Last week we introduced a new way for you to interact with Awful Announcing and let your voice be heard. The AA Fan Forum will be the place to go for you to rant about or praise announcers. Throughout August, we'll be featuring your submissions into our AA Inbox regarding the local MLB announcing teams that we may not have time to cover extensively. This first edition features baseball fans, AA readers, and fellow bloggers giving their take on their MLB announcers and below you can find your way to submit your own thoughts to us for the AA Fan Forum. Without further adieu, here's what the fans have to say...
Phillies: Tom McCarthy and Chris Wheeler. Wheels has been on our TVs since the 1970's and has made us want to hit the mute button ever since. The chriswheelerglossary.com website lists many of his catch phrases. Tom McCarthy has had the unenviable task of following Harry Kalas as lead PBP guy, but his cadence (and the SIIIIIIDE is RETIRED...) and awful segues (Hey, speaking of...) are brutal.
When people think of Brewers announcers, the first name they'll come up with is Bob Uecker, and rightfully so -- he's an institution in Milwaukee, and from an entertainment standpoint, I don't know if there's anyone better. In terms of play-by-play, though, he's starting to slip in his advancing age. He'll have trouble reading flyballs from time-to-time, to the point of starting up his "Get up, get up, get outta here, gone" home run call, only to have to correct himself to "get off that wall" halfway through. Overall, though, he's still worth listening to. Cory Provus does a very good job playing the straight man to Uecker, and his play-by-play is typically crisp and informative, which is a plus on radio.
On the TV end, the consensus seems to be that Brian Anderson and Bill Schroeder make a pretty solid team, at least among those who have had the misfortune of listening to other teams' crews on MLB.TV. Anderson has always done a good job of letting the pictures do most of the speaking, which is an underrated attribute when it comes to TV announcers. Schroeder is your typical homer color analyst (to be expected from a former Brewers catcher), although he won't refer to the Brewers as "we" like some others. Together, they seem to work much better together than Schroeder and Daron Sutton ever did before Sutton left for Arizona. Sutton was (and still is, from what I can tell) truly an Awful Announcer. Anderson, on the other hand, is very good, and it's no surprise that TBS has started to trust him with some more important postseason series.
The Brewers Bar
If you want to be an NFL analyst on a pre game show, you'd be smart to pad your resume with a Hall of Fame career. Today NFL Network's Deion Sanders and Marshall Faulk were enshrined into the Hall of Fame along with CBS's Shannon Sharpe. Also inducted from the sports media world was Ed Sabol, the visionary behind NFL Films (something that no other pro league has anything similar to).
If you actually look across the NFL Sunday preview shows, you'll see it's actually a bastion of Pro Hall of Famers.
Sharpe, Sanders, and Faulk join the likes of Mike Ditka, Steve Young, Dan Marino, Michael Irvin, Terry Bradshaw, and Howie Long as Hall Famers working Sunday mornings. Rod Woodson recently left this group to take a job with the Raiders.
In the years to come you may see other studio analysts like Michael Strahan, Warren Sapp, and Bill Cowher joining the select fraternity within the fraternity.
Being on the west coast where a night out will often mitigate the need for a pre game show starting at 9am, I don't really have a strong take on any of the trio of new entries.
Who has a long term career in the industry and who could you see fizzling out? Should Marshall Faulk worry about an anti running back conspiracy as Emmitt Smith, Jerome Bettis (not inducted just yet), and Marcus Allen were quickly shown the door after brief stints.
Given there are now four channels utilizing similar formats, how about some innovation instead of imitation for a change?
My idea is that you have one host and four first round busts getting hammered at a bar. How about Petros Papadakis along with Cade McNown, Joey Harrington, Ryan Leaf, and recently "retired" Carson Palmer who can keep the seat warm for Matt Leinart. A little west coast flavor to greet your morning hangover perhaps?
All kidding aside, congratulations to Canton's newest class and especially Ed Sabol who is the one guy whose impact to the game of football and sports media is impossible to measure. Ed has had some health issues and unfortunately his son and heir apparent, Steve, is battling cancer. It was uplifting to see them on stage together given Steve's condition and his comments about the significance of his father's induction.
