“La Little-League-A” or “An Afternoon with Phil and Ray”

[There is a lot to take away from Saturday’s match. Leo’s recovery. Mascherano’s quality. Xavi’s absence and Iniesta’s ability. Tiki-taka, shaka-laka. A draw for us and a goleada for Them. But what I loved about Saturday was the opportunity to spend quality time with DooPhil and RayRay, GolTV’s star commentators, who always bring that little extra something … what is it? good-natured idiocy? hyperbolic lunacy? … to my television viewing experience. Their give-and-take is kind of like tiki-taka in Jell-O pudding: a little soft, a little squishy and a little hard not to enjoy in spite of yourself. So here, in honor of our GolGuys, a post. – Ed.]

Phil: Welcome to all of our viewers around the world as we here on GolTV bring you the best in soccer coverage from around the world the world. Today’s match: the Sneezydale Prairie Dogs versus the East Side Katzenjammers.

Ray: It’s gonna be a helluva match, Phil, believe me … these Sneezydogs are salivating to take a beefy bite out of the Katzerjams like a pitbull on a Kardashian! (Can cracks open, slurping noise)

Phil: Well, they don’t travel well, since not all of their moms can make the 2:00 kick-off, but when they do, they do in a big Dodge Caravan thanks to their coach, Pat O’McGillicuddy, former star of the West Towne Mad Daddies.

Ray: A great old club, that’s for sure. You can bet the moldy smell of ancient victory is seeping from unlaundered athletic socks in the back of that Dodge today I tell ya! (Belches)

Phil: And we’re off … Billy kicks it to Jackie, who passes it up to Freddo … and out of bounds for the throw-in by Jackie. Or is that Jamie? What color are the Prairie Dogs wearing? Hold on … (papers ruffling). (Sotto voce) I don’t know if they allow open containers in the grade-school fields, Ray … (normal voice) It’s Jamie!

Ray: (Slurping) That kid’s a star, I tell ya! A seventh-grade supernova who will one day light up our existence brighter than the police sirens flashing in my rearview mirror on the way home from the pub!

Phil: And the first shot by the Prairie Dogs is saved by the goalie’s skinny little white friend, Gerardo Lowenstein.

Ray: Lowenstein, great grandson of the late, great Sean Lowenstein who broke all sorts of records and kneecaps during his tenure with the Lower South Side Kickenballers. Let’s break open this wee tin tubbieman, shall we? (Taps keg)

Phil: You know, watching the give and take of these Dogs, it’s like they’re playing around orange traffic cones instead of Katzenjammers. (Sotto voce) Huh? (Normal voice) Of course, they are using traffic cones to mark the play area, which may be why it looks that way … to me, anyway … but what do I know …

Ray: (Snorts)

Phil: And a harsh challenge on Billy Smythereens by Rico D’Agostino of the Katzenjammers! Wow, that might be a yellow and a big grounding when he gets home. It looks like little Billy might be out at least until Thanksgiving break.

Ray: Cynical, Phil, a cynical, sardonic, mean-spirited, nihilistic kick to the ankle-sock by D’Agostino, who wears real cleats to the games! (Paper bag crunches open) They’re Big City kids, these Katzenjammers, and they’re used to street games and street fights and ripping out the plumbing in their grandma’s one-room flat in Brooklyn to fight it out on the pitch! (Slurps) They take it ssseriously, man!!

Phil: While we wait for Miss Prisspreem to blow the whistle to start play again, we here at GolTV would like to thank the GolTV Cheerleaders for joining us today, and they send super get-well wishes to their captain Jenni (that’s with an “i”) Pulaski (also, with an “i”) who is home sick with mononucleosis.

Ray: That’s a nasty bug, I tell ya! It’s a virus that snuggles into your tongue and munches on your gums until it works its way down the esophagus and into your bacilli til you puke up your own pus! [Hiccups]

Phil: Yes, it’s also worth noting that Jamie Ingershoffer is also out with mono, that’s a strange coincidence and quite a loss for the Prairie Dogs … oh wait, Jamie’s playing? Who’s out? Who’s in? Who’s on first? Where the hell am I? Hey. Hey! Why do the English-speaking announcers get stuck in BooFoo while the Spanish-speakers get round-trip tickets on Bufana Air? Hey, Alsina! I’m talking to you, you corporate flunkie! (Mutters) Hack. Anyway, Jamie’s sick.  I think.

Ray: Ah, he’ll get over it! A proper rock-em-sock-em footballer can go down on the worst of the Jennies and come back up swingin’ pipe he stole from his Brooklyn grandma! (Pounds table) He’ll be back in time for recess tomorrow I tell ya! (Belches)

Phil: Well, all of us who follow football certainly hope so … And it looks like an ambulance is coming for little Billy, who is laying on the field in what appears to be a great deal of pain … Rico D’Agostino, meanwhile, has gotten himself into a shoving match with Jamie Ingerhoffer … Miss Prisspreem is expressing deep disappointment and no post-game sundae at McDonald’s for anyone today …

Ray: (Weeping) I love you, man! (Sniffs) I love you more than Richard and Liz, more than Angie and Brad, more than … more than … Gerard and Piqué, man, I mean it now … give us a hug …

Phil: Um, Pablo? Can you get him … okay, yeah. Well, here’s from all of us at GolTV …

Ray: (Thud)

Phil: … wishing you a good weekend. Catch us tomorrow at 7 p.m. Eastern with La Little League-A, here on GolTV.

