June 18 2006

My Complaint Letter To ABC

To Whom It May Concern:

I would like to congratulate the ABC Network family of channels for presenting every World Cup game in its entirety. Considering the popularity of soccer in this country, I am sure that this was rather risky in the ratings department and you are to be applauded for showing them.

That being said, I have to express my dismay at the coverage of the June 17, 2006 Czech Republic Vs Ghana game. The commentators, J.P. Dellacamera & John Harkes, seemed to view this match as merely a way to kill time until the USA Vs. Italy game later in the day. Their running commentary was more about what Ghana’s win would mean to the United States than what it would to Ghana itself, the first African country to secure a victory in a World Cup match.

By far, the worst example of this came at the 90:00 minute mark, just as stoppage time began. Yes, the score was 2 – 0, but the commentators favored discussing the fresh copy of the USA’s starting lineup for the game and stopped all commentary on the game currently in progress in order to debate the changes in the USA’s chart. They did not resume commentary again until 91:46 and then it was just for one sentence so that they could elaborate on how this win for Ghana affected the USA’s standings.

I understand that I am in the USA, I understand the interest in our own team, but I found this highly disrespectful to the athletes on the field. They deserved the undivided attention of the commentators as this was their time in the limelight, not the USA’s. You have your half time show, and between-games times to do your speculating and while there are two other teams on the field, the focus should be on them and no one else.

It would benefit everyone if you remembered that this is the “World Cup”, an international tournament in which the USA is merely one participant out of 32. Perhaps you confused it with the “World Series”, which, despite it’s name, is all about the USA.

Thank you for your attention,

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