- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On October 26, 2007
- 2 Comments
I spent most of the day going back and forth on posting this but I just felt like doing it the more time passed on. Anyways, for those who watched the DC-Chicago game last night may have (or have not) caught a little remark from the one and only Eric Wynalda.
During the game, ESPN2 cameras panned to the Chicago Fire supporter’s group Section 8 with about 15 minutes left in the match, fans in the section set off flares that gave off a red, fire-like glare, which is what flares do. Wynalda responded to this image by saying, “Looks like California,” a flippant reference to the wildfires currently plaguing Southern California. The awkward silence that followed after the comment leads me to believe Wynalda realized the mistake he just made.
I have to say, even if Wynalda does make a home in California (which I believe he still does, he does have ties in San Diego), that kind of comment is one of those moments that you need to not open up your mouth and say what first comes to mind. We know Wynalda all too well to do these types of things. Of course we remember the beginning of the season that started with Wynalda telling ESPN’s Jim Rome to…well I am sure you remember.
Most people thought the comments towards Rome were comical and it didn’t cause a lot of outcry as Wynalda got a one game suspension from ESPN. Last night’s comments on the other hand were a little bit worse given the situation in California.
At times I love listening to Wynalda in a telecast, mostly because he drowns out the annoyance of Rob Stone or Dave O’Brien. But when he has these foot-in-mouth comments, I begin to wonder if he is really the type of analyst that soccer needs leading the way to get more people interested in soccer. I’m not calling for his job or anything, because he will get a job anywhere in soccer in this country doing commentary if he wants to. I just think that too many comments like this will catch up to him before long.
There have been strong rumors for a while now that Wynalda was already on the way out after this season, with recently retired Galaxy midfielder Cobi Jones and Galaxy GM Alexi Lalas (if he is fired or ‘resigns’) among the candidates to replace him. There are just three more MLS games for Wynalda to do (DC-Chicago Game two, the Eastern Conference Final and MLS Cup on ABC) so you wonder if ESPN will sit Wynalda the rest of the way and fill the spots with Tommy Smythe or Julie Foudy. I bet ESPN will try to just hide this story and hope it doesn’t get picked up anywhere.
So what should come of Wynalda? Keep him or let him go elsewhere. Now I do think Cobi Jones would be a solid replacement and I honestly wouldn’t mind seeing him on the telly right now (Cobi is very outspoken and would be good for this role).