I'm always torn about homer announcers. These announcers aren't necessarily there to play it totally straight down the middle, but at the very least have to tell the story from one team's perspective. I've always thought there has to be a way to get excited when your team does well, but yet stay professional enough to not sound like a cheerleader. Homerism in announcers is a subjective thing for me. Some can be rather entertaining while other homer announcers would make me want to listen to Fran Drescher call the game. Hawk Harrelson falls into that latter category.
And the Hawk was at his homerific best for the South Siders yesterday in Oakland, both in success and ultimately defeat. First, check out Hawk's call of Paul Konerko's 9th inning game-tying home run that also happened to be the 400th of his career. It allowed Hawk to go to one of his favorite calls: "YES!! HELL, YES!!"
Words just can't describe it. The delayed "WOW!" may be the best part of Hawk's call. Maybe that homer call isn't so bad though. It's a career milestone for Konerko and tied a game in the 9th. Maybe you can't blame Hawk for going all Stone Cold Steve Austin on people watching at home and getting uber excited.
The homer call that is bothersome is what happens in the 14th inning. It was there the Chi Sox blew a 2 run lead and then got beat 5-4 on a single by Kila Ka'aihue. Hawk's call was one of melancholy depression:
"And that's trouble.... this ball game is over... (crickets)."
Sigh. Can't a homer announcer at least call the play before taking the microphone and going home? It's that refusal to even describe what actually happens that is the one of the most annoying trait of homer announcers.
In case you really, really want to see that clip, you have to visit MLB.com because Bud Selig can't live without those extra cents that come from you watching their Lowe's ads. No, instead of growing the game of baseball and allowing fans to share their highlights, MLB Advanced Media would rather waste their time taking down every shareable video that promotes their sport. Then, they can spend more time and more millions of dollars wondering why their audience is dying off and no young fans enjoy baseball. Makes sense to me. So, instead of sharing with you the actual video of Hawk Harrelson's sadness, here's a lady playing a sad violin...
(Real life MLB highlights via Yahoo)
*Anyone who lives in the Eastern time zone
*Kids with bedtimes
*Workplace productivity and traffic safety on Friday mornings
I continue to think it's fascinating how the NFL continues to thumb its nose at the (other) networks who are by far their biggest individual sources of revenue. If I'm ESPN, and I'm paying the NFL $1 billion a year to show their games, I'm ticked off as hell that they started NFLN to begin with.
I disagree that fans are winners here. The package should have been offered to FX, which is in more homes than NFLN and has a pool of Fox Sports announcers to draw from (TNT would struggle to create a group of analysts for game coverage and a studio show).
The rumor is that FX isn't a player here because they don't have a built in clause with cable/satellite providers that increase their carriage fee if they add NFL games. NBC Sports Network and Turner channels do which allows them a bit more latitude bidding knowing some of the bid is essentially paid for ahead of time.
I wouldn't rule them out completely though. Murdoch has deep pockets and wants more properties on FX to compete with Turner. The NFL is the best property on television due to its popularity and frequent opportunities for commercial breaks (leading to higher CPMs in exchange for such high level exposure).
@hamlinfan93 also TNT has Kevin Harlan and Marv Albert on staff already with NFL experience and EJ hosted the old TNT SNF studio show. There is no shortage or "talent" out there. I'm sure ESPN could loan out a few
Or maybe CBS could, since both Marv and Harlan call NFL games for the eye network. Of course, with FX there is the possibility that boring Joe Buck and Troy Aikman could call games given their stature at the network. I hope FX would use their on-field college football team (featuring the excitable Gus Johnson), which also called occassional NFL games this past season, or if FX only had the second half of the schedule (TNT would have to broadcast the first half because they show NBA games Thursday night beginning in October). The personalities of Fox NFL Sunday would serve as the studio talent (with the pregame most likely being renamed to FX NFL Thursday). They're ok if you can tolerate their schtick and sense of humor. I can't, but I don't watch studio coverage anyway. All of this is of course assumes the NFL doesn't aggressively protect at least half of the season or either NBCSN, CBSSN or both outbid Time-Warner and Rupert Murdoch (ESPN has college football and basketball on Thursdays during the NFL season, among other events).
@hamlinfan93 local fans in local markets will still get them OTA and you know a dedicated out of market fan likely already has some sort of satellite package so...yeah...that could go either way.