ESPN’s Taylor Twellman let drop that The Worldwide Leader™ will be televising its flagship sports title, ‘SportsCenter’ live, at the last Hudson River Derby of the year. That’s a Friday night special, on August 25, at Red Bull Arena.
He’ll be joining studio hosts Michael Smith and Jemele Hill to break down the derby, and assuming Andrea Pirlo is still with the team, which fine vintage the Italian legend will be sipping as the Red Bulls’ Alex Muyl blitzes past him to score a goal.
‘SportsCenter’ is normally filmed in-studio, so having the show on-site at a game like the derby is a significant marker both for the league and specifically for the Red Bulls and the Blues.
For the league, it’s a sign by the ultimate American sports tastemaker that MLS is a both a legitimate league worth paying attention to by non-soccer fans, and that soccer fans who don’t pay attention to MLS should begin doing that.
For the Red Bulls and New York City, clubs who battle over the hearts of Gothamites to represent the world’s media capital, it’s yet another sign that the Hudson River Derby is a legitimate game worth paying attention to, even if results on the field have been both lackluster and overwhelmingly in favor of the Bulls.
This makes the final derby a red-letter day on the calendar, and ensures a beyond packed house for what’s virtually certain to be a playoff-intensity type of game. If you’re a Blues fan, nothing would be sweeter than to visit payback upon the Red Bulls for the Bronx Massacre on that day. Will they? That’s unclear — and unlikely as long as Pirlo remains in the lineup.