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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    Sports Commentary in America: A Dying Industry

    I give up. It would seem with even casual viewing over the weekend that good, serious sports commentary in this country is dead or on life support. Speculation now rules, due to the paucity of genuine insight. The "jock-occracy" of the eighties has now come home to roost, showing itself in the general "dumbing down" of commentary exhisting today.

    One need only to look to what has happened to football over the years. Monday Night Football was never a shining beacon of intelligence, yet it came close in it's first year with the incomparable Keith Jackson, who was quickly ushered out and replaced by Howard Cossell, Don Meredith and the clueless Frank Gifford.

    Yet that team seem like fucking masterminds compared to the current edition of Tony Kornheiser, Joe Theismann and Mike Turico. Mindless blathering, second guessing and pointless pontification are the order of the day. We actually have to listen to the speculation that Sunday's loss by the Philadelphia Eagles may have cost them the season, psycologically.

    The best NFL wrap-up show, (the one featuring the outstanding Tom Jackson, a brilliant, glaring exeption to the "jocks as morons" rule) "NFL Primetime" has been replaced by a same named, live pregame show, filmed in a venue's parking lot in front of drunken, yelling tailgaters. The hosts have to scream over the fans to be heard, subjecting the viewer to a noisy battle for coherrance, ultimately an exercise in futility.

    Then we have NASCAR. Viewed by networks for years as a dim-bulb, inbred sport designed for slack-jawed yokels, pyromaniacs and car-crash ghouls, things changed in the eighties when Madison Avenue came sniffing out profits. The networks noticed, and now we have "sportscasters" who not only insult the intelligence of the average viewer, they make shit up on a whim and call it reporting. (A "reporter" for Speed TV "invented" some "facts" on Sunday evening, claiming a race team had cheated. Both the team and NASCAR denied the story had any merit or truth.)

    I'll spare everyone the long, tragic fall of baseball broadcasting in the past 10 years, where on radio (once the best place to "see" a game) announcers now get so caught up in talking to each other about irrelevant things that they actually forget to keep up with mundane things like strike counts. One can literally hear a bat hit a pitched ball and the action is not even mentioned as the nitwits in the booth talk about pennant races and "the MVP".

    Forget hockey on the radio, for the same reasons mentioned about baseball. And basketball...

    Like I said, I give up. When it comes to tv, the sound is now shut of. As for radio, well some afternoons at work have been saved by it. Maybe because I was working , and paying little attention to the broadcast. Isn't that in and of itself a telling comment?

    ...craig
    Last edited by chefcraig; 09.19.06 at 08:26 AM.
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  2. #2
    Atomic Punk fast98dodge's Avatar
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    08.07.17 @ 08:14 PM
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    I don't know what else to say but I agree, chef...

    Luckily in the PNW we have two sportscasters that are worth merit...

    Dave Niehaus for Mariners broadcasts, he's been doing the games since 1977...

    And...

    Kevin Calabaro in his 18th season announcing Sonics games...
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  3. #3
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 06:29 PM
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    I don't know what to point my finger at, but you covered quite a few bases already. One thing that gets me is too much sameness - I can't tell Jon Miller from Joe Angell from some other guys I've heard. The original voices are long silenced for the most part - I mean, Vin Scully's still out there, but I don't know when was the last time I heard him broadcast a game. Guys like Harry Caray, Phil Rizzuto, Jack Buck, Lindsey Nelson have either died or retired. I think, as with anything else, the commercial aspect has changed everything. Every comment is leading up to selling you something, whether it's a video game or a website or something else. In the football thread it was mentioned about Tony Kornheiser talking about his fantasy team, and even though I don't think it was implied that it was an ESPN fantasy team, I'm sure they'd welcome some additional participants this morning, especially for their pay-for-play games. Didn't they have a member of the Miami Heat in the booth? Wasn't really listening to him - what was he selling? You get actors and singers and other people up there who aren't there to help with telling the story of today's game, they want you to buy their record or book or go see their movie. FOX is particularly bad at World Series time with the shameless self-promotion during the game, but lately the others aren't far behind. And why oh why do we need three people in the booth, and a couple of others roaming the sidelines? Too many voices don't add up to additional quality insight. It's the chicken and the egg thing, though - are we to blame as a whole for having a shorter attention span these days or have the various mediums bred that short attention span into us?

