Post-428: Soccer surprise on TV

(900 words)
[Updated April 12]

My recent resolution to write meaningful commentary here at Yule Tide twenty times per month has put me at on the lookout for material, and this surprise would seem to qualify:

On Saturday, April 1st, 2023, two unrelated soccer games aired simultaneously, live, on U.S. “broadcast” TV. One was on ABC, “German Bundesliga”; the other was on CBS, “NWSL soccer.” The latter league name I didn’t immediately recognize. It is the U.S. women’s soccer league.

This was a real surprise, especially given that the USA’s own top-tier (men’s) soccer league, the MLS, is completely absent from U.S. television as of 2023 (as I mentioned in “Observations at D.C. United soccer opening day 2023“)…

The two soccer matches (Bundesliga and the U.S. women’s soccer league) were live during Saturday-daytime slots, ‘prime’ time for the weekend sports nut type and suitable for background TV-viewing as people do their daily weekend things , the kind of passive TV half-watching people do when out-and-about.

Which is more surprising: that a foreign game between two foreign teams was airing, or that U.S. women’s soccer was on TV while the men’s league is not?


For the women’s soccer match on CBS, the two women’s teams were: The “defending NWSL champion Portland Thorns” versus the “Kansas City Current.” I confess to have been unaware of these teams’ existences, and only loosely aware of the league’s existence.

The women’s soccer broadcast may be a kind of promotion for the upcoming Women’s World Cup of soccer, coming in July and August 2023 and hosted by Australia and New Zealand. That two countries are hosting, and have not run for cover as they sound a panic alarm over a flu virus, is proof that they really are done with their public-health extremism of 2020 to 2022 (gone is the dreariness of brutally enforced lockdowns, harsh travel bans and restrictions; as if they had never happened at all, even though flu viruses remain “out there”).

(Facebook sent one of its occasional random-unsolicited email-notifications a week or so ago saying that E. S. of Australia was at “Balibo.” This “Balibo” had I assumed to be Bali, Indonesia; actually it is a place in East Timor where a number of Australians were killed in the 1970s. It is profiled on “” In any case, despite my having turned off notifications, occasionally one is sent out,  and this one is proof that the formerly locked-down Australians are again exiting and entering.)


ABC airing “Bundesliga Soccer,” a European league soccer game on U.S. TV, is something that would have been unthinkable in my childhood, or even as recently as much of the 2010s on ‘regular’ TV, not a special channel.

The program was labeled “ESPN on ABC.” As I look into it now, I see it is marketed as “Bundesliga on ABC.” Something called had this in early March 2021:

ABC will broadcast its first-ever German Bundesliga match Saturday [March 6th, 2021] at 12 p.m. ET, as FC Bayern München faces Borussia Dortmund in the latest….

“First-Ever” — that confirms that “Bundesliga on ABC” is a recent innovation, having not been present when time became stuck and Lockdownism began in 2020. It is still present two years after its introduction so someone must be happy with reported ratings.

The Bundesliga “ESPN on ABC” match was between Bayern Munich and Dortmund. For those who know even the slightest amount about Germany’s pro soccer scene, this is a clash of big clubs with big money and prestige behind them.

A graphic flashed on screen just before kickoff, informing that experts and computer-models had determined that Bayern Munich was favored to win at a rate of 54%. Dortmund’s win chances stood at 25%. The chance of a tie was 21%. (These are approximate percentages, from memory.) Bayern leaped ahead 4-0 when I last checked in. I now learn the final was 4-2.

Confusingly, the Bundesliga match was labeled “ESPN on ABC” in addition to the “Bundesliga on ABC” branding. The actual ESPN channel was airing of “Boy’s High School Basketball,” live, at the  same time. It was some game in Florida. Another game of high school basketball champions was airing on Fox. It may be about as unexpected as the soccer that two high-school basketball games were airing live on big U.S. TV channels. Rounding it out, on NBC was women’s golf.


I was glad to get some of these insights, but wouldn’t have gotten them if I had gotten up by 7am Saturday, per my plan, and promptly left to get underway with work on my ongoing projects, using the best hours of the day focus. Alas, I had underestimated how negative my “sleep balance-sheet” stood, and I didn’t re-enter the conscious world fully until the 11am hour.

When something happens to to disrupt your plans for the day, oversleeping in this case, I recognize my usual reaction as shock, frustration, disappointment, maybe a brief disorienting mini-panic, even if I don’t have a specific obligation. You know you’re in a bad place if you don’t feel those things, or so I’d think. In practice, I noticed many don’t have this reaction and don’t seem to care as a general baseline attitude towards life: Sorry, I accidentally took a nap through our plan, can we meet some other time? I have never understood that attitude. It’s a waste and creates negative reverberation effects around yourself and others.

The best attitude to (be able to) take when something like “overlseeping past plans” happens comes from the advice embedded in an old Korean proverb, which is adapted from a Chinese proverb. The Korean version is: “위기를 기회로 삼으라,” meaning “A crisis is to be thought of, treated, as an opportunity.”

(It is said that the two-character Chinese word for “crisis” is simply the combination of stand-alone characters for “danger” and “opportunity.” That may or may not be true but sounds cool, but the cutesy claim may be the basis for the Korean proverb as I absorbed it in the 2010s.)

No harm ultimately done, my planned morning library work able to wait, circumstance had given me the gift of this “opportunity” to check what was on TV. Only rarely am I able to check in on TV-world on Saturdays at daytime. It’s not a good idea to make any habit of it, but there are learning opportunities everywhere .