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Archive for May 14, 2007

May 14, 2007 — A long way to go

Last Thursday night, Fox Soccer Channel broadcast a replay of an English Premier League match between Chelsea and Arsenal.

The game, however, was not one presented with the traditional team of announcers. Instead, the game was called by two opposing fans of the two teams. FSC showed the “Fan Zone” feed that is part of every EPL telecast in England. The country has had digital television for several years, and Sky Sports has several different feeds that can be accessed through the remote, including Fan Zone. This option shows the game, but also crawl along the bottom of the screen with text and email messages from fans, and the voices of the two amateurs calling the match.

Of course, the fans shout and preach, and comment on everything from the tampering of player negotiations (“tapping up” in English parlance) to player salaries. But the two fans last week were discussing why Arsenal fans were leaving home games before their conclusion. Speculation ranged from the lack of public transportation to the new Emirates Stadium to the lack of bars and restaurants in the area.

The argument settled on the different kind of fan that is coming to watch games in the EPL since the Premiership started in the 1990s and player salaries began to skyrocket. The Arsenal fan in the Fan Zone related a tale in which a group of men and women in the stands weren’t singing and chanting, but were talking on their cell phones during the match and insisting on sitting down and asking that others in the section do the same.

The Chelsea fan, Barry Cracknell, said this:

“I mean, I like women, generally, but they shouldn’t go for football. Generally, they’ve got to be busier than that; there’s got to be things they’ve got to be getting on with, surely. I mean, it’s a man’s world. Listen, this is true … my wife, she loves ironing and cooking and providing and being a homemaker. And to me, that’s a woman. I’ll say no more.”

Uhhh, has anyone ever heard of Don Imus?