Ray Hudson is my favorite soccer commentator. Most white soccer announcers are trash, but not Ray. His unadulterated enthusiasm for the game is contagious. Go on, give him a listen:
The problem with English speaking announcers versus their Spanish speaking counterparts is that the cadence of English doesn’t vibe with the flow of the game like Spanish does. If you’ve never played FIFA with Spanish commentary, you haven’t lived.
Spanish is a more fluid language; crescendos and diminuendos come organically with the ebbs and flows of play. Rolled (trilled) Rs link sequences of words together like manuals in Tony Hawk.
But it’s a poor carpenter who blames his tools.
Ray Hudson compensates for the jagged nature of the English language by tapping into his lizard brain to generate wonderful guttural noises when something good happens, followed by obscure, delectable similes and metaphors created by his regular brain. Watch these three great goals by Ronaldo, Messi, and Ronaldinho and then bask in the glory of Ray Hudson absolutely losing his mind:
Oohh. Aaahhgggghh. WWAAAAGGGGHH ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? This man is absolutely mainline to pure footballing magic that belongs in a different galaxy altogether than we are living in.
Absolute, astonishing jaw-dropping genius from Lionel. Watch this hesitation right there, three players inside a telephone box and he don’t care! He emasculates them…individually, collectively; he literally disperses his atoms inside of his body on one side of this defender and then collects them on the other. Magisteeeerial, Lionel.
Taylor Twellman, Alexi Lalas, or Bob Ley (but I do like Bob Ley) could never call a play like that. Ray Hudson makes them look downright pedestrian by comparison. Sure, they may have valid insights, but they’re delivered in such a mundane capacity that no one cares. I bet they whisper Happy Birthday at parties when everyone else is singing. You know Ray is belting that shit out like Luciano Pavarotti:
My only qualm with Ray is that he works for beIN Sports instead of a bigger network. Get your money right, ESPN, and make the man an offer he can’t refuse.
Ray Hudson is the best English speaking announcer because he doesn’t care what people think. What you
see hear is what you get. Those uncontrollable noises he summons from deep in his belly when Messi is freakin’ and dekein’ on fools aren’t curated for the audience. That’s genuine excitement and wonder.
Coupled with his silver tongue and penchant for creating bizarre but strangely palatable metaphors in real time, there isn’t a better announcer alive. So here’s to you Ray, in all your magisteeeerial glory.