September 25, 2006
My new favorite sports program: The EPL Review Show
For those of you wondering what that is, it’s the English soccer equivalent of NFL Primetime, but 973 times better than any sports highlight show in America (at least in my opinion that is).
For an hour, with few commercial breaks, the show runs through all 10 weekend Premiership games in a style that I hope more American highlight shows begin to emulate at some point soon. The host of the show is never seen, and unlike every show on ESPN, FOX, etc, you’re not forced to spend the whole time listening to some host who makes his/her shtick seem more important than the game itself.
Each game is condensed into about 3-5 minutes of action, which makes every soccer game feel like it was the most intense thing ever (even if nothing happened). The show does a perfect job of capturing all the drama of each game, while cutting out the boring stuff in between. The transitions between the action are smooth and seamless, and you only hear the actual game announcers calling the action (no catch phrases, egos or music get in the way of the drama).
I’ve never seen a highlight show before where I feel like I actually watched every game that day/week. It would be great if someone could come up with the equivalent for baseball, football, basketball of hockey. Baseball Tonight is probably the best sports highlight show out there, but there is still too much analysis and talking, and not enough of the games themselves. Rarely do you feel the excitement when watching highlights if a studio host is doing the highlights. It’s always much better when they play the local radio or TV guys instead. I want to feel the crowd and the energy, not listen to cheesy background music and some host making wisecracks every 10 seconds.
And the beauty of it all is that since few people in the US care about European soccer, I can watch this show every Sunday night without knowing what happened. For American sports this would be impossible, since there are score tickers on 17 channels, I’m on the web constantly, people talk about sports everywhere (especially in NY) and taxi cabs in the city now have scoreboards on top of them.
If you get FOX Soccer Channel, give it a try. You may actually enjoy watching soccer for once.