Q&A with world-renowned soccer commentator Martin Tyler
The greatest play-by-play voice in world soccer will be calling the World Cup for ESPN. It's a big opportunity for U.S. sports fans, just as it is for
I should say, though, I'm a broadcaster first and foremost, and I've always believed there are two teams on the pitch. I've never knowingly called England "we." I call the game as I see it. Of course, I've been to a lot of World Cups with England, and I would love to see England win, but that's for me as a person, not for me as a professional. So I hope I can reassure the audience that on June 12 I will be calling for ESPN. I hope people won't say, "That Englishman..." I will do it as best I can and as impartially as I always try to do.
I certainly enjoyed flying around the States in 1994. I was primarily on the East Coast, where I was in the humidity, and it affected the football. A lot of the best football was played on the West Coast. I only spent three days on the West Coast, and two of those were around the final. I was sweating in Washington and Florida and New York, but I loved it all.
That will be useful. People like
The World Cup is tough. You're going from different venues day to day. We're coming off the back of three consecutive World Cups in which trains have been a wonderful way to get around. This won't be possible because South Africa doesn't have the infrastructure for that, so it will be a different kind of travel. If you want to have a cozy World Cup, stay and watch it in front of the telly. But if you want to be amongst it and savor the particular style of the World Cup in Africa for the first time, then you have to graft. The World Cup is a