Earlier today it was announced/screamed in bold CAPS on Twitter that Andy Gray had been fired by Sky Sports for making sexist remarks regarding a female linesperson (that’s the safest way I could think of to explain the situation). I won’t get into the ethics of that decision, nor will I spend a thousands words blasting Gray for his remarks; I’ll leave that to everyone else. Instead, it seems necessary to focus on the one aspect of the story that seems to have been largely ignored.
With Gray ousted from Sky, it’s likely that other media outlets will follow suit, which means that FIFA 12 (and its descendants) may soon need a new voice to partner Martin Tyler and provide the in-game commentary. But who best to partner him? The answer is obvious: Diego Maradona. If you’re not convinced, then here are the ten reasons why you’re wrong.
1 – Isn’t it about time we had an option for Spanish speaking gamers? If you play the game here in the US, then you’re accustomed to an English-only commentary track. Shouldn’t that be feature be updated for a modern world? Maradona can handle the Spanish aspect just fine. The English? I assume that will come with time.
2 – Tired of generic clips regarding specific teams, players, or stadiums? No problem! Because with El Diego at the helm, you’re sure to get 20 minutes rants about a wide variety of topics, including what he ate for lunch, how long is too long when it comes to beard length, and what jewelry is appropriate for a grown man to wear.
3 – He could use the money. Seriously. According to some reports, Maradona still owes around $52.3 million to the Italian government in back taxes (largely from the years from 1984 to 1991 when he played with Napoli). EA Sports could help put a drop in that bucket.
4 – When Maradona makes inappropriate remarks, he at least has the decency to apologize to women BEFORE he says them… Well… at least while he’s saying them. Andy Gray should take notes.
5 – Forget backflips and random salsa dancing. Those celebrations are a thing of the past, because I think we could all enjoy a custom “Maradona Belly Slide” celebration after scoring a particularly spectacular goal. Sort of like the “Finishing Move” in Mortal Kombat, only with less blood and more awkward flopping.
6 – Maradona Picture-in-Picture: The Future of Gameplay (patent pending). Imagine if you had the option to play a game with a mini-insert in the bottom right of the screen that would allow you to watch a CG Maradona comment/react as you played. Just look what he did when Argentina played Greece in the World Cup.
Now imagine an computer animated Maradona doing the same for every one of your games. Would you ever stop playing if that feature were an option?
7 – Maradona “Link” Feature (patent pending). Much like in real life, this feature would allow Maradona to link himself with every coaching vacancy in the game. In FIFA 11, you get random emails from your staff/board about finances, player health, and player growth. What if every so often you received an email that Maradona had linked himself with your position? Suddenly you’re taking that Carling Cup match against Scunthorpe just a little more seriously, aren’t you?
8 – Maradona would constantly find new and exciting ways to denigrate Pele. A poorly crossed ball? He would mock Pele. A missed opportunity? He would mock Pele. Lose out on the title? Again, Pele. Basically, he gives the gamer an excuse for whenever something goes wrong; No more will there be harsh comments about performance or style. It’s all Pele’s fault from here on out!
9 – Who doesn’t want politics injected into their FIFA experience? From his friendship with Hugo Chavez to his apparent hatred of England, Maradona the commentator would have no problem injecting a bit of politics into various occurrences in the game. Example:
Martin Tyler: “Some resolute defending there from the German national team.”
Maradona: “I haven’t seen a defensive stand that heroic since the Bay of Pigs.”
10) Credit to Daryl for this one… The “Messi is Better Than You” Feature. This one is obvious. Regardless of the scoreline, Maradona closes out the game by commenting that Messi could have done it better/Messi is better than your players and your team/Messi could beat anyone on earth. Maybe you’re playing as Chelsea and you just handed Fulham a thumping 6-0 defeat. Feeling overconfident/risking FIFA hubris? Well here comes Diego to remind you that you’ll never be as good as Messi… ever!
So there you have it! Ten solid reasons why Diego Maradona should be out next FIFA commentator. Electronic Arts… the ball is in your court. Oh, and Diego Maradona would probably have to agree as well. Nevertheless…