[Broadcast ends]

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Written by:

SoccerMom obsesses over FCB and this blog instead of grading papers, burning dinner and/or raising her small children. She blames a Spanish husband and easy access to Hispanic-targeted cable sports channels for her football addiction and consequent failure as a professor, housekeeper and mother.


  1. Bruno
    October 6, 2010

    Hey I resent the portrayal of big city brooklyn kids as players used to treating games like street fights! Street games in big cities = plenty of Ole’ and much less burrrraa!. Just ask Queen Elizabeth.

  2. Larm
    October 6, 2010

    somma this is your finest post yet. the word choice of those guys is spot on!

  3. Jose
    October 6, 2010

    Absolutely nailed it, Soma, jajaja!

    Of course, now I have their voices in my head 🙁

    (Or should that be a 😀 ?)

  4. Miguel
    October 6, 2010

    brilliant!!! aaahhhh!!!! magisterial!!!

    rayray’s ma boy but i’d run phil schoen over w/my car in a heartbeat.

  5. Kxevin
    October 6, 2010

    So many laugh out loud moments. Thank you, SoMa. I needed a high-quality giggle today.

  6. Ciaran
    October 6, 2010

    Apparently we are renewing Bojan until 2015. You’ll be delighted Kxev.
    Pep must have plenty faith in him, along with Dani Alves he is the only to play every match, although he has only played 417 mins or something. Unfortunately, he is yet to hit the back of the net.
    If only he was as prolific as he is in my football manager 2010 career. Currently in 2018 and he is the all time top scorer for both Barca and Spain. We can only hope that by 2018 he is the same in real life.

    • Kxevin
      October 6, 2010

      I reckon Guardiola trusts him, or believes in the long-term prospects. I don’t wish him ill, though I do wish he would play up to standard.

    October 6, 2010

    haha!only in dreams and playstation my friend!in real life there are no miracles!

    October 6, 2010

    even messi is difficult to be in 2018 the top scorer in history of barca!he need 40goals every year!oh and messi will play against japan from the start!great job batista!play messi in every game,every minute,in friendlies is a smart move.fuck.and the others teams of liga wants change in T.V money.yea..all the world wants to see sevilla-santanter..

    October 6, 2010

    about bojan i believe that under frank rijkaard he was better.i remember how like a father was frank for him and leo.

    • Kxevin
      October 6, 2010

      He was helped by an overall lower level of play, it must be said. We have a very high-level side now, which puts a ton of pressure on its occupants. I think that Guardiola’s biggest challenge will be getting him to play free and easy. The biggest reason he had success early was he was playing with a ton of people who alleviated the pressure on him, so expectations were verging on nonexistent.

      Now he’s the No. 9, who is expected to produce in a side that gobbles up trophies like candy. That brings a very different set of expectations, and you can see it in his play. He isn’t free and easy like Messi, who looks on every run as though he wants to shout “Wheee!” in mid-run. The game is still fun for him.

      I don’t know if Krkic is having a lot of fun right now.

      • BarcaFan(BiH)
        October 8, 2010

        The first two sentences of Kxevin’s post sum up why Bojan did better in his first season. It seems like he’s getting worse but instead, the level of the team is just higher than it was during his first year with us.

  10. Kari
    October 6, 2010

    This post is made of SoMa win. The best kind there is.

    Gracias for the LOLing spree I just had.

    • Kxevin
      October 6, 2010

      My favorite bit:

      Phil: And the first shot by the Prairie Dogs is saved by the goalie’s skinny little white friend, Gerardo Lowenstein.

      Ray: Lowenstein, great grandson of the late, great Sean Lowenstein who broke all sorts of records and kneecaps during his tenure with the Lower South Side Kickenballers. Let’s break open this wee tin tubbieman, shall we? (Taps keg)

    October 6, 2010

    i thought paulino alcantara is our top scorer with 357 goals.maybe i was wrong..yes kxevin i agree.i just believe raijkaard had a more father son relationship with youngs than pep.that.s my feeling.offcourse now is 20.not a teenager.he must find the inside power to fight against the pressure.it s not easy.i remember players like de la penia.great talent but the pressure killed him.

    • Mikel
      October 6, 2010

      Yes, he is if we count in friendlies… But take into account that during the epoch Alcantara played, Barca played way more friendlies than in the actual era,anyways at 40/goals per season, Messi would only need less than 6 years to surpass Alcantara, friendlies included.

