Ian Darke is getting warmed up for the World Cup and it’s not a soccer game he’s broadcasting. The English commentator lent his play-by-play skills to an ingenious ESPN commercial that’s making a splash on YouTube.
In the viral video Ian Darke announces a first date like a World Cup match between two sides eager to fulfill their destiny through online dating.
As a guy that’s been known to spill a thing or two, I sympathize for Jim the “no hoper” on this date. Through breaking glasses and spilled wine Jim perseveres. He does commit a crucial early match error when he admits to stalking his date on social media like a rookie.
“I looked through all your pictures,” the no hoper acknowledges.
Darke calls the date with increasing tension as Jim battles back against all odds, equalizing the match with a well delivered flower in the waning stages of the date.
“Who is writing this stuff?” Ian Darke wonders aloud, echoing the question of many on social media.
The commercial was extremely well received on Twitter:
— USA TODAY Sports (@USATODAYsports) April 1, 2014
STOP EVERYTHING YOU’RE DOING IT’S IAN DARKE COMMENTATING A DATE https://t.co/yY5ZjDug45
— The 91st Minute (@91stMinute) April 1, 2014
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) April 1, 2014
Even the YouTube comment section, generally a place reserved for racism and politics, was overwhelmingly positive in response.
This won’t be the only time you see this commercial during build up to the global soccer event.
Earlier this year Ian Darke was named lead commentator and voice of the 2014 World Cup by ESPN.
[Image Credit: Danny Guy]