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ESPN urges American workers to hit the pubs come June

Two more things from the ESPN pre-World Cup luncheon the other day, then I'll move on to a truly American sport: hockey!

Here is ESPN exec John Skipper on whether he is concerned about the time difference with South Africa, which will mean most games will be seen during workdays in the U.S.:

"We would actually urge the employers of America to understand the importance of this and allow their employees to watch. We think people should be released to go into pubs.

"People will find a way to watch if they get interested. We like the times We actually think it's fun and neat that everything is not packaged into 8 o'clock at night. It creates a different feel. It makes people understand this is not all about our country. It's about the world.

"They play there, and it's fine with us."

And here is ESPN analyst John Kearny, who grew up in Kearny, N.J., about two miles from Red Bull Arena, on the new soccer-only facility in Harrison:

"It's amazing. It's a long time coming for many of us, since we were kids. That's our backyard . . . I just sat back and it was surreal. When you're in the stadium you could be anywhere in the world, but you go back outside and you're walking up to your house. You're in your backyard.

"It's very strange, but in a very positive way. It's excellent."

New York Sports