Showing posts with label Announcing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Announcing. Show all posts

Monday, November 4, 2019

Kevin Harlan is the Best There Is




I’m probably just tired of everyone else, but Kevin Harlan has always been a favorite:
Here’s the call with the audio only because everyone has the video. You don’t need the visuals - you just need the call itself.





Monday, May 15, 2017

Beth Mowins Gets to Call an NFL Game This Year




This is long overdue:

ESPN broadcaster Beth Mowins will be given the play by play assignment for the Sept. 11 game between Chargers and Broncos in Denver, the late game of the Monday Night Football opening week doubleheader. Former Bills and Jets head coach Rex Ryan is likely to be her game analyst. Ryan was hired by ESPN in April and the Monday Night Football assignment would be his debut as an NFL color commentator. Mowins and Ryan called the Florida State spring game together last April.

I have watched a lot of NCAA softball, and Mowins is a great broadcaster. She handles every broadcast with a great deal of skill and is always informed, always knowledgable about what's happening in front of her. If you don't know who she is, go and Google some of the things she has called and I'll bet the whole gender thing disappears quickly. 

The women's NCAA softball tournament is a grueling event, not only for the players but the broadcasters as well. These are not easy games to announce, and Mowins is always good. She has paid her dues to get where she's at and no one should assume that this is some sort of desperation move on the part of ESPN. Far from it--she's one of the best out there.

Her qualifications to call an NFL game are self-evident: she knows the game, she knows how to handle having two people in the booth with her (some simply cannot juggle such a thing), and she is more than capable of handling the job. I have always thought that she was good enough to move up in the sports announcing world to assignments that don't have to be gender specific, and calling an NFL game is exactly where she should be. I think she should regularly call baseball games as well. In fact, I would have guessed that she would have been given a chance to call more ballgames this summer, but the NFL is a nice price, too.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

There is No One Better Than Vin Scully




Vin Scully is the voice of baseball. You can drop into a broadcast here and there this season--if the Dodgers are at home, and you can get the feed by subscribing to the MLB package on your cable provider, you can hear the man himself, still.

I cannot envision what it will be like when this season is over and he retires. If you're looking for a listicle of things to amuse yourself, here you go.








Thursday, January 7, 2010

Another Scandal for Commentator Mike Smith

Ralph Lawler, left and Mike Smith, right

Back in November, I noted the ridiculous announcing actions of one Mike Smith of the Los Angeles Clippers, when he repeatedly made off-color ethnic jokes at the expense of an Iranian NBA player.

Smith is in hot water for being a crook, too:

Los Angeles Clippers commentator Michael Smith is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in Orange County Superior Court on charges of stealing $735,000 from a retired schoolteacher in a development deal gone bad, authorities said.

Smith, 44, and Bruce Howard Furst, 57, both of Laguna Beach, are charged with grand theft in connection with the Dana Point project, the Orange County district attorney's office said.

Smith persuaded the former teacher, who has an inoperable brain tumor, to use his paid-off Dana Point home as collateral for the $735,000 loan on the project, according to prosecutors.

Smith and Furst are accused of promising the victim that his loan was guaranteed. The project never materialized, prosecutors said.

Mr. Smith has some ethical and moral blind spots, I see.

You wouldn't know this from looking at the website for the Clippers--on their main website, they have an ad feature of news stories that hasn't been updated in about six weeks.



How can you have a website and, during your season, have a feature in plain site that doesn't update for six weeks? What an organization.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

In Defense of the Swinging Gate That Wasn't



It's not the worst play call ever, but it should have been attempted with someone who could throw. You have to run this play with a quarterback who can scramble. If he can buy himself three seconds, and put the ball in the end zone, you have a chance at scoring a touchdown.

It's more of a variation on the hail mary pass with shorter yardage, and if it is run correctly, you can bulldoze your way through their secondary from the shifted line of scrimmage. Say you run this, and a receiver can slip through and get down field without being touched at the line of scrimmage, then angle to the right. By getting free from the pack, you have to have a guy with speed who get open, and get open in those three seconds that the quarterback has before they can run him down if he rolls right. By shifting everyone left, you open the field for the receiver to run a pattern to the right so that the quarterback can roll right with him. Instead, Washington went deep. I would have designed this so that the slant pattern sends the receiver to the right. Make them cover in the open field.

But, no, I wouldn't have run this. I would have taken three points. Never walk away from points on the board. And, no, Zorn doesn't call the plays anymore. Desperation leads to amateurism. But there is a valid football theory that can justify something like this. Let's not forget that Gruden is a failure as a coach (leaving Tampa Bay with about a .500 record) and Jaworski is a bit enamored of his own supposed glories.

Friday, November 20, 2009

This is the kind of thing that could get you fired


This is what got a couple of announcers suspended from calling NBA games for the Los Angeles Clippers:

Smith: “Look who’s in.”

