Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Andy Gray Doesn't Know the Laws of the Game

"I dinnae know the rules."

ESPN spent a lot of money (presumably) to get Sky star analyst Andy Gray in the booth for Stateside broadcasts of Euro 2008 games. And what did they get for their money? They got Andy bleating on, incorrectly, about Ruud van Nistelrooy's goal against Italy being offside.

This comes just a few weeks after he said "Ryan Giggs is borderline offside there," following Giggs' title-clinching goal against Wigan. It was a particularly outrageous thing to say, as the last Wigan defender was standing, helpfully, on the painted white line at the top of the penalty box, whereas Giggs was two strides away from it when the ball was played to him.

At least Andy wasn't alone in butchering Ruud's goal. At halftime, the duo of Julie Foudy and Tommy Smyth also laughed about the referee's incompetence. Credit to Smyth, tho - by the end of the game, he'd figured it out. Not Foudy, tho - she bleated on and on that the Italian defender behind the goal line, Christian Panucci, "shouldn't count" in regards to offsides - despite the fact he'd been flung there by his own goalkeeper, Gigi Buffon.

I gather ITV announcers in the UK also didn't know the rule, or didn't notice Pannucci behind the line.

And Derek Taylor of Fox Soccer Report took great delight in pointing out the referee's "mistake," not once but twice. I can cut Taylor some slack, tho. He's a professional broadcast journalist who is learning the game, rather than a former professional player and millionaire expert analyst like Andy Gray.

Another fun thing about Andy Gray - he giggles and flirts with Foudy shamelessly. Granted, Julie's a nice-looking lady, but it's a bit painful to watch.

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