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Revealed: Fox Sports’ Jason de la Peña's man-crush on Roger Federer

The veteran sports presenters thinks 'House of Cards' is starting to suck.


Jason in action.

How many hours I spend watching TV
I'm a TV addict, so I watch a lot. It's how I wind down after a 10-hour day in the studio. I have three kids, and the first thing I do when I come home is turn on the TV, and my wife will be like “What's that about?” (laughs)

The TV show I watch first thing in the morning
Sky News. I worked there for four years, and I know they’re great at breaking news. They keep you abreast of all the sports news as well. I'm a journalist, so I love hard news, world news, entertainment news, and sports news, of course. I can vouch that they have an impartial view of the topics they cover, and I really appreciate that.

The TV show I watch before going to bed
Probably an episode of Suits or something on Netflix. I'm also getting into Californication; it's quite a funny show.  I used to love House of Cards, but I bet the new season is going to be rubbish. The franchise is tired and Netflix has pushed House of Cards too much. There's a saying in England that "you can't flog a dead horse". It was a great piece of content but it has lost its lustre in my opinion. The Underwoods no longer have their mojo. I also don't believe that Frank Underwood's wife would ever get to be Vice President. Not in the real world at least! Also, Frank Underwood addresses the camera less in season 5. I used to love the way he would turn to the said camera, and in his southern drawl, imbibe us with what cunning evil plan he was hatching.

The TV show that defined my childhood
It's called Superstars, a 1970s show where well-known British athletes from various sports like judo and rugby [compete against one another] in a series of tests [to determine the greatest sportsman]. I remember a guy who did 100 press-ups — it was amazing.

The last TV show I binged on
Suits and The Sopranos. When I was based in Russia [for the network RT], and it was always a snowstorm outside, I used to binge on 24. Oh, and Band of Brothers is my favourite ever TV series. I like war films, and [that show] for me was amazing.

The TV show everyone’s talking about but I haven’t seen yet
War Machine, the Netflix movie with Brad Pitt.

The TV show my fans won't expect me to be watching
I'm fast becoming a UFC fan. I didn't really get into the whole MMA thing at first, because I could never understand how people can get into a hexagon and beat the crap out of each other, and then give each other a hug. But since my kids have started doing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, I've really grown quite fond of it. As a [former professional cricket player], I see the art behind the blood and guts. I appreciate the skill of fighting with a plan and the mindfulness and awareness it takes to survive in the arena.

The TV show I’m too embarrassed to tell everyone that I’m watching
I was once a guest [judge] on Asia's Next Top Model, so I watch that from time to time. Also The Big Bang Theory.

The TV show that inspired what I’m doing now
This British sportscaster called Des Lynam. He was excellent; he was super cool and nothing would ever faze him, even if he was delivering breaking news or really big stories.

Do I watch my own shows?
I do watch my own shows, but purely for professional reasons. People think it may be vanity that I watch myself on TV, but that’s actually one of the first lessons I learnt when I got into broadcasting. It's important that I [review] what I did on air. I'm a tough critic on myself, so I try to see if there're any odd hand movements or verbal tics and such.


Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal?
I've met Roger Federer a few times now and I dare say, he is a gift from God. The way he moves on the court, the way he hits the ball, the sound of the ball bouncing off his racket. There's only one of him — a totally gifted athlete. He is a lovely human being from what I know. The first time I went to Wimbledon in 2014, he got to the finals. I [had an interview with him], but it was cancelled at the last minute. He then told me to try again the next morning during [practice]. Turns out the next morning he came to find me instead! I'm nobody compared to this guy who has bagged $100 million in winnings alone. That was really heartwarming. We chatted about our families, dirty nappies, and general stuff. He's just a total dude. I've got a bit of man-crush on him. It just seems like he had time for me, and for everybody.

Catch Jason’s coverage of Wimbledon 2017 (July 3-16), and The Open 2017 (July20-23) on Fox Sports (StarHub TV Ch 208-210 and Singtel TV Ch 114–116). Refer to foxsportsasia.com for timings. 

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