Today’s #TBT Sports Blog recognizes one of the sports world’s greatest commentators – global soccer’s Ian Darke.
This velvet voice of international football emerged as soccer’s best talking head while covering the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
When it comes to world wide sportscasting, this ESPN soccer announcer easily ranks as one of the best ever in the broadcast booth – regardless of the sport.
He also ranks #4 in my sports comic book Favorite Sportscasters.
With a fantastic facility for words, this famous British broadcaster is beloved by soccer enthusiasts everywhere. His international football fluency and legendary, quintessentially British delivery have earned him the notoriety and fan followings of sportscasters Bob Costas, Chris Berman here and Charles Barkley here in the US.
With the rapid, continued growth of international football predicted here in the USA, so is the ascent of this premier sportscaster.
Darke’s broadcasting aplomb, coupled with excellent elocution and enunciation, made him ESPN’s perfect pick as the voice of their extended 2014 World Cup coverage.
A clever 2014 ESPN World Cup commercial hinted at Darke’s witty humor as well as his deft and brilliantly understated delivery. Savvy sports fans immediately equated Darke’s delivery with smart Shakespearean like references.
The razor sharp soccer sportscaster’s command of the English language combined with his poetic depictions of simple plays on the pitch make the soccer viewing experience a perfect match when he’s holding the mic.
With Darke in the broadcast booth, the beautiful game sounds even more exquisite. Darke’s famous expressions like “a rapier thrust on the break” to describe a strong counter attack brings images to mind of William the Braveheart leading the charge. Darke’s describing a “football in a phone booth” cleverly captures a word picture of cluttered improper spacing on the pitch.
This British broadcaster extraordinaire flourishes among poetic and picturesque depictions. For example, a quick, easy pass made to look simple is referred to as a “gentle flick.” He aptly describes a great defender one who can “pick the locks of any defense.”
And, “contesting every blade of grass” or “straining every sinew” are two of Darke’s ways of translating for American viewers that players on the field are giving 100%.
Darke brings to life the eccentric terminology of international football.
His British syllabication and pronunciation – “agane” for again and “bean” for been – have enraptured viewers mimicking him minutes into a match.
Finally, Darke’s eloquent vocabulary provides the ideal translation of weighted passes, clean sheets, equalizing goals, shots on frame, splashy kits, faster pace and bringing sides level in a way any uninitiated American audience can appreciate.
Ian Darke has mastered his craft in international soccer reporting.
Expect an American viewing public to become increasingly aware of this golden voice in the broadcasting booth.
MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!