"Though Sabol hasn’t asked for information on his long-term prognosis, he has asked if he’ll make it to August, when the induction ceremony will be held. “You’ll make it,” Sabol was told by his doctors."
I couldn't help but take a step back and think about what we've seen this week in sports with two people that say a lot about the sports media and the way we view athletes. Both have seen the entire spectrum of athlete superstardom. They've been at the absolute top of their sport, and they've been kicked around with glee. Those people are Tiger Woods and Tim Tebow. The way these two athletes have been covered this week in particular has spoke volumes for the way the media covers superstar athletes and the way we view superstar athletes as fans. Simply put, there's nothing we love more than the vicious cycle of building up and tearing down...
Let's start briefly with why these two are in the news. Tiger Woods made another return after a lengthy layoff, this time from injury, at the WGC event at Firestone in Akron. Firestone is where Woods has seen the most success in his career, but through the first two days of the tournament Tiger is a so-so (-1), seven shots out of the lead and tied for 36th.
Presumably, Tim Tebow was going to be given the keys to Denver's offense going into the 2011 season as Kyle Orton was going to be traded to Miami (producing bizarre chants in Miami of "We Want Orton," wrap your minds around that). Orton wasn't traded and outplayed Tebow in practice, creating the awkward situation where Tebow isn't exactly the starting QB anymore. On top of that, Merrill Hoge woke up one morning and decided it was his mission to destroy Tebow, ripping him with a series of Tweets and subsequent interviews.
The changing narratives of Tiger and Tebow are stunning. Take a look at their respective careers and where they are now. They symbolize more than anyone else this manipulative and cynical need to continually build up and tear down athletes. This shouldn't be a mystery to many of you, but it has truly flashed like a bright neon sign with sirens this week. And we as fans should be able to see through it...
A former coach that Browns fans called "Mangina" and a former player with a last named of Woody. Somehow I veered away from an immature title to this article and played it straight.
Every year ESPN reshuffles their lineup of analysts covering a sport and this year have added former Jets and Browns coach Eric Mangini as well and former Jet's lineman Damien Woody. ESPN had this to say in regards to Mangini's particular role.
"He will appear on "NFL Live," "SportsCenter," "First Take" and other programs throughout the year and also will contribute analysis on ESPN Radio and other platforms. He is scheduled to start Aug. 17."
Woody will apparently have a similar beat although will not do radio and will spend some time on ESPN News as well.
ESPN has increasingly shown preference to adding recently removed head coaches as guys like Herm Edwards and Jon Gruden have been well received by viewers. Mangini's addition will give ESPN a second former coach as a studio analyst with Gruden mostly utilized on Monday Night Football.
Woody's addition had been speculated for awhile, even by himself when interviewed by the NFL Live crew last week in regards to the new CBA and if he'd play another year or would be wearing a suit as an analyst.
I'll let Stephen explain exactly why he has control of the MLB's twitter account for the day.
So far, Stephen has used this new platform to inform the MLB's 1.4 million+ followers on the score of the Seattle Salamanders vs. Albuquerque Balloons game (7 to aught) and instructed fans looking for highlights to follow his link that leads to this video of a ducky and a doggy playing. We can look forward to a day of hating on the Cubs (Colbert has a crippling fear of bears) and hopefully the first of a 30 part series as Colbert gets us to know the MLB teams better.
I give a tip of the hat to the MLB for having a sense of humor and giving me a reason to visit their twitter page for the first time ever.
Earlier this week, Ryan wrote about the ridiculousness of ESPN hyping their own QB rating system, furthering their desire to take over the world. But we really don't need a new QB rating system, do we? Especially one contrived by Trent Dilfer, no less. 158.3 isn't perfect, but we've learned to live with it. Perhaps what ESPN should have done instead was to come up with a rating system to rank their endless array of NFL analysts, which now includes that media friendly, likable former coach, Eric Mangini. We need a way to rank the most effective of the hundreds of ESPN NFL analysts right? So with ESPN unveiling the new QB system tonight, here's what we would have done for the Total Analyst Rating...
First off, let's forget the complicated multiplications, divisions, exponentials, normalizations, and whatever other number crunching you want to do to make yourself look smart. If you want to have fun, take the natural log of these points or whatever. It doesn't really matter. All you need to know is that the highest points total is the best NFL analyst, the ones that cross into negative territory... not so much...
