Driving home from the game tonight was pleasurable for a change. It had nothing to do with traffic, or even the result on the pitch from this evening’s match. No, what made the difference tonight was being able to listen to some football talk radio on the way home. Football talk about the Whitecaps.
Southsiders Director of Events, Massimo Cusano, made another appearance on Team 1040’s Full Time Football Show this evening and it was great to hear the Caps being discussed in such depth and for so long on Vancouver radio once again and with such enthusiasm and passion from Mass and the regular host Mike Martignago.
It is of course a sad rarity and it’s definitely one of the things I miss here on matchdays – decent football coverage on the airwaves. In the UK on a Saturday (or whatever gameday) you can search the dial and find several shows, pre, during and post match.
Having had a couple of jobs that took me driving all over Scotland, sometimes, especially late at night, I just wasn’t in the mood for music and wanted to just zone out to some talk radio. Sport, current affairs, general nonsense. I listened to it all for my sins or mental illness.
Fuck knows why most of the time as it just ended up with me screaming obscenities at my car radio and probably drawing a few worried glances from fellow motorists at lights.
On matchdays though, BBC Five Live and Radio Scotland would get me my football fix on the airwaves, with everything from Danny Baker to fun panel shows, reviews of the weeks news, transfers and talking points, pre match build up, commentaries, post match interviews, reports and analysis and even later post match phone ins, featuring a wide range of overjoyed fans, depressed fans and those somewhere in between who feel they have the cure to all the game’s and their team’s ills. Oh and usually some argumentative bastard that liked the sound of his own voice. I didn’t always phone in though!
After this glut of information and misinformation at my fingertips and eardrums, being a football fan in Vancouver has been a horrible wake up call as to how the sport is treated here by the media.
Several times this season, I’ve been driving home from Swangard and like an idiot who never learns, or someone who finds it too hard to get out of his ways, I start searching the stations on the radio to find some kind of sports show that will hopefully mention the Caps and the game I’ve just been at. I end up sighing and sticking on a CD.
For some away games, I’ve found myself caught up at work or driving home and wanting to find out how the Caps are getting on. I try and find some commentary on the radio. Anywhere on it. Even if it’s in French, that would do. I end up sighing and sticking on a CD.
On most occasions, what I find is Jim “How Long Can I Make This Sentence Last For By Pausing For An Insane Amount Of Times Between Words” Rome or fucking Seattle Mariners baseball. Both can put you to sleep behind the wheel and should contain some kind of health warning.
Now, I get that football is a minority sport in North America. In Canada. And in Vancouver. But baseball? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind baseball. I’ve been to a lot of games over the years and try and check out the Vancouver Canadians at least once each season.
That’s just it though. If it was a Canadians game that was being broadcast I could understand it a little better. Not much, but a little. They’re from the city. They’re from Canada. But when a radio station chooses to air commentary of a match up from a city a couple of hours away, in another country and featuring two American teams, you can’t help but wonder why and what football has to do to get it’s break in the media here.
Now obviously MLS will help, as once something has that shiny “Major League” tag on it the media start salivating like hungry dogs, but it shouldn’t be this way.
The Caps are still deciding on their radio partner for when they move to MLS I believe. What I would have liked to have seen was a radio station stepping up to the plate this season and giving the Caps the blanket coverage they deserve. That station would then get the reward of getting the MLS coverage and the respect of the fans in the process for not just jumping on the bandwagon with the big boys.
Team 1040 is the home of the Canucks. Team 1410, the Lions. Surely someone else could have made a big play here with a view to the wider picture?
I’m not naive enough to expect the phone ins to be jammed with calls talking about the Caps or 7 days a week coverage. I’d have been happy with just gameday coverage, pre, during and post match. The Timbers have this down in Portland and it’s been great listening to it.
We’ll see what next season brings. There’s not going to be any sudden changes this season, we’re way too late for that, and I don’t even think we’ll see seismic shifts next, but there will be more – well there couldn’t really be too much less. It’s disappointing. We still have shows like Full Time though and thank goodness for that. More power to them.