  4. #4
    Pope Of Greenwich Village SuckaInA3Piece's Avatar
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    08.28.17 @ 03:27 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefcraig
    I give up. It would seem with even casual viewing over the weekend that good, serious sports commentary in this country is dead or on life support. Speculation now rules, due to the paucity of genuine insight. The "jock-occracy" of the eighties has now come home to roost, showing itself in the general "dumbing down" of commentary exhisting today.

    One need only to look to what has happened to football over the years. Monday Night Football was never a shining beacon of intelligence, yet it came close in it's first year with the incomparable Keith Jackson, who was quickly ushered out and replaced by Howard Cossell, Don Meredith and the clueless Frank Gifford.

    Yet that team seem like fucking masterminds compared to the current edition of Tony Kornheiser, Joe Theismann and Mike Turico. Mindless blathering, second guessing and pointless pontification are the order of the day. We actually have to listen to the speculation that Sunday's loss by the Philadelphia Eagles may have cost them the season, psycologically.

    The best NFL wrap-up show, (the one featuring the outstanding Tom Jackson, a brilliant, glaring exeption to the "jocks as morons" rule) "NFL Primetime" has been replaced by a same named, live pregame show, filmed in a venue's parking lot in front of drunken, yelling tailgaters. The hosts have to scream over the fans to be heard, subjecting the viewer to a noisy battle for coherrance, ultimately an exercise in futility.

    Then we have NASCAR. Viewed by networks for years as a dim-bulb, inbred sport designed for slack-jawed yokels, pyromaniacs and car-crash ghouls, things changed in the eighties when Madison Avenue came sniffing out profits. The networks noticed, and now we have "sportscasters" who not only insult the intelligence of the average viewer, they make shit up on a whim and call it reporting. (A "reporter" for Speed TV "invented" some "facts" on Sunday evening, claiming a race team had cheated. Both the team and NASCAR denied the story had any merit or truth.)

    I'll spare everyone the long, tragic fall of baseball broadcasting in the past 10 years, where on radio (once the best place to "see" a game) announcers now get so caught up in talking to each other about irrelevant things that they actually forget to keep up with mundane things like strike counts. One can literally hear a bat hit a pitched ball and the action is not even mentioned as the nitwits in the booth talk about pennant races and "the MVP".

    Forget hockey on the radio, for the same reasons mentioned about baseball. And basketball...

    Like I said, I give up. When it comes to tv, the sound is now shut of. As for radio, well some afternoons at work have been saved by it. Maybe because I was working , and paying little attention to the broadcast. Isn't that in and of itself a telling comment?

    ...craig
    Craig, I'd like to buy you a beverage. Great post.

    I will say this though, if you want to hear a baseball game called the right way, you'll get it in Philly. Harry Kalas on the radio is one of the best listens you can ever treat yourself too. Grab a brew, some pretzels, sit by the window to feel that nice spring breeze, and just listen to pure greatness.

    We also have Mike Quick and Merrill Reese here to call the Eagles games, which is also a pleasure I might add. Other than that, I can't say I get too much pleasure out of watching/listening to these so called experts.

    I've said on numerous occasions that I get more insight from the sports fans here, than I can from a Boomer or Mike Irvin.

    Hockey announcers/analysts are very sad. I'll throw out Don Cherry as the number one offender there. But Jim Hughson from the Canucks is the MAN. He hosts Saturday Night in Canada sometimes and it's a great listen.
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  5. #5
    Pope Of Greenwich Village SuckaInA3Piece's Avatar
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    08.28.17 @ 03:27 PM
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    Oh, I forgot to mention that Hubie Brown is a teacher of the game for the NBA, even at his age.
    "It's always a Catch-22 situation. They hate you if you're the same, and they hate you if you're different."
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  6. #6
    Good Enough wham bam will rock's Avatar
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    06.26.17 @ 04:51 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefcraig
    compared to the current edition of Tony Kornheiser, Joe Theismann and Mike Turico

    Tony Korn-hole is a douche. How this guy has a career is a friggin' mystery.
    "Never is just reven spelled backwards." -House

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  7. #7
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 06:29 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuckaInA3Piece
    I will say this though, if you want to hear a baseball game called the right way, you'll get it in Philly. Harry Kalas on the radio is one of the best listens you can ever treat yourself too. Grab a brew, some pretzels, sit by the window to feel that nice spring breeze, and just listen to pure greatness.
    Damn, how could I forget to give props to Harry the K.? One of the things I miss the most from living in the mid-Atlantic. Wonder if he's ever been approached to do either a baseball or football game of the week on a regular basis?

