12.5.2022 – dumbumvirate

debacle coverage
back worse than ever

Yes the inspiration for this haiku was based on the use of just one word in a long review of FOX Sports coverage of the World Cup and that word was dumbumvirate.

I am not 100% sure of what it means.

From the usage in the sentence, Four years on from the dumbumvirate debacle of its coverage in Russia, Fox is back, and worse than ever, it has refer to the color commentary team of talking heads that FOX has hired as the face of their soccer coverage.

The word dumbumvirate only occurs, according to the google, in this story and another story by the same author, Aaron Timms, back in 2018 on the same topic.

Mr. Timms has written for The Sydney Morning Herald so maybe dumbumvirate is one of those colorful Australian idioms like g’daymate and barbecue stopper, all said with that wonderful rising inflection that makes Australians seem like they are asking questions or for agreement, nes pas?

ANYWAY, I had to salute the word and Mr. Timms and his article, Fox Sports’ US World Cup coverage is an unmissable abomination and here are some of his other word combinations.

>> From the moment that Stone called Doha “Dosa” ahead of the opening match – between the capital of a small oil state on the Gulf and a fermented south Indian pancake, who’s really insisting on the distinction? – then promptly vanished from Fox’s coverage for the next three days, the US host English-language broadcaster of this World Cup has offered up a feast of gaffes, stupidity, and unconquerable on-air awkwardness for American viewers to enjoy. 

>> Insults to our collective intelligence have come from all angles: the constant, tedious analogies to American sports (stepovers and feints described as “dekes” and “hesis”, corners constantly compared to “pick and rolls”); the neverending quest to “contextualize” the world game by comparing whole countries to American states (“Qatar is the size of Connecticut,” we were told repeatedly on the opening day); the network’s embrace and promotion of the interminable “it’s called soccer” cause (who cares?); the strange extended segment in the run-up to USA v England about how much Harry Kane likes American football (ditto); the employment of Piers Morgan as a special guest pundit (no thanks).

>> Take a moment to appreciate the full dizzying scope of Fox’s witlessness in Qatar. After Rob Stone noted, in the lead-up to the group match between Brazil and Serbia, that the Brazilians have won the World Cup five times – perhaps the most widely known World Cup statistic of all – a wide-eyed Dempsey exclaimed, “Wow, you really did your research!” During France v Denmark, match commentator JP Dellacamera described Kylian Mbappé as “a kid who’s 23 and already the whole world is talking about him,” an evaluation whose awestruck “already” suggested that JP has watched close to no football over the past half decade. Donovan started the tournament pronouncing Iran “Eye-ran”, witnessed Tyler Adams being corrected by an Iranian journalist for mispronouncing his country’s name – then continued to call the country “Eye-ran”.

>> Indeed the mispronunciation of foreign names – stadiums, players, whatever – has become a running joke on Fox’s Corniche set. Asked to offer a prediction before the US match against England, Lalas thundered, “I don’t know how they say it in the King’s English but dose a seero my friends to the USA,” helpfully demonstrating that he doesn’t know how to say “dos a cero” in the King’s Spanish either.

I don’t watch much of soccer.

I am just not a soccer fan, like Tennis or Corn Horn.

I’ll watch golf but with a hidden NASCAR schadenfreudesque of wanting to see someone miss that putt.

But I watch football and I want to Mr. Timms to know that here in the states, CBS has worked just as hard as FOX to create the dumbumvirate of Tony Romo and any one unlucky enough to be stuck with him in a broadcast booth.

Over Thanksgiving, Mr. Romo provided commentary on the Detroit Lions game and his manner was such that I finally took to social media to ask DOES ROMO ever shut up, Its Like Tim McCARVER doing football

A friend of mine commented that she had to ask who Tim McCarver was and the response she got, “The most annoying person on the planet.”

You know, the type of person you would find in a dumbumvirate.

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