Ian Darke is not just a color guy. He’s soccer’s answer to Harry Caray – part fan, part philosopher, part skeptic – and the man of every match he’s called so far this World Cup. The Portsmouth native famous for his clear nasal pronouncements and sardonic takedowns (he hates flopping) has been more consistent than any star not named Lionel Messi. Here’s his highlight reel thus far.
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In the midst of the American Outlaws’ “I Believe” chants and all those inspiring YouTube videos, Darke provided a bit of cynicism. His take down of the Black Stars, who refused to play without being paid first, was even more efficient than Clint Dempsey’s.
Making Aggressive Culinary Plays
Darke wanted one thing when he arrived in Manaus, a city of two million deep in the Amazon Rainforest. Was he looking for high-quality soccer? Not really. The man wanted to try piranha soup. No word on whether he found the delicacy, but he did try to use his social following to locate a restaurant. When Ian Darke says he’s going to try something, he’s damn well going to try it.
ian darke on the amazon clips from Andrew Balot on Vimeo.
Reveling in the Ridiculous
Yes, Darke could have spent more time talking about Cristiano Ronaldo’s background, romantic interests, and ridiculous goal-scoring ability, but he’d rather talk about the Portuguese star’s ludicrous Brazilian entourage. Ronaldo may not have intended to show up at his hotel with a topless model and a man dressed as Donald Duck, but he did. This is information the people demand.
Representing His Adopted Nation
Unlike other commentators, Darke doesn’t pretend not to care. His clear disappointment with the Yanks' play against Belgium came through in the calls, which sounded increasingly desperate and sad. He called for Chris Wondolowski to get “one chance” and – about three seconds later – that’s what happened. Wondo missed, but Darke had done his part for America. It was time for him to get a drink.
Photos by Kim Klement / USA TODAY Sports