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"I'm a big fan of Vin Scully and I think his anecdotal stuff is sensational," Tyler said. "But you know, I think baseball people accept if a few pitches go flying in and the ball is up on a screen. He can just break up the story and say `2 and 1' or something like that. And everyone knows, you can't really do that in football."
That is likely the biggest difference between British and American announcers. On the olde island, the broadcasters are more restrained, more likely to keep talk to a minimum.
"I'm not sure that it's a style difference as much as a cultural difference," said JP Dellacamera, a frequent U.S. national team broadcaster for ESPN who has been relegated to ESPN Radio for the World Cup. "Let's say British announcers and probably those in other countries, too, I think they talk less than American announcers. I think they talk more about their particular game they're calling than other games. There's not as much storytelling, not as much promos."
ESPN didn't wind up with four British broadcasters by chance. It was a conscious decision.
"We spent a great deal of time listening to announcers and discussing the various attributes that each had, and ultimately these were the people that we felt were best-equipped to present this event to the United States regardless of whatever accent they might have," said Jed Drake, the executive producer of ESPN's World Cup coverage.
Until this year, Tyler had broadcast the World Cup for the Australian network SBS. He lives in London near the Chelsea and Fulham training grounds and estimates he covers about 100 matches per season.
Since he started, the speed of the game has sped up and soccer has become more defensive. The United States has gone from an outsider to a regular World Cup participant.
"I always say, I sit in exactly the same sort of place I sat in December 1974: reasonably good seat on the halfway line," he said. "My colleagues tease me that everything I did was in black and white, but I'm not that old. Obviously, the monitors have got bigger and the screens have got wider and HD has come in and now 3-D is coming in, but the fact is I still sit there. And when people ask me what I do, people who don't know me, I shout `goal' for a living. And that's what I've done. And it's done with affection and care and respect for the game and the audience."
Dellacamera, obviously, is aware there are as many different styles to broadcasting a soccer match as there are to playing one. He wouldn't call a game in the understated British manner no more than he would shout "Goooooaal" in the hyper-excited way of Andres Cantor and other Latin announcers.
"Somebody once told me I should call goals like that," Dellacamera said. "That's not our style. That's not our way. That's not our culture. That's theirs. It would be disrespectful of me to call a game that way."
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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