The moral of this story will be at the beginning: You do not have to have any talent to be a play-by-play or color announcer.
Sunday’s game between the Miami Dolphins and the Oakland Raiders marked a milestone in broadcasting for CBS, its 5000th football broadcast. One may think that CBS would put on its best broadcasting team to make that milestone notable, interesting and educational.
Gus Johnson is a credentialed announcer, albeit mostly in basketball. Steve Tasker enjoyed some mild success as a player in the NFL. In watching the Fantastic Fins finally show us what we’ve been waiting for all season, the only notable portion of the broadcast was the continuous inane comments by the announcers. Example: “He shot out of there like an Easter egg”. I’ve never seen an Easter egg shoot out of anything; I’m not even sure what that means.
It is just a bit more clear to me why ABC even considered Dennis Miller as a MNF broadcaster. But somewhere there has got to be a balance between the inane and ridiculous and the semi-pretentious, pseudo-educated.
Though I usually appreciate the insight provided by the announcers, I sometimes long for the silence of the 1980 Dolphins-Jets game, and the 2004 Broncos-Bills game. I’ll beat you to it before you can say it: I know I can turn the volume down. But for the money they make as broadcasters after the money many of them made playing football, I expect a little better quality, and some really good information.
The awesome “Real Men of Genius” commercials even dedicated one of their segments to the player-turned-announcer…their commercials always make fun of the subjects.
Which leads me back to my original statement: You do not have to have any talent to be a play-by-play or color announcer.