Was a time, ESPN host Keith Olbermann was considered cutting edge hip…
But times flies and you gotta keep up. That was hardly the case when Olbermann weighed in on the World Cup and Major League Soccer on the Dave Letterman Show Tuesday with Theater League main man Mark Edelman in the audience.
“Well, let’s talk aboutWorld Cup soccer,” Letterman intoned.
Whereupon Olbermann rattled off the usual anti soccer cliches that have long since bitten the dust among younger, more clued in sports aficionados.
“Somebody said the other day that soccer is the sport of the future in America and it always will be,” Olbermann told Letterman, who cackled while the audience cheered in approval. “And somebody dug the etymology of this thing up and it was in the LA Times in 1978. So we’ve been hearing this for 40 to 45 years, that it’s going to be tomorrow’s sport.”
As for the explosive World Cup television ratings, “It’s like the Olympics,” Olbermann said. “We love swimming – see you in four years – go practice your soccer and come back to us.”
Asked by Letterman how many teams there were in MLS, Olbermann masked his ignorance by responding, “Ten, 20, 30 – I don’t know.”
What Olbermann did know was that he was turned off by some MLS team names.
“They did the same thing in Kansas City,” Letterman added.
“Right, Sporting Kansas City, fine except…” Olbermann began.
Whereupon Edelman started applauding loudly.
“There you go, there’s the one soccer fan,” Olbermann cracked.
Bogus, boring and uninformed, Edelman’s says.
“Hey, it’s a comedy show, but that was bullshit,” Edelman says. “I was the only guy applauding because I was the only guy from Kansas City, but you know when Dave mentioned Arkansas in his monologue, nobody applauded.”
“Sporting Kansas City sells out all the time, Olbermann didn’t know what he was talking about,” Edelman says. “What’s wrong with what he was saying is that there are probably a million more kids playing soccer in the United States today than there were in 1978. He way over generalized and he was wrong, because soccer may well become America’s game in the coming years. This country is growing and we’ve got a lot more Hispanics.”
And likening soccer to swimming, please.
“That’s meaningless because there are no swimming clubs people follow and no swimming teams,” Edelman says. “People don’t follow swimming. You know what? He’s an old fogey, but that’s David Letterman and that’s the show.”