DL389: Vuvuzelas, The Politics of the World Cup With John Skipper & ESPN on XBOX

We start with, well, vuvuzelas. I didn’t want to. Nick just surprised me with it. I honestly don’t have a problem with them. It’s fun to make fun of them, but at some point they just become part of the background. Now if I was there I’m sure I’d hate it. On TV it’s not as off-putting as some.

We talk about the savior of the Big 12, for now. It’s more wondering what the fallout will be. There still has to be fallout, right? Oh, and there was an EARTHQUAKE during a baseball game? This, clearly, far less devastating than in the past.


I was on a conference call with ESPN’s John Skipper yesterday and asked him what the network’s plan is for discussing non-soccer stories with regard to each country in the World Cup. For example, North Korea plays today, so is there any thought of a feature on their political unrest? Perhaps something about the Greek financial crisis (perhaps how that pertains to the soccer team). We’ve been told that ESPN has a lot of stories planned for South Africa, but what about the rest of the world, as, let’s face it, the World Cup is a political event as much as a sporting event.

Skipper’s reply is inside the show, and is very well reasoned and smart. If there’s a story that breaks during the World Cup, they’ll cover it. They will extensively cover South Africa, but unless it pertains to the team on the field, they will probably steer clear of the story.

Having said that, play-by-play man Ian Darke has made several references to the economic status of the countries for matches he is calling, most notably the comment about Paraguay’s poverty rate and the civil and political unrest in Ivory Coast. So there is, somewhere, a balance.

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DL387: World Cup Day! We Talk World Cup Food & Tackle The Other Big News in Sports

World Cup day! Let’s not waste time reading. CLICK THIS LINK to Sarah Sprague (TheStarterWife) and her amazing World Cup food breakdown. Every country in the tournament, represented by food. And you can vote. We go through some of the highlights. I think I’m going burger. Nick and I also talk about the excitement of [...]

Two topics today. First, the fantastic debut of Stephen Strasburg. He has managed to exceed early expectations. He will never exceed the hype.

I’m not trying to throw cold water on his performance which was both historic and important for the city, and the game of baseball, but I hope two things come out of last night’s game.

First, I hope fans in DC show up tonight. And show up in five days (or whenever his next home start will be). Don’t make this a one-game event. Show up. Support your team because they’re actually pretty darn good this year.

Second, I hope Bob Costas goes back and listens to his call of last night’s game where he compared Strasburg to no less than eight different Hall of Fame pitchers. He actually said at one point in the game that — based on hype, a few minor league starts and FIVE INNINGS IN THE MAJORS — Strasburg could be in line for the Hall of Fame as long as he stays healthy.

Come on. It’s one start. It was 91 (or so) pitches. He was dazzling. But Walter Johnson has a high school named after him. Right now there’s as good a chance that Strasburg ends up like Mark Prior than Nolan Ryan. Let’s be excited, but Costas nearly ruined the moment by trying too hard to make it one.


College football will end up just being one huge conference. . We talk about the expansion mess.

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