To Ray Hudson
Out of sheer exasperation I've resorted to registering with GolTV in order voice my frustration at the play by play commentary of your La Liga games, only to find that I'm far from alone to judge from the forums I've come across.
I find much of the criticism directed in your direction to be rather harsh and unfair. Actually, it is your rather levelheaded approach that tends to ground the program. Your counterpart, Phil Schoen, however, is another matter. I came away from living in Madrid for a couple of years being a La Liga fan in general and a Real Madrid fan in particular, so I go out of my way to see the matches available. However, the obsessive stream-of-consciousness chitchat of Mr. Schoen is at best unnerving and at worst irrelevant to the subject at hand: the GAME! He seems compelled to fill every moment of air time with his commentary, very often at the cost of failing to report the action on the field. This strikes me as a totally American phenomenon, totally absent from European game reporting which is consistantly in the moment. I must admit that at times I find myself about to reach towards the screen in order to throttle him, but thanks to the remote control I resort to switching on the mute mode, which, yes... you guessed it...takes away the excitement of the crowd and with it the excitement of viewing the game at all.
So I am resorting to whatever alternatives are available to me. FSC now has the Champions League, I'm glad to see, and ESPN360 offers an alternative, and finally I am sometimes forced into a sports bar. It would be so much simpler if Mr Schoen were reassigned to some other duties, in limbo perhaps.
I noticed the criticism of your spanish pronunciation and hope you realize that it is utter rot. I find the accent refreshing and authentic, and you shouldn't feel intimidated by the criticsim...as if your plucky sort could be.