Ravens TV: CBS announcers lost in story lines

Baltimore Sun reporter

From the Z on TV blog:

I listened to the non-stop chatter of the CBS Sports team of Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots for three mid-numbing, tedious hours Sunday and I still don't know whether they think Carolina Panthers quarterback Brian St. Pierre belongs in the NFL or not.

Wilcots, the analyst, kept saying for most of the day