he said; but he said it so often, it became like a broken record and very predictable too when he’d go into his little discourse: “you don’t always need to hand out a card for a play like that, the refereee should first talk to the player and let him know next time, he will get a card. We’ve seen too many cards in this tournament.” Talking about yanking someone’s chain!!

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