TV Timeout: United We Stand

On the heels of the U.S. defeating Ghana last night in their World Cup opener, ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike" featured a lot of soccer talk this morning. Mike Golic said, “When I was growing up, kids went into soccer who weren’t playing the other sports. It's not the case now. Some of our better athletes are staying in soccer and they do it year-round. Now coaches want you year-round in sports, that's what's happening with soccer in the academies and such.” Mike Greenberg added, "There is one reason soccer has grown enormously amongst younger people and there's no doubt about it. If you dispute this, you just don't know, and that is the popularity of the FIFA video game. Every kid plays that game” (“Mike & Mike,” ESPN Radio, 6/17).

SOCCER FOR BREAKFAST: Last night's win was a featured topic on each of the major TV networks' morning shows as well, with CBS' Elaine Quijano saying, “The American faithful made their presence felt in Natal. An estimated 20,000 fans showed up in support" ("CBS This Morning," CBS, 6/17). NBC's Bill Neely: "It was a game and a victory savored throughout America" ("Today," NBC, 6/17). ABC's Robin Roberts called it a "dramatic game that had the whole nation cheering" ("GMA," ABC, 6/17).

TAKIN' IT TO THE STREETS: ESPN2's "World Cup Tonight" addressed the ongoing protests in Brazil during the World Cup, and aired a taped segment with analyst and former U.S. women's soccer player Julie Foudy. She journeyed into the favela, or slums, to speak with Brazilians and to discover if the "joy had returned from the 'beautiful game' with that first opening match victory for Brazil." Foudy said the "anger runs so deep right now that you don’t have to search when you're walking down the streets for these people, they're coming up. They're telling their story and it's everywhere." ESPN's Bob Ley: "We have not seen the size of the demonstrations as much as we saw last summer, but those that we have seen and there is a lot of security on occasion have turned violent" ("World Cup Tonight," ESPN2, 6/17).
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