On Televised Sport Announcing


I love your tie.

The Duke vs. Colorado State game is playing on my newly updated XBOX 360 metro optimized ESPN APPlication!  (I’m anticipating the previously downloaded ESPN data is still hiding away on my hard drive)  I’m a big ‘Cuse fan, so I anticipate hating Duke more in a few years, but the game is on cause mi mujer is a huge fan.  Anyways, I was listening to the play by play, color commentary, and third random guy who is probably Hubie Davis talking throughout the game.

First of all, there’s nothing like going to a sporting event in person.  There are so many reasons for the fact to be true: the absolutely ELECTRIC atmosphere of a stadium, spectacularly expensive Bud Light prices, and the thrill of seeing those people that you watch and read about ACTUALLY there, right over there, and if you bum rushed the court/field and got past those yellow shirted security guards, you could probably bump into them.  One of my favorite aspects of being at a live game is that you really don’t hear anything.  Yes, crowd noise, campy stadium tracklists, and the jibber jabbering of your seatmates are present, but there is nobody talking into your ear telling you each and every play, who the home team lost to the pro’s last year, coach tendencies to try and stop one of the top three point shooting teams, etc.  It’s great!  You are free to watch the game unhindered by old guy observations and endless targeted ad campaigns for you to buy Capital One credit cards.

Since I cannot anticipate a scenario in my lifetime (or in a few generations) where sporting events will be televised without announcers, I must think of other alternatives.  Hence, an apostrophe/epiphany came to me during the aforementioned game.  I read a ton of sports articles, mostly opinion and fan based.  Hell, I’ve learned more about UCONN basketball then ever before by reading my good buddy (and fellow contributor) CJ’s UconnByTheNumbers blog.  Why not, instead of old traditional non-risk taking caricatures like Jay Bilas, Dick Vitale, and Bob Knight, (love you coach) have ultimate fans announce the games?

Right, terrible idea, no control, no experience, I WON’T WATCH!!! Shut up and hear this out.  Do you really enjoy hearing Dicky V repeating the “Diaper Dandy” and “Awesome BABY with a capital A” lines?  Does it increase your enjoyment of the game?  Does Jay Bilas telling you that he REALLY likes how Jared Sullinger can control the glass for Ohio State tell you something you didn’t know already? If you are poor and broke and want to enjoy a game from the comfort of your own home, wouldn’t you rather listen to some hardcore fans of the teams you are watching, instead of some encased-in-amber-sap’ed fossils behind a microphone?

Granted, there should be some ground rules and standards that should be established before undertaking such a monumental change in broadcasting history.  As a potential announcing fan, you must be actively writing and stat crunching about your team, otherwise your opinion can’t be based on anything but speculation, which doesn’t help anyone.  You should be in close proximity to your team’s home base, or be willing to travel when your team plays in your desired transportation radius.  I would guess there are enough beat writers, local team coverage, and crazy team bloggers out there to cover most if not all of major televised sporting events.  Other than that, Anything Goes! (Huzzah to the Rock and Roll Hall induction fellas)

My word, having rabid fans announcing a game would be entertaining.  They’d be going after each other the whole time, citing a team’s true shooting percentage trumps the opposing star player’s efficiency rating.  Historical facts of past performance and future prospects would finally be accurate and real, not sugar coated and full of media friendliness.  Insights, hypotheticals, stat based analysis, and full blown arguments could and SHOULD happen at full force in my perfect television world.  Who cares what would happen if the Colorado State says that Miles Plumlee, while being a big tall white guy who can grab boards and finish the occasional putback, can’t seem to stop my 5’8″ fast as hell center with sweet dreads?  Wouldn’t that fuel your thinking about the post game more than hearing mindless facts like “Just think, Duke this year lost Kyle Singler, Nolan Smith, and Kyrie Irving”. (The most latter who just happen to miss most of the season, as mi mujer very accurately pointed out)

Sheesh geezer announcers, do you think we are the mindless barbarian horde of yesteryear? No, we are the ones who own you like William Wallace in his first battle.  I demand no more toneless Joe Buck.  No more Bathtub Gin drinking Miss Hannigan-like Doris Burke.  (Don’t get me wrong Doris, I dig Miss Hannigan) Getting Shaq on TNT’s Inside the NBA is a great start.  He’d better say absolutely ridiculous thought provoking and philosophical views on pure thug Stephen Jackson’s corruption of the Milwaukee streets or how he hates Dwight Howard trying to steal his Superman NBA Title winning as a Laker career path.  Until Christmas Day, I’ll have the games on mute.

About: Esteban

Esteban is the Editor in Chief of RantingEsteban.com. Check out his page on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @RantingEsteban, or send him an email.

Leave a Reply