    October 6, 2010

    i remember the game against schalke in C.L 08.we won away with a bojan goal.he was 17.5 that time.offcourse our quality then wasn.t like now.but he showed some good skills.i hope he ll find the way to prove us all wrong.i am not a fan of him.cause he confused me.i was a fan of dos santos.and he prove me wrong.

    • Kxevin
      October 6, 2010

      Gio Dos Santos had immense potential. In this team, he would have had a better fate, I think. But not training or taking care of your body, trying to subsist solely on talent is a recipe that didn’t even work for Ronaldinho, and Dos Santos ain’t Ronaldinho.

      • Eklavya
        October 7, 2010

        Gio still has potential. He was great at the WC and Mexico’s best player IMO. Good dribbling, nice shot. Would be nice to have him and pedro fighting for a spot…

  13. Kxevin
    October 6, 2010

    FYI, revenue sharing is under discussion. As you can rather imagine, businessmen who are also club presidents are having a pecker-measuring contest.

    The latest deal has been rejected. Apparently us and EE offered to keep 34% of total revenues, with Atletico and Valencia getting 11% and the rest of the clubs split the remaining 55%.

    Sevilla and Villarreal say screw that, we’re big clubs, too. They have suggested dividing 40% among the Liga clubs, and apportioning the remaining 60% on a performance-based scale. Stay tuned.

    • Jose
      October 6, 2010

      Yup. There’s gotta be a distribution curve, it’s aaaaall a matter of how it’ll be shaped.

      Were us and EE suggesting that the revenue share be permanent? Because that would be outrageous. Surely it has to be based on league positioning… or at least some five year record of league positioning, so it’s not too erratic for teams (i.e., slipping to fourth one year won’t kill our finances).

  14. Jnice
    October 6, 2010

    Too funny.

    Phil is so far off the mark with his comments sometimes, I wonder how he got the job.

    • jaymin
      October 6, 2010

      it’s a US based channel thus a statistically and contextualizing voice is required in commentary. Phil fulfills this, and I think simultaneously provides Ray with a convenient foil which he is all too ready to smother w hyperbole knowing he’s covered for substance, to the great amusement/annoyance/notice at least of the Goal.tv audience. I would hire the guy for any exhibitions I hosted, but i doubt I could keep him in libations. good Geordie man:

      • jaymin
        October 6, 2010

        also apologies to post a link to a Madrid heralding link. it was the most viewed Hudson example I could find, but I should have found a barca one.

      • Nik
        October 6, 2010

        Ugh, that season and the one after bring up bad memories. Those were some frustrating times.

  15. inNYC
    October 6, 2010

    You nailed jello to ceiling there, Soccer Ma.

  16. blitzen
    October 6, 2010

    I wish I could appreciate this post more, but I’m in Canada and don’t get GolTV, so I don’t really “get it”.” Still, it’s nice to have a post that is on the lighter side.

    I might be biased, but I actively avoid game streams with American commentary. It just sounds so wrong! CBC has an English commentator for the MLS games they broadcast, and it is so much more soothing on the ears. And for La Liga games, if I can’t find an English feed I would much rather a Spanish one than an American one. My ears just reject it. 😀

    • Jose
      October 6, 2010

      jajaja, having spent half the World Cup in Canada, I can tell you though, the CBC announcers were AWFUL compared to ESPN’s guys.

      I don’t think American announcers are bad, per se, but it is bothersome that they seem to have some overwhelming urge to fill in the downtime with small talk.

      Generally, I’m not crazy about most English-language announcing (and some other languages as well) simply because they don’t hold the tradition of announcing every goal with “GOOOOL!” or “GOL GOL GOL!!”… Goals are so rare in soccer (relative to other sports) that it’s good to have an auditory stamp on any time they happen. English-language announcers usually try to come up with something clever.

      As an aside, anyone remember one of the Spanish announcers during Iniestazo I (Chelsea Edition)? The guy that was usually doing the “GOL!” announcement could only let out an emotional “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!”

      • blitzen
        October 6, 2010

        Yes! It’s the small talk that kills me! American commentators seem to have this need to chat incessantly rather than let the video speak for itself.

        And I admit, I don’t like the GOOOOOOLLLLLLLL!!!!!!! thing. I know it’s a tradition and all, but I find it distracting. I would rather hear a comment about how the goal happened.

        • DontPanic
          October 7, 2010

          I also find GOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLL irritating as hell. I don’t mind excitement but when it’s over the top it can get annoying really fast.

  17. BA
    October 7, 2010

    does anyone know what time the Barca basketball team play the Lakers today?

    October 7, 2010

    el mundo deportivo front today is that we are going after suarez or tevez in winter.i don.t know if is true.but from this two i prefer suarez without question.offcourse in a logical price.

  19. flyzowee
    October 7, 2010

    Suarez is a Gr8 talent but i dont wanna see him play for us, im gonna have a hard time celebrating his goals. Its just a personal thing so it doesnt matter if it makes our team better, im all for it.

  20. Eklavya
    October 7, 2010

    Unfortunately, I don’t think I possess enough high quality mind to understand all of this post 🙂

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