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Dublin: 2 °C Sunday 17 November, 2019

This ESPN ad for the 2014 World Cup will make you cringe

The commercial features cult commentator Ian Darke commentating over a first date.

PERHAPS NO FOREIGN sports figure is more popular with American soccer fans than the English broadcaster Ian Darke, who won over US audiences during the 2010 World Cup through a combination of his dexterous turns of phrase and unbridled enthusiasm for the game.

This June, Darke will return for the 2014 World Cup, and ESPN is celebrating with a very funny new ad that fulfills a wish made by many a soccer fan over the past few years: “Wouldn’t it be great if Ian Darke could announce my life?”

In it, Darke is posted up at a fancy restaurant as a man with salad stuck in his teeth prepares for his first date with a woman who is, in soccer parlance, out of his league.

Darke proceeds to pull up a chair at the table and do play-by-play as the bumbling man’s date goes from bad to worse, sprinkling in the soccer-ese that has made him so beloved in the States.

When the man makes his inevitable “comeback,” Darke busts out a variation of the famous “Go-Go USA!” call he made during Landon Donovan’s climactic goal at the 2010 World Cup that you won’t want to miss.

Source: ESPN/YouTube

While the ad is certainly funny, it’s probably unhealthy to think of a first date as a competition where you’re trying to defeat the person sitting across the table from you.

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