Many fans assume that nationally based commentators are biased against their favorite team. Maybe it’s because fans hear mostly positive things from local broadcasters that it takes some getting used to when a national broadcaster comes in and isn’t as complimentary. Regardless, just look at Joe Buck’s Twitter mentions and you would think he hates and is biased against every team he covers.

The truth is that even though that isn’t true, it’s not true that a commentator loves every team they cover either. For a variety of reasons, someone just plain despises a certain team over another and it’s up to their professionalism to be fair and impartial and not let that affect their job.

For BT Sport’s Steve McManaman, he seemingly violated not only this rule but also the age old rule about talking while there’s the opportunity of a hot mic. After the Wolves (short for Wolverhampton Wanderers) vs. Everton game yesterday, the former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester City star was caught saying “I don’t like Wolves” that went in the background over Mick McCarthy’s studio analysis but could be clearly heard.

Wolves fans were rightly pissed off but some wanted Macca fired. Wanting him fired may be an overreaction. First off, he said he didn’t like a team, it’s not like he said something racist. Second, maybe he has a legit reason why he doesn’t like Wolves.

Assuming he’s not talking about the animal, Wolves has received criticism for developing a very close relationship with super agent Jorge Mendes and is an explanation as to why they have been able to make so many signings this summer. That kind of control by an agent might help Wolves now considering they have the team capable of going from promotion to midtable this season but it could have bad consequences down the road and lead to a very dangerous precedent, blurring the lines between club and agent.

Until Macca says exactly what it is he doesn’t like about Wolves, we’ll never know. Though I would think if it had to do with how the team is run or something, he would’ve said that on the broadcast. Considering he used to play for Liverpool, it’s notable that he didn’t say that about Everton instead of Wolves. Either way, Macca will no doubt have more people watching what he says the next time he works a Wolves game.

[Photo: Getty Images]

About Phillip Bupp

News and soccer editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. I also do video highlight game coverage for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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