25 May 2006

What To Do On Wed/Thurs Night?

And another season of American Idol is over. That had been my entertainment, as well as the entertainment for many of my colleagues, for the past several months. And the grand finale was almost destroyed by Star Network, the folks who broadcast the show.

There I was, an hour and a half into the two hour final show, when a Star News update comes on, and the talking head announces, “and there is a new American Idol”, I quickly turned my head as they flashed a clip of the winner being announced. I thought I saw too much, but I hadn’t. However, what were they thinking, to break in with breaking news about the results of a show everyone is watching? Apparently, Star has a reputation for doing this with sporting events they are rebroadcasting.

My next big television concern is the World Cup. I only really watch football/soccer once every four years, and then I turn into a football-psycho. I watch as many games as I possibly can, getting more wrapped up in it as the days go by. It is truly the best sporting event in the known world.

Four years ago, when I was living in Malaysia, I really lucked out. The games were held in Japan and Korea, so that put it in almost the same time zone. I believe that there was an hour in time difference. Added to that, I had the teaching schedule from hell, both mornings and evenings which, fortunately, worked out perfectly for World Cup viewing. While friends in the US had to get up at 2am to watch a match, I did it in real time. I think I watched at least 90% of the games.

Now that I am in Vietnam, and the games are being played in Germany, there will be a time problem. But that is not the worst of my worries. I am going to the States in mid-June, which means I will have to watch hideous American commentators destroy the games.

When I have watched the World Cup overseas, I usually get European broadcasts, which are far superior to American attempts at covering a football game. The announcers actually know the players names and are well versed in the ins and outs of football. The last time I saw the World Cup in the , the US, the announcers would say things like, “That was a good kick by the guy in blue,” then segue into “say, did I tell you about that fishing hole I found up in Alaska?” Or they would start in with the nasty, belittling remarks that one never hears from the European broadcasters. Hopefully, I will be able to watch Telemundo, and their commentator Andres Cantor. Even if you can’t understand Spanish, he is the man to listen to.

So, as you can see, life is fine and well in Vietnam.
I’ll be rooting for Brazil!