One of the best side benefits of World Cup soccer has been the chance to listen to non-American announcers cover the games. It’s not so much that the U.S. seems to have few legitimate broadcasters who can competently, unpretentiously offer their opinion, which is basically a true statement, no it’s more about the subtle nuances like terminology. Take the following examples:
1) “the smash and grab” – in the overwhelming cluster$#%k that was Switzerland’s goal against Spain the UK announcer repeatedly described it as a “smash and grab” goal. Likewise, Paraguay’s set play success against Italy received the same moniker. I swear no American announcer would ever imply both theft and violence in the purest of all things a world cup goal. No, our man would say the Swiss were “gritty”, “dogged” or “had a nose for the goal”. I’d say the “smash and grab” is all those things and more.