Lawler: “Hamed Haddadi. Where’s he from?”

Smith: “He’s the first Iranian to play in the NBA.” (Smith pronounced Iranian as “Eye-ranian,” a pronunciation that offended the viewer who complained.)

Lawler: “There aren’t any Iranian players in the NBA,” repeating Smith’s mispronunciation.

Smith: “He’s the only one.”

Lawler: “He’s from Iran?”

Smith: “I guess so.”

Lawler: “That Iran?”

Smith: Yes.

Lawler: “The real Iran?”

Smith: “Yes.”

Lawler: “Wow. Haddadi – that’s H-A-D-D-A-D-I.”

Smith: “You’re sure it’s not Borat’s older brother?”

Smith: “If they ever make a movie about Haddadi, I’m going to get Sacha Baron Cohen to play the part.”

Lawler: “Here’s Haddadi. Nice little back-door pass. I guess those Iranians can pass the ball.”

Smith: “Especially the post players.

Lawler: “I don’t know about their guards.”


I think that suspending them for being boring and trite would be enough, but here are the real details:



Ralph Lawler and Mike Smith


Veteran play-by-play man Ralph Lawler and analyst Mike Smith were suspended for tonight's Clippers telecast on Fox Sports Prime Ticket for comments made during Wednesday's telecast, according to sources with knowledge of the decision but not authorized to speak publicly.

Fox issued this statement at 5:03 p.m. today: "We regret the remarks made by Clippers announcers Michael Smith and Ralph Lawler during Wednesday's telecast. While we believe that Michael and Ralph did not intend their exchange to be offensive, the comments were inappropriate. We extend our apologies to Hamed Haddadi of the Memphis Grizzlies and to anyone who was offended. We have addressed the situation with Michael and Ralph and have taken appropriate action."

Wednesday's comments came near the end of a dreary Clippers loss, 106-91, in Memphis as rookie Haddadi, a 7-foot-2 center and the first Iranian player in the NBA, came into the game.

In a 40-second exchange Lawler and Smith began talking about Haddadi. A Clippers fan who watched Wednesday’s telecast complained about the verbal exchange and said he received an apology today from Fox Sports.

Can you complain if they're boring and make no sense? Can you complain, for example, about how Tim McCarver, when he calls baseball games, is almost always wrong and never offers any insight as to what is going on? I mean, let's face it--McCarver trades on the fact that no one has the sound up anyway. Can you complain when Chris Collinsworth is unnecessarily critical of a position player who plays a position Collinsworth knows nothing about? Am I just being nitpicky when I say, thank God I can turn the sound down.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Jon Gruden is a Good Fit on Monday Night


I have had a great deal of non-interest in Monday Night Football for as long as I can remember. I have never really cared who called the games. Was it Madden forever? Is Al Michaels on NBC now? Where'd Dan Dierdorf go? Why is Boomer on CBS? Whose idea was it to hire Chris Collinsworth? I never understand these things.

I was sad to see Mr. Tony Kornheiser only lasted a few seasons. Great mind, great analysis, always entertaining. Mr. Tony comes with baggage, however. Inability to travel? Won't work for Monday Night Football. End of story.

Ron Jaworski does a great job, Mike Tirico does a great job, and Jon Gruden does a great job. I wouldn't go any further than that. It's TV sports--it's not like it's going to change my life that much.

This looks more like an effort to build stability than anything else:
ESPN "Monday Night Football" analyst and former longtime NFL coach Jon Gruden has agreed to a multiyear extension with the network.

Gruden, who joined ESPN in September to replace Tony Kornheiser in the MNF booth, will also appear on ESPN's Super Bowl week and NFL Draft coverage, will call the 2010 NFL Pro Bowl and will serve as an analyst for ESPN Radio's 2010 Rose Bowl and BCS title game broadcasts, where he will again team with MNF play-by-play caller Mike Tirico.

"Working with Mike, [Ron Jaworski] and our entire Monday Night Football team is the most fun I have had in years, and I am fired up to make this long-term commitment to ESPN," Gruden said in a statement. "Monday Night Football is special and I look forward to remaining a part of it and continuing to call these great games."

Gruden, fired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Jan. 16, was the winningest coach in Bucs history (60-57 in seven seasons) and led Tampa Bay to victory in Super Bowl XXXVII. He also has coached the Oakland Raiders.

"Jon has truly reinvented himself, from a Super Bowl-winning head coach to one of the foremost NFL analysts in the business, and the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive," said Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president of production. "We are thrilled with his commitment to ESPN, which ensures that Jon will continue on Monday Night Football with Mike and Jaws, and he will have the opportunity to do even more with ESPN."

There are no decent coaching jobs out there. Washington? Cleveland? St. Louis? Detroit? Baltimore?

No thank you, apparently.