NFL announcers are like NFL officials. Fans tend to hate them all, which means the least hated ones are -- by default -- the most liked. In both cases, it's almost impossible to keep everyone happy. They all assume you have a bias or they feel you're adding too much or not enough to the game. Or all of the above. The point is that calling games is tougher than most of us realize. But that doesn't mean we're going to go easy as we wrap up the 2012 football season with an assessment of the top broadcast teams from each of the four major networks and a look back at the year that was in NFL broadcasting.
The Baltimore Ravens' thrilling 38-35 double overtime win over the Denver Broncos on Saturday in the AFC's Divisional playoff round was a ratings bonanza for CBS. The game averaged 35.3 million viewers, far and away the highest rated game this season.
Brian Billick wasn't the only NFL analyst to have a brief brain malfunction at the end of a playoff game this weekend. Not to be outdone, CBS's Phil Simms advised the Houston Texans to kick a long field goal trailing 41-28 against the New England Patriots with 20 seconds left in the game... a field goal that would leave the Texans still down by 2 scores. Jim Nantz has to gently correct his broadcast partner's wrong and Simms is left to admit he has no idea what he's thinking.
It's a great time to remind you that Phil Simms will be analyzing the Super Bowl this year for CBS.
Perhaps this clip explains why Simms went into the broadcast booth and not into coaching. We shouldn't be too hard on him though, sometimes math is just plain hard.
Plenty was made out of Fox's decision to replace Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, and Tony Siragusa with Thom Brennaman and Brian Billick for a Divisional Round playoff game this year. Unfortunately for Brian Billick, he picked the wrong time to make a mental mistake with the entire country watching. After Seattle's last ditch hail mary attempt was intercepted and the Falcons hung on for a victory, Billick said this:
"This win right here legitimizes the Seattle Seahawks as the number one seed and makes them the team to beat."
D'oh! Of course Billick meant the Falcons, but yikes, bad timing to make that flub... especially right after being given a huge promotion by the network and calling a playoff game. Daryl Johnston surely threw one of his weird looking jackets at the television in disgust. It was reminiscent of this call from Chris Myers earlier this year.
However, it wasn't just that one sentence after the game as it was a rough afternoon for Billick overall, leading to comments like this from around Twitter:
Brian Billick said a lot of really weird stuff during last few minutes of Seahawks-Falcons game.
CBS will broadcast the Super Bowl February 3rd, starting with pre-kick coverage (coin flip, National Anthem) at 6 PM, but you can start your day off with Super Bowl coverage before noon on the network. CBS will air seven hours of pregame coverage this year.
ESPN asked, “How much do you blame Jay Cutler for RG III’s injury?”
What they meant to ask was, “How much do you blame the backlash of Jay Cutler’s MCL sprain during the 2010 NFC Championship game and subsequent vilification for RG III’s injury?”
What they SHOULD have asked was, “How much do you blame the vicious jackholes comprised of both current and former NFL players in addition to media members lambasting Cutler for being a wimp for RG III’s injury?”
Do you need more Bob Costas in your life, baseball fans? Well, MLB Network has you covered. Starting on January 14th and continuing for five weeks until February 11th, MLB Network will air a classic baseball movie each Monday. Each one will be preceded by a half hour long interview between Costas and someone related to the film, typically the star or the director. discussing the evening's featured film. Here's a list of shows this winter:
Check out Kenneth "The Manimal" Faried cursing on live TV in the above video around the :45 mark. It's great because it's totally "innocent" and out of shock, when he was told he had a monster 19 points and 19 rebounds in a win over the visiting Orlando Magic. He didn't know his exact stats for the game, as evidenced by his candid response. A 19-19 game is not entirely atypical from one of the hardest-working, best-rebounding players in the NBA. He's only been in the assocation for a short while, but his non-stop motor is already very well renowned.
With many more games like this surely on the horizon throughout the rest of his potentially illustrious career, let's just hope he's a little more cognizant of what he's saying on live TV. But with that said, Faried is seriously awesome.
Doc Emrick is one of our favorites here at AA, and his return to our collective consciousness is perhaps the best part about the end of the NHL Lockout. During the lockout, Rock Center with Brian Williams sent Emrick to Troy, Michigan to give play by play of a game, but not just any game: a 12 and under girls game between the St Clair Shores Saintes and the Troy Lady Sting.
If you were one of those girls, could you imagine the thrill of having a broadcasting legend like Emrick chatting with you before the game, and then calling your game? Imagine if Vin Scully provided play by play for your Little League game, or if Al Michaels did commentary on your peewee football game. It would be something you'd remember for the rest of your life, and it's really cool that Emrick took time out of his schedule to do this.
For many, the Rob Parker saga may seem like a trilogy; he arrived on the national scene with appearances on a variety of ESPN platforms while saying controversial things about stats and other topics, took controversy to new heights with "cornball" comments about Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, and then was suspended for his Griffin comments and saw ESPN decline to renew his contract. Veni, stupidi, departi. Yet, just as the preceding isn't entirely a correct Latin translation, the Parker story is a little more complicated than that. It's worth exploring what led to Parker's comments and if they've really meant the end of his national prominence.