Tuesday, July 28, 2009


For a long time I said I would watch Spanish language TV if they would just put on something worth watching. For reasons I can't fathom, we now get Univision, which is all Spanish, but can't get the NBC affiliate, which is right here in town. And, sure enough, most of Univision seems to be soap operas and variety shows that ape US network shows, who, in turn, are aping someone else. All this is the price for not buckling under to the cable gods, who won't even let the networks be seen here, one of the few places in the country where that applies. Are you with me so far?
So I'm going through the channels, which takes maybe thirty seconds or so, when a TV miracle happens. Univision is showing the Gold Cup soccer matches, emblematic of soccer supremacy in North America. I got to see parts of more than one game, though it took me a minute to realize that I was watching the Spanish version of games being played in Chicago's Soldier Field, the builders of which had probably never even heard of soccer when it went up in the early 20th Century.
With soccer, I'm content with outsider status. I've seen enough to understand most of the rules, which, when compared to something like the NFL are just simplicity itself, and have learned to tell some of the good plays from the poor ones. But I'll never be an expert, and you can believe that before plunging into next year's World Cup (maybe the family will repeat its random moneyless pool from four years ago) that I'll try to get a handle on the favorites.
But watching it is pretty easy, though I didn't catch much of the Spanish. Following the ball is no problem, and the camera guys know when to zero in on the areas around the goals. When someone finally scores, the guy does his interminable "Gooolll!" schtick, then you get the chance to see replays from different angles to catch how it actually happened. No doubt the hombres at Univision have been doing this for years, so they aren't going to miss anything important.
The players themselves are impressive athletes. They aren't that big, though tall guys are naturally the norm in the goal, but they can break through with explosive speed while keeping control of the pelota, I mean, ball. I am of the naive opinion that everyone should be able to earn a living doing the thing he/she does best, and if that's soccer, then viva. You have to remember the flip side, which is - you screw up, and a whole network full of people can get muy furioso at you, amigo. Hasta la vista.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome use of Espanol, Hermano Bailey. Su Blog fue muy entretenido.


1:05 PM  

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