An absolute bombshell from the Miami Herald last night:
Color commentator Ray Hudson has left GolTV with immediate effect after the network reached an agreement with ESPN to buy out the remainder of his contract. It is understood he will be featuring in ESPN2's coverage of the 2008 Major League Lacrosse season. GolTV producer Helberth Ariza said "It is hard for the smaller sports networks like us to compete with the big boys like ESPN. Some transfer of talent is inevitable. They did offer us Tommy Smyth in part-exchange but we made it clear that would be a deal-breaker."
Mr. Hudson arrived yesterday in Bristol, Connecticut, and has already started reviewing ESPN's library of MLL action. ESPN spokesperson Avril Sciocco said "As the worldwide leader in sports, naturally we had received thousands of emails from soccer fans bringing our attention to this talented and exciting individual. However, with no positions open in our Major League Soccer and UEFA Champions League coverage, Ray Hudson will be bringing his unique style to another fast-growing sport. This will build on the success ESPN has had with announcers crossing-over from other sports, such as Dave O'Brien and Dawn Staley."
Anyone who heard baseball announcer O'Brien's dismal performances during the World Cup, or WNBA star Staley's (possibly drunken) outbursts during Bass Saturday may disagree. Personally, as a soccer fan this is obviously terrible news, but to be honest I am a little glad that I'll be able to take a break from blogging until the Rochester Rattlers meet the Long Island Lizards on May 17th.
Update (from reader Alton) - I of all people should have known that Dawn Staley's TV career would have at least one fan.
Another update - email from fusion77:
i drive past the gol tv offices every day. this morning i actually stopped by to see if anything was happening. there were a couple of people hanging around outside who i think were reporters. i couldn't stay long but i did see one large man arrive. he wouldn't answer any of their questions but i did hear him sobbing quietly in a familiar baritone.