Gus Johnson's call of Real Madrid-Manchester United may be the most anticipated pairing of announcer and sport in recent network history. Today we got our first look at Gus Johnson, lead Fox Soccer announcer as he and Warren Barton gave a report from Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu during halftime of Tuesday's Celtic-Juventus broadcast.
More interesting though was the advertisement for tomorrow's game that also aired during halftime. Not only did it hype the massive United-Madrid first leg, but it also hyped Johnson's nationwide soccer debut. It's the first time I can ever remember seeing an announcer's name in the marquee along with the game he was announcing.
Don't think Fox is betting the house on Gus Johnson making it as a soccer announcer?
In between the "soccer boring" cavemen and the futbol nerds fuming about an excitable American calling a match lies Fox's target demo for this experiment... Urban/suburban college educated men between 18-40 who are hardcore US sports fans but becoming more and more interested in European soccer. For lack of a better phrase, let's call them the Bill Simmons demo. As Awful Announcing has mentioned, it's a risk to stray from British commentary but probably one worth taking for Fox.
@awfulannouncing I'm much more concerned about the awful Warren Barton as the color man than I am Gus on play-by-play
@awfulannouncing It might end up sounding like this (H/T @PatBoylanBSU ) http://t.co/R3Te5IjA
@awfulannouncing >give me a #NHL game over that boring soccer or 'futbol' or whatever anyday !!! Even Gus can't make it exciting
@awfulannouncing the only way that match up could be any better was to put Gus on the Mic. Going to be so good.
@awfulannouncing Heard an interview with him on FSR. Says he's been prepping for UEFA for 18 months. Waiting for the results.
@awfulannouncing I could listen to Gus Johnson call a sponge bath at a retirement home and be entertained.
So we won't know its soccer MT “@awfulannouncing: Fox promoting tomorrow's UCL gm as "Manchester United v Real Madrid Featuring Gus Johnson"
@awfulannouncing "If Gus Johnson can't get you excited about Soccer then just stop trying, it isn't for you"
@carternacke We may be rooting for different teams, but we can both agree on hating Gus Johnson calling the match
@awfulannouncing Pissing off soccer fans they know will still watch & adding other people who wouldn't have otherwise?
Not happy about this at all. The beautiful game doesn't need manufactured excitement. Soccer commentary should be restrained and not interfere with the game = not exactly qualities that Gus Johnson possesses.