Every four years, I brush up on my Spanish. Yes, it’s time for the FIFA World Cup in South Africa and I make it a point to watch the Spanish-language broadcasts on Univision. I find the announcers more in tune with the game’s subtle nuances — and when to convey genuine excitement.
Unfortunately, the master of excitement, Andrés Cantor, is now with Telemundo, a rival Spanish-language network owned by NBC Universal. Many soccer fans in the U.S. may recall his famous “GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL” proclamantions whenever a goal is scored. By far his best was the goal by Ernie Stewart against Colombia in 1994…
Mr. Cantor realized what had just happened, so this particular call was exceptionally long and vociferous. The U.S. went on to win that game, after the infamous own-goal by Colombian defender Andrés Escobar (he was subsequently killed in a bar fight in Medellín afterwards).
I’ve played soccer for decades and I now enjoy coaching my kids whenever I can, and they love playing it, too. We’re looking forward to the U.S. opening against England on 12 June 2010 (match 5 at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenberg). The World Cup is the biggest sporting event, commanding viewership in the billions. I’ll be one of them.