Sunday, November 06, 2005

Of Football, American Style

One of the small pleasures of being posted to Guatemala is that I don't have to entirely miss out on the football season. The cable system here included WSEE, the CBS affiliate from Erie Pennsylvania. Not only does that mean seeing every Cleveland Brows game and often a Sunday double-header, it also means I don't completely lose touch with such critical American cultural signifiers as Coors Light ads. As a bonus, I am thoroughly up-to-date on any important storm systems coming through the Lake Erie region. As an extra bonus, for some reason, WSEE of Erie, Pennsylvania bills itself as "your vacation station," and also provides a vicarious nightly weather forecast for St. Croix and Jamaica (not so many hurricanes now, if you were curious).

There is also a "Fox Sports Latin America" channel, and "ESPN Deportes," which broadcast NFL games, with the Fox and ESPN video, but with Mexican announcers. Whenever they cut to the sideline reporter, the announcers in the booth vaguely translate. More amusingly, whenever they show an on-screen ad for an upcoming show, the Mexican producers put a bigger promo of their own over the top. Occasionally John Madden or whoever uses the magic pen to draw some diagrams on the screen, and the Mexican guys don't really know what he's getting at until it's too late, so they just talk about something else while some magic yellow circles and arrows appear on the screen. The sad part of both of these channels: The ads in the US might seem repetitive, but there are literally only three or four ads on Mexican sports television: Whatever the next soccer game is; the one for the soccer highlight show; and the one for the show where they debate the "most polemic" events from the last weeks soccer games. It's almost enough to make me quit spending all day Sunday watching football. Almost.

1 comment:

EEK! said...

I love tv in other countries. I guess that makes me one of those stupid tourists who aren't out there milking every damn second of authentic cultural enrichment, but how can you get more authentic than watching local tv?

Great post from the outpost! Goalpost? Goooooooooaaaaaaaaaaalpost?

I did find myself wishing you had only used "football" in this post to name both sports and left it up to us to decipher when you were speaking of soccer and when you weren't. Oh, everyone's a critic!