Fernando Fiore (center): With Tom Selleck and Sam Elliott, another proud keeper of the mustache flame.
I said it once before but it bears repeating: Kanu is right, and soccer on Univision is the only way to watch the World Cup. In fact, if Univision were to pull the shocker of the century and make an end run around ESPN to snag exclusive broadcast rights to college football, I'm not convinced that we'd be worse off for it. Here's why:
· Try and think back to the best touchdown call you've ever heard. A simple "Touchdown"? Chris Berman's once-grand, now-slowly-growing-ever-more-tiresome "He! Could! Go! All! The! Way!"? I guarantee you, everything you've ever heard pales in comparison to Univision's Pablo "GOOOOLLLL!" Ramirez. Imagine watching a football game and being treated to, at every TD -- regardless of which team scores it -- a possibly overcaffeinated Hispanic guy bellowing, "TOUCHDOOOOOOWNNNNN!" Or perhaps "MOMENTO DEL ATERRIZAAAAAAJEEEEE!" Brent Musberger doesn't have a single downhome metaphor in his entire arsenal capable of competing with that.
· In terms of second bananas, you've got Jesús "Si, Si" Bracamontes versus, oh, say, Bob Davie. Now, if you don't speak Spanish -- and Lord knows I don't -- you can't understand a word Bracamontes says other than "Si-si," so basically all you know is that he's agreeing with Ramirez, whom you couldn't understand in the first place (unless he was yelling "GOOOOLLLL!"). But tell me, is that really all that big a step down from Davie using the modifier "football" (I'm sorry, "footbaw") every five seconds? Here's what soccer on Univision would sound like if you threw Davie into the announcing mix:
Pablo Ramirez: Falsificaciones de los Vittek a la izquierda . . . él pasa el cufre, y él tira . . . GOOOOLLLLL!!!! Él no habría podido jugar que más perfectamente! GOOOOLLLLLL!!!!
Bob Davie: Si-si, Pablo, pienso que estamos viendo una estrella nueva del FÚTBOL en la fabricación! He visto muchos de juegos del FÚTBOL en esta Copa Mundial, pero no he visto ninguna movimientos del FÚTBOL como aquél! Él sabe exactamente qué hacer con un FÚTBOL! Ése es un heck de un jugador del FÚTBOL, y esta escuadrilla eslovaca es un heck de un equipo del FÚTBOL!
Pablo Ramirez: ¿No significo insultar, Roberto, pero es usted se retardó funcionalmente?
· Instead of Rece Davis trying to referee between Lou Holtz's unregulated senility on one side and Mark May's 180-proof crankiness (and mangina) on the other, you'd simply have Fernando Fiore (pictured above) actually knowing what he's talking about as he gets down with his mustachioed self.
It took me exactly 37 minutes to realize there were two dudes in this picture.
· You'd still have "College Gameday," only it would be called "Republica Deportiva," and it would go like this: The aforementioned Fernando Fiore would talk football for a while, occasionally throwing it over to Rosana Franco for some fan-on-the-street opinion, and giving the viewers some things to watch out for during that day's college football action. Then, when it came time to make the "official" predictions, instead of Lee Corso jinxing a team by donning that team's mascot head to the cheers and/or lusty boos from the live crowd, you'd have the legendary Senadoras trot out wearing the uniforms of the predicted winning teams. Only they'd be slightly, er, modified, as per below:
Yup, when I talk about uniform modifications, I'm not talking about Laura Quinn's silly-ass Notre Dame/Ohio State hybrid jersey, I'm talking about belly shirts, hot pants and knee-high boots, and two scorchingly hot Latinas whose job description involves nothing other than standing around wearing them and making the occasional sports-related comment I can't understand anyway. After a few minutes of this, you wouldn't be missing mascot heads or "Not so fast, my friend."
So I hope all this helps you to understand why I was able to spend nearly the entire weekend sitting around watching a sport that, as I've previously explained, I really only care about once every four years: impassioned announcers, international brotherhood, and a show that basically amounts to "College Gameday" with strippers.
What's not to like?
I, for one, will be sorry to see el Copa Mundial go.