Thursday, April 9, 2015

Let Me Call An NWSL Game. Please.

Dear National Women’s Soccer League,

The start of the 2015 season will be upon us tomorrow - a time of year I look forward to like a giddy kid on Christmas Eve. As a Washington Spirit season ticket holder, I try to get to as many live games as possible, but was also happy to be able to follow Spirit away games and other games around the league via live stream last year. Still, there's an issue. While a number of the game announcers on the live streams were fantastic, many left much to be desired. I know sports announcing is tough and the  league is just getting started, so may have difficulty finding folks with lots of experience and knowledge of the players, but still I found myself pressing mute on a significant number of occasions, mostly because announcers were talking - A LOT - but not about the game. As follows are a list of things NWSL announcers talked about during the 2014 season (other than the game at hand that they’re, um, supposed to be calling):

1. The weather in Nebraska (where there is, incidentally, no NWSL team). At length. I’m not even kidding.

2. The age of EVERY. PLAYER. ON. THE. FIELD. It’s not that age is irrelevant, but it’s really only interesting to mention if there’s something extraordinary about the player’s age in relation to the game. I don't think this announcer said ANYTHING else about the players aside from their date of birth.

3. The men’s U.S. national team. At length. (At such length, actually, that both announcers in one particular instance got so wrapped up in talking about the U.S. men that they forgot to continue announcing the NWSL game still going on for a decent chunk of the half. One of them finally seemed to snap out of it enough to say he supposed they ought to “get back to the women’s game.” Thanks. And sorry to interrupt you). 
Washington Spirit v. Seattle Reign, August 2013

4. The height (or lack thereof) of certain players, which wouldn’t be a problem in itself, except for that time one announcer referred to a particularly short player as a “midget.” Only a little problematic.

5. Hashtags. Again, I’m completely serious. You know there’s a problem when one announcer flatly tells the other announcer (who will not stop babbling on and on about said hashtags - in relation to what I honestly cannot remember), “I’m watching the game.” #announcethegame 

So, NWSL, here’s my resume: I played youth soccer. I can identify pretty much every single player in this league without a cheat sheet and can come up with something interesting to say about most of them aside from their birthdays. I have zero announcing experience but I like to talk. A lot. I REALLY like to talk about NWSL soccer (there are witnesses). I love the U.S. women's team to an absurd degree and I can pretty much guarantee I won’t talk about Nebraskan weather. 

If hired, I will accept an Ali Krieger jersey as payment. You may reach me via my twitter handle: @Queeringtheline. I look forward to hearing from you.


Sumner McRae

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