+100 points for appearing on Mike & Mike, NFL Live, and the 6pm SportsCenter in one day. (+100 Bonus points if you also appear on the 11pm SportsCenter for the NFL Analyst Grand Slam.)
+50 points for being given a motivational speaking platform (Herm Edwards step on up).
+50 points for winning a season-long picks contest.
+25 points for having your own segment on Sunday/Monday Countdown or Primetime.
+20 points for getting to play on the virtual field.
+15 points for being interviewed from the NFL Films vault.
+10 points for having video shown of your playing/coaching career.
+10 points for appearing on PTI.
+5 points for being called by your recognizable nickname.
+1 point for having your "resume" being shown on screen.
0 points if you co-host a radio show with Mike Greenberg.
-1 point for bragging, "when I was a coach/player."
-2 points for saying "THIS GUY."
-5 points for being an ex-Cowboy or Patriot.
-5 points for interrupting someone.
-10 points for debating Skip Bayless.
-10 points for saying "THIS GUY" if you aren't Jon Gruden.
-15 points for appearing on The Herd.
-20 points for fake laughter.
-25 points for saying the name "Brett Favre."
-50 points for starting a needless national controversy with your "analysis."
-50 points for speaking louder and slower to sound more important (ahem... TRENT... DILFER...).
-50 points if you use the number of surgieres you had as a badge of honor.
-75 points if you hock your own line of green chili or other personal product.
-100 points for making a bogus prediction to motivate a team (we're looking at you Tom Jackson).
-150 points for being the worst GM in the league during your career.
-1000 points for using an ethnic slur to describe one of your colleagues.
And there you have it. Judging by this criteria, who do you think will emerge this season atop the ESPN NFL Total Analyst Rating?
NBC/Outdoor Life Network/Versus/NBC Sports Network looks to be beefing up their hockey coverage by adding NCAA hockey. In April, the NHL signed a 10-year extension to remain with the NBC family thus making this a logical move, in my opinion, to promote hockey since they've invested a Scrooge McDuck money pit of coin into the sport. Here are some of the rumored details.
"Versus is intending to reach agreement with all five current Division I leagues to air games on Friday or Saturday nights. Some of those deals have already been finalized. Versus is expected to make an announcement of its broadcast package once all of the deals have been completed."
If you are already a fan of the NHL, college hockey will be something you likely will enjoy as well. There really is not an overabundance of teams, so the talent level is not watered down. It's common to see multiple future NHL draft picks playing on a good team. Also, since it's college, you get that unique intensity and atmosphere that really results in some memorable games.
I was curious what kind of programming Versus runs on a typical Friday night so I looked ahead at tonight's schedule. I kid you not; a show called Elk Fever runs nonstop from 7 pm until 3 am. Elk Fever. 8 straight hours of... Elk... Fever. So, the bottom line here is Versus is replacing shows like that one with a likely higher drawing live sporting event that directly will promote the NHL while giving the viewers something new and exciting. This certainly seems like a win-win-win situation that Michael Scott would be proud of.
For those of you not buying in yet, just watch this University of Alaska Fairbanks video that the team takes the ice to.
If a polar bear flying a fighter jet that drops bombs into volcanoes causing the destruction of Earth doesn't get you excited for hockey, than it's likely nothing will.
First on the docket is one that comes from Joe Lucia, Managing Editor of Bloguin's The Outside Corner and Chop 'N Change, and all around swell guy. The Braves made perhaps the best trade of the deadline in acquiring Astros CF Michael Bourn for a few pieces from the scrap pile. According to the following ESPN.com headline though, they also acquired a CIA agent in search of his own identity...
Paul Menard won Sunday's Brickyard 400, but a little love needs to be given to the pit crew of Clint Bowyer. Gaining 8 positions on a 255 tire change has to be the greatest pit stop of all-time, right? It may even be the greatest car related feat, like, ever...
Throughout the summer months, the rumblings of a feud between attractive, blonde ESPN superstar Erin Andrews and attractive, blonde ESPN superstar Michelle Beadle has sent the internet, and 18-35 year old males particularly, into a frenzy. It all started when Beadle admitted in the ESPN Book that she watched the infamous Erin Andrews peephole tape and more or less stated that a congenial relationship between the two was non-existent.
