It’s perhaps to their credit that, even with interest in this tournament likely to be lower in the absence of the USMNT, the Fox execs haven’t retreated into a shell of self-pity. On the contrary, they’ve gone harder, deeper, further than anyone could have expected in the search for “hooks” to get the US public excited about a tournament from which the US itself will be absent. Sadly for them, the hooks are no good. If ESPN, in its slightly soft, Michael Ballack-friendly coverage of previous World Cups, tried to embody The Quiet European, Fox is going all out to be The Dumb American.
Promoting the promo, Fox has described the World Cup as a “fist fight for the championship of the planet,” and it’s poetic in a sad way that the network has seen fit to use a boxing analogy to advertise its coverage of a sport in which players can’t use their hands.