    I always liked Wheels and Musser, too, and of course Richie, God rest his soul.

  8. #8
    Pope Of Greenwich Village SuckaInA3Piece's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy007
    Damn, how could I forget to give props to Harry the K.? One of the things I miss the most from living in the mid-Atlantic. Wonder if he's ever been approached to do either a baseball or football game of the week on a regular basis?

    I always liked Wheels and Musser, too, and of course Richie, God rest his soul.
    Richie was the man. I had this great bobble head of he and Harry with mics in their hand. Had it on top of my 5150 combo amp. One day I was playing at a VERY high volume, and the damn thing fell off the amp, hit the floor and split in two. I've been pissed about that ever since.

    Harry does a few innings on radio and on tv and I flip flop between the two. I can't stand Wheels though. That guy is a douche, and Harry doesn't like him either. He basically told Phillies management a few years back that if they wanted him to resign, they had to get rid of Chris Wheeler. The whole thing was squashed, but I still don't think Harry thinks very highly of him.

    Also, I used to be a Joe Buck guy, but I can't stand him and Troy these days. Just call the friggin game!!! They talk about a million other things going on and don't focus on the play.
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  9. #9
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    No offense to your all of your guys, but here we've had the pleasure of the two greatest ever...

    Chick Hearn and Vin Scully.

    They are gods, absolute gods of sports broadcasting. Laker games are not the same without Chick (he WAS the Lakers), and the day Vinny retires will be the saddest day in Dodger history. It's already tough enough that he doesn't do the East Coast road trips anymore.

    If you've never had the pleasure of hearing Chick or Vin, you should do yourself a favor and download games they called. They are the best.
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  10. #10
    Atomic Punk TheresOnlyOneWay's Avatar
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    Joe Theismann is the biggest moron there is. When he said "Big Ben is back" last nite, then 2 plays later says "He just dosen't look comfortable throwing the ball yet..."(or something of that nature). I explained to the wife that is one of the reasons he's such a dumbass. Lucky, Kornhole called him on it and Joey tried to spin his way out of it. Loser.
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  11. #11
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    Yes the Monday Night crew is embarrassingly bad.
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    Atomic Punk onefootoutthedoor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett
    No offense to your all of your guys, but here we've that pleasure of the two greatest ever...

    Chick Hearn and Vin Scully.

    They are gods, absolute gods of sports broadcasting. Laker games are not the same without Chick (he WAS the Lakers), and the day Vinny retires will be the saddest day in Dodger history. It's already tough enough that he doesn't do the East Coast road trips anymore.

    If you've never had the pleasure of hearing Chick or Vin, you should do yourself a favor and download games they called. They are the best.

    Agreed, the games are not the same at all up here. Another voice that I think Craig mentioned was Keith Jackson. I remember him calling 'SC games on ABC when I was growing up. Brett, you are totally right, anyone who grew up in Los Angeles was absolutely spoiled when it comes to sports announcers.

  13. #13
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    I watched and listened to Dodgers and Lakers games to hear Vin and Chick, as much as I did to watch the teams. As much as I love the Lakers, a lit bit of my enthusiasm (if even the smallest, minute piece) waned after Chickie died.

    Keith Jackson in his prime was great, he got way over the hill though.
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  14. #14
    Atomic Punk onefootoutthedoor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett
    I watched and listened to Dodgers and Lakers games to hear Vin and Chick, as much as I did to watch the teams. As much as I love the Lakers, a lit bit of my enthusiasm (if even the smallest, minute piece) waned after Chickie died.

    Keith Jackson in his prime was great, he got way over the hill though.


    I was thinking of the mid eighties to early nineties.

  15. #15
    Pope Of Greenwich Village SuckaInA3Piece's Avatar
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    Vin Scully is the man, I can't even deny that. I love Harry Kalas though because he's the voice I grew up on, but Vin is the shit. Can't believe I forgot about him.

    One guy that's a complete jackass is Bill Walton. I put him and Theisman on the same level. I can't stand either of those guys.

    I'm too young to remember him, but Bill Campbell is also a great one. His call on the 100pt game by Wilt is CLASSIC. And I'll throw in Flyers announcer Gene Hart as well. May he rest in peace.

    They just don't make em like they used too.
    Last edited by SuckaInA3Piece; 09.19.06 at 12:00 PM.
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