Sometimes, it’s not politics. Sometimes, it’s not who you know, but what you know. Sometimes hard work is rewarded.
That was the case today when NBC made the brilliant personnel decision of hiring voice-of-the-Sounders Arlo White as NBC Sports Groups play-by-play voice of MLS.
I’m sure to some degree the news will be viewed as bittersweet locally, where Sounders fans will miss Arlo’s familiar voice calling Sounders games and praising Dairy Queen treats. But it’s a great personal reward for Arlo who grew up on the EPL but made it his business to learn MLS as well as just about anyone. And to whatever degree, it seems like a good thing for soccer in this country, so have so personable and knowledgeable ambassador of the game handling the broadcasts for NBC.
It’s almost hard to remember now, but Arlo wasn’t the original Sounders play-by-play guy. He came in for the second season, replacing Kevin Calabro — the best basketball announcer I’ve ever heard, but probably a little further down the list when it came to soccer. And while it was obvious that White knew plenty about soccer, it remained to be seen how the idea of an English import would work out in Puget Sounder. I rechecked my notes and found some of that uncertainty reflected in this original interview I did with White, when he was first introduced as the new voice of the Sounders: