Fox’s Own Goal: Arsenal v Manchester United

by awindram

This morning will see the American coverage of the English Premiership momentarily escape its ghettoized confines of cable when Fox shows the game between Manchester United and Arsenal.

Scheduled as an amuse-bouche before the main course that is the NFC Championship game, this will be the first English league match to be broadcast live on a major US network and follows on from the (relative) success of Fox’s live broadcast of the last two Champions League finals.

Just as those two games saw some basic attempts to explain the game to novice viewers, to make the unfamiliar seem familiar, Fox has felt the need to bring in a friendly face to explain the beauty of soccer* to an audience that is, perhaps understandably, more interested in the Giants taking on the 49ers. Clearly there’s no need to merely settle for as eloquent an analyst as former USA international Eric Wynalda when you can have the thoughts of this famed sports pundit.

Yep, it’s old Captain Bastard himself – Piers Morgan. Network chiefs in the US seem to be viewing Piers Morgan as a polymath. Not only has CNN been wheeling him out during the recent Republican primaries under the mistaken belief that he can provide searing political analysis, Fox is now working on the misapprehension that Morgan’s constant goading of Michael Owen on twitter is the work of a mind filled to the brim with sporting insights – to think I didn’t push him into oncoming traffic when I had the chance.

*For those British readers who get all het up when I use the term “soccer” rather than “football”, please note I do so for the following reasons: 1) on a blog of this nature it avoids unnecessary confusion; 2) “soccer”, as detailed in a previous post, is not an Americanism; 3) the usage of soccer is frankly not that unusual back in the UK as evidenced by Gillette Soccer Saturday hosted by Jeff Stelling, and if it’s good enough for Jeff Stelling then it most certainly is good enough for me.