ESPN made a Manchester Derby commercial. Did you need the translation?

Alex Livesey

ESPN made a commercial about a Man City fan and a Man Utd fan musing on what'd be like to get born on the other side.

ESPN has been running "It's not crazy, it's sports" commercials since 2010, and certainly it's been quite the series. The folk at ESPN must have quite the ad agency working for them, because between it's not crazy it's sports and the SportsCenter commercials, funny stuff.

Anyhow, there have been soccer themed SportsCenter commercials: the Landon Donovan one where he got a yellow card from the printer for kicking it, Jozy Altidore exchanging shirts after a meeting, Abby Wambach overlooking a fantom injury in the hallway.

Even though ESPN doesn't have the broadcast of the Manchester Derby this weekend (Sunday 5:30 am PST on Fox Soccer) they've come out with their first even "It's not crazy, it's sports" commercial featuring soccer fans. It features a United fan and a City fan in a split screen musing on what life would be like if they had been born of the opposite color.

The commercial is titled Born Into It, and it's quite good. The only part that bugs me is they felt the need to release a "translated" version as well. Don't people watch Top Gear and Doctor Who and Downton Abbey and Call The Midwife and...

Anyhow, ESPN is an odd duck that will get called on the carpet for not covering sports broadcast on other networks, but then at the same time will go on site to broadcast College Gameday from games the network isn't broadcasting. Or now, will make soccer commercials promoting a match they aren't carrying.

Will ESPN ever make an MLS "It's not crazy, it's sports" commercial? Don't hold your breath. The literature major in me would say the tone of the commercial (and especially with the offer of a translation) is painting soccer as something foreign. The rest of ESPN's "It's not crazy" commercials have been attempts to paint sports quirks as relatable.

Of course it's a double edged sword. Those who have seen Fever Pitch or The Damned United or Life on Mars, or of course those who are actual English ex-pats, will see this as relatable. Certainly as I watched it all the scenes were things I'd seen before and felt familiar.

Eh, what do y'all think?

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