Euro 2012: Why Kasey Keller Should Be Replaced as a Commentator
Kasey Keller is undoubtedly one of the greatest American soccer players in recent history, making 101 appearances in goal for the Red, White and Blue.
He has shown his credentials on the pitch, but seriously Kasey, you could really use some lessons in commentary.
Before you scroll down and tell me how unpatriotic I am, please just hear me out.
When the opening match of Euro 2012 between Poland and Greece came on ESPN, I was delighted to see that Ian Darke and Steve McManaman, two of my favorite commentators were the men that would lead me through the next 90 minutes.
Darke, who has over 20 years of experience in broadcast, and McManaman, a legendary ex-Liverpool and Real Madrid star, convey their thoughts with a perfect balance of knowledge and wit.
Fast forward two hours later to Russia vs. Czech Republic, and I found myself looking for a button on my remote that would allow me to mute the needless droning coming from Keller in the commentary box.
Instead of simply stating players names when they received the ball, and giving insightful statistics for viewers to chew over, Keller gave us a dull play-by-play recap of events that were already blatantly obvious.
It completely threw off my equilibrium.
I am used to hearing a gentle-toned Englishman serenade me with his footballing expertise, not a man who chuckles at his own jokes and sounds like he would be better suited talking about hockey or basketball.
Who is your favorite Euro 2012 commentator?
Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, they did.
Two European giants, Germany and Portugal locked horns on the second day of the Euro in Lviv. It was a match that had all the makings of a classic, and one I had been looking forward to for months prior to the tournament. All my anticipation came to a standstill, however, when Keller once again opened his loud mouth.
I couldn't believe it! How could ESPN give such an important game to this man?
My friends and I found that our main talking point wasn't about how ineffective Cristiano Ronaldo proved to be, or even Mario Gomez's 72nd-minute goal that gave the Germans the win.
All we could think about were the comical stutters and irrelevant tangents that Kasey Keller would tend to go off on.
Whether it be his reference to the Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics Game 7 midway through the second half, or his mention of Nani's calf Achilles (whatever that is), it made it difficult to pay attention to what really mattered: the football.
Luckily, Keller will only be causing viewers to cringe for two more games at Euro 2012.
His future assignments are Ukraine vs. Sweden and Poland vs. Russia, two matchups I won't be devastated to miss out on.
From there, another American, Taylor Twellman will take over his commentating responsibilities with partner Derek Rae.
I don't have much familiarity with Twellman as a commentator, but let's hope that things can only look up from here.
Yes, I know there has been a lot of Keller-bashing going on in this story, but I have the utmost respect for the man and I think he has been one of the great pioneers in bringing soccer to America. Take nothing away from that.
To credit him, this is his first time commentating on a major international tournament, and he seems to be giving it his best shot.
With a few more years of experience broadcasting the MLS (or another league I don't care to watch), Keller could certainly iron out the kinks that likely exasperated so many people this summer.
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