I told myself earlier this week that I wouldn't spend anytime on The Daily Wiz talking about KSHB's sports reporter Jack Harry, who posted a video where he explained why he hasn't given fair coverage of Sporting Kansas City. However, after a few days had passed, I decided maybe it was worth taking a deeper look into Harry's comments.
The series of Jack Harry videos, which are part of a segment he calls "Jack's Smack," are basically a forum for Harry to rant about anything that gets under his skin regarding the Kansas City sports world.
To give you an idea of some of the topics Harry has discussed in the past on his Jack's Smack series, look no further than this video, where Harry explains just how much it bugs him that Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley hasn't shaved recently or ran a comb through his hair. In Harry's words, Haley "gave the appearance of a guy coming off an all-night bender."
So as you can tell, sports fans in Kansas City have grown accustomed to some real in-depth analysis from Mr. Jack Harry.
In a way, I agree with the sentiment of many of the Sporting Kansas City fans who watched the video above who believe that discussing Jack Harry's views on Sporting is only giving him more attention than he deserves. Perhaps that is correct.
But at the same time, I also feel like some of the things Harry said may be part of the reason why soccer probably hasn't gotten it's fair shake thus far in the United States.
In Harry's video in which he talks about Sporting Kansas City, he brings up two reasons why he has refused to give Sporting Kansas City the proper coverage;
1. Sporting Kansas City doesn't have a nickname.
2. Sporting Kansas City's play-by-play TV announcer is British.
I honestly had a hard time believing that Harry was serious when I watched the video the first time. These were really his reason's for not giving Sporting Kansas City fair local media coverage? Because Sporting Kansas City doesn't have a mascot, or a silly nickname* attached to their organization, and because the play-by-play announcer isn't from the United States?
*Harry wants the team to be called The Sportys. I'm not joking. I wish I was.
I think both of his reasons for not supporting Kansas City's soccer club essentially boil down to the same thing; Jack doesn't like a sport that didn't originate in the United States. I think it's a viewpoint shared by more Americans than what we'd like to believe.
I know it sounds a little silly. Well, probably a lot silly to many of us who have fallen in love with the beautiful game. But I think it's safe to say that there are also a lot of Americans who truly dislike soccer gaining real traction in the United States because they don't like the idea of a foreign sport taking hold in "their" country.
It's a thought I've had for some time, but I feel more vindicated with this idea after Harry said the following in regards to Sporting Kansas City hiring Callum Williams as their play-by-play announcer;
Oh, by the way, here's anther of my pet-peeves about soccer. The new TV announcer was imported from England. At least he sounds like an Englishman. I guess that's the stylish thing in this sport. Everything seems to have a European theme to it. That bothers me a little bit. This is America, isn't it? Don't get me started.
I would like to think that only a small number of people share Harry's views on such things. It's just that I've heard too many people share the same exact viewpoint as Jack to not know any better.
I'll never understand why some people feel threatened by something or someone they are not familiar with, especially when it comes to something as trivial sports?*
* I know sports are extremely important to a lot of people, but at the end of the day, they are what they are; a game and nothing more.
Does Jack Harry feel that someone like Callum Williams is threatening his good old American way of life just because Callum is from another country? Does he feel threatened by Callum's occasional Britsh phrases?* Does it really bug him that much?
*OH MY, GOODNESS ME!
Personally, I love the the bits of British verbiage Callum inserts into his Sporting Kansas City match commentary. But at the same time, I've never equated my enjoyment of listening to an Englishman commentate my favorite soccer team as somehow being un-American in any way.
Let's be honest; Americans, for the most part, aren't the most knowledgeable about the game. At least not yet. There aren't any American play-by-play announcers that I can think of that would be better at commentating a soccer match than say, Martin Tyler, or Ian Darke, or a slew of other talented announcers that are from other parts of the world.
To answer Jack's question; why are most of the biggest soccer matches commentated by the likes of Tyler, Darke, etc?
Because people want to listen to the best commentators as possible when they watch their sports. Makes sense doesn't it? Isn't that the American way, Jack? The best person for the job gets said job?
I think that's the point people like Jack Harry are missing with this whole thing.
Jack; you want to know why Callum Williams is the play-by-play announcer for Sporting Kansas City? Because he's extremely knowledgeable about the game of soccer, and because he's damn good at his job. Isn't that all that should matter?
I'm not saying that everyone should love soccer, and that if you don't you automatically must feel threatened by it because it's a foreign sport. I understand some people just genuinely don't like the game of soccer, just as I've never been a fan of baseball. Either you like it or you don't.
I just wish that some people like Jack Harry would drop the "American elitist attitude" that anything that's not from the United States can't possibly be any good. Hate to break it to you Jack Harry, but if you've lived your whole life with that type of mindset, you've surely missed out.
And at the very least, you've missed out on the only winning team in Kansas City this year, and that's a shame.