Then came the rumors and reports pitting Beadle and Andrews against one another in some sort of cosmic tug of war over who was the fair-haired favorite inside Bristol headquarters. Andrews is the wholesome celebrity figure who is as recognizable on Dancing With The Stars or Good Morning America as she is on College Gameday. Conversely, Beadle is the upstart guys' girl who has burst onto the scene the last couple years on SportsNation and other outlets. (Hey, I would look a lot better too sitting next to Cowherd five days a week.)
Well, wouldn't you know that rumors of the "feud" intensified when Beadle took on a starring role in the lead-up to this year's ESPY awards. Deadspin, who has emerged as one of the go-to places for BeadleMania, went to her directly to refute rumors that Beadle was trying her best to relive the sex and drug filled early days of ESPN in Los Angeles after the ESPYs. Beadle firmly denied the whispers going around the block that she had been involved with Packers stars Aaron Rodgers or Clay Matthews.
Then, a Youtube video came out of Beadle and Matthews... WALKING TOGETHER!!!! Because you know, when people walk together, there's bound to be something bigger and much more salacious going on. But the intriguing aspect to the whole Beadle/Packer/ESPY story was that some naughty, nosey person was sneaking around ESPN mongering up all these rumors to begin with. Beadle expressed her displeasure on Twitter yesterday...
So as you can imagine, the "story" has taken on its predictable next step. The sports gossip site TerezOwens.com has a source that says it was of course Erin Andrews that snitched to ESPN brass about Beadle's supposed escapades. Sigh.
So what do we have here. Someone at ESPN tried to tattle on Beadle's alleged raunchy behavior at the ESPYs. Beadle defended herself to Deadspin. (Which is a great move on Deadspin's part, and a bit subtler of a way to get a leg up on their rivalry with ESPN. You think Bristol is happy to see Beadle opening up and giving info to Deadspin?) And an unconfirmed, random rumor from a self-proclaimed sports gossip blog that says it was EA who snitched on Beadle (one that is barely believable and has deservedly been given no credibility thus far).
So in the grand struggle of Beadle vs Andrews... who cares? That was the sentiment of the vast majority of the folks that responded on Twitter to us this afternoon (outside the predictable male chauvinist crowd that wants to see this "feud" settled in mud). Beadle and Andrews are adult enough to live their own lives (I think) and it doesn't matter to 99.9% of sports fans what either one does in their personal lives, who's telling on who, and which flavor of the month ESPN's hierarchy favors. The entire Beadle/Andrews narrative has smelled of tabloid sports journalism from the beginning and I just want it to stop at this point. Hopefully this "feud" doesn't get anymore legitimate play in the blogosphere, or else we might as well all send in our resumes to the National Enquirer.
So now that the Joe Morgan Tourney is over and the Pammies still a month away, we are introducing a new feature at AA - the AA Fan Forum. This is another way to give you a voice on Awful Announcing. Most of our work is done on the national scene, but we want to give a spotlight to some of the local professional announcing teams that we may not be able to cover in-depth. And since we're still rolling through the summer months, we want to focus on the local baseball broadcast booths.
We want you to tell us why you're local MLB announcing teams are either great... or of course, awful. Tell us why your favorite team's play by play man or analyst, radio booth or TV booth, is the best or worst in the sport. We want to give you a platform to help us cover these broadcasters in a way that we wouldn't be able to on our own. Vin Scully not your type? Tell us why. Do Thom Brennaman and Jeff Brantley cause you to pour gasoline in your ears and light a match? Feel free to send in a rant! Tell us how Len Kasper and Bob Brenly help you cope with another season of Cubs losing. We'll run your responses periodically throughout the month of August in fan forum posts. Here's the specifics of what we need from you...
*Send e-mails to awfulannouncing @ gmail.com
*Include MLB AA Fan Forum in the message subject heading (we get a ton of spam, it's annoying)
*Keep your responses between 150-300 words.
*Remember to keep it clean and your submissions may be edited for spelling, grammar, etc.
*If your submission fits these criteria, it will be considered to be published in the AA Fan Forum.
We're calling fans, bloggers, and even legitimate reporters or sports media people to write in and take part in the AA Fan Forum. Hope to hear from you soon.