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Kevin Calabro: ‘I didn’t get it done’

Post by Don Ruiz / The News Tribune on Feb. 9, 2010 at 11:10 pm with 10 Comments »
February 10, 2010 8:44 am

If there’s any wonder why Kevin Calabro is one of the most liked and respected people on the local sports scene, read on for his reaction to being officially replaced by Arlo White today as the radio and television voice of Sounders FC.

Contacted by phone, Calabro stressed that he wanted to thank the fans for listening. And he wanted to thank the Sounders for giving him the chance. And in a way he also wanted to acknowledge that he wishes he had done a better job.

“It’s disappointing,” he said. “I didn’t get it done. I don’t know how else to put it: I didn’t get it done. I didn’t have the quality of work that in my estimation was what the fans deserve or the product deserved.”

The Sounders’ public position today was that Calabro was replaced only because his schedule of basketball work and KIRO radio show didn’t allow him to fix undivided attention on the soccer club. And Calabro agrees that played a part.

But he adds this:

“Now having said that, it also comes down to quality of work. I did not give them the quality of the work that this project and the fans deserve. I’ve never heard Arlo, but I know that he has an extensive soccer background, so without having heard him ever before I would have to say they probably have made the right hire.”

Calabro said the Sounders didn’t cite dissatisfaction as one of their reasons for not signing on for a second season. But the veteran broadcaster said he’s been around long enough to hear what’s being said, even when it’s left unsaid:

“They were very nice about it. They never once mentioned quality of work. They didn’t have to. I’m smart enough to know. It wasn’t happening. It wasn’t commensurate to the quality of work that they wanted. They were nice about it. In the business, when they say they’re going in another direction what they mean is ‘We don’t like the sound,’ ‘We don’t like the look,’ whatever it might be. It happens in business. It hurts for a little bit and you move on.

“I appreciate them giving me an opportunity in the first place. They knew I wasn’t a soccer guy, and I never professed to be a soccer guy. But they gave me an opportunity. That’s why we both agreed to do a one-year contract and then take a look at it, and hey, if you like it, it’s working, then on we go. And if you don’t like it or it’s not working, then we’ll come up with some other plan. Everybody was up front about the way this thing was going to go this year.”

Leave a comment Comments → 10
  1. pungentsound says:

    Kevins’ not a soccer guy just like everybody else that speaks American English.

  2. footballscaa says:

    We happen to call the game soccer around here and we don’t need some Brit -mouth-tool to make it legit.

  3. derekyoung says:

    Classy guy. I actually think it’s for the best for everyone. Hopefully Calabro keeps his talk radio gig and gets more NBA broadcasts to cover and the Sounders get someone with more soccer knowledge.

    And quite frankly, I don’t care what they call it.

  4. ————
    From the Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2001 Douglas Harper

    1889, socca, later socker (1891), soccer (1895), originally university slang, from a shortened form of Assoc., abbreviation of association in Football Association (as opposed to Rugby football); cf. rugger, but they hardly could have taken the first three letters of Assoc.

    Note that the university or universities in question are English universities. Adding -er has been a longstanding slang convention in Britain, e.g. preggers for pregnant. So soccer is British English, not American, and not any less legitimate. In one sense, it’s actually more precise than football, because football is a generic term that includes association football, Rugby football, and a whole host of other games. Soccer, on the other hand, refers to association football and association football only.

  5. Don Ruiz says:

    Well, Seattle Sounders FOOTBALL Club plays in Major League SOCCER, so I’ve just got to think there’s no real consensus on this one.

  6. derekyoung says:

    I’m just glad he doesn’t have a thick accent.

  7. Exactly, Don. My point is the words are both of British origin and therefore any anti-American snobbery over the use of the word soccer is ridiculous. Anyone taking fans to task for using the word soccer is just showing their own ignorance.

  8. EverydayFan says:

    I would have given him one more year … American fans don’t want to feel like they follow a foreign team … Calabro made the Sounders feel like they were “ours,” and that’s much more important than being technically perfect, at this stage of the game in America. It was sort of an analogy to me … New sport meets legendary Seattle announcer.
    The British announcer in Qwest seems fake and contrived. If they let Arlo call it Football they’re going to turn off thousands of NFL and NBA fans sitting on the fence after last year … Don’t put foreign words on your products package and think it’s how you’ll make the most money … Carey should know better! Ask him why he doesn’t tell his jokes with a British accent…..
    I was at an event in Seattle this weekend, wearing a Sounders sweatshirt, and a guy leans over and asks, “Probably a dumb question, but what does the FC stand for?” I said Football Club, and it felt goofy, to be honest. And I’m not sure whether in that instant, it drew that guy closer to the team, or pushed him back. I want the Sounders and the MLS to succeed at the maximum level. But until they start calling the NFL “Throwball,” I’m raising my kids to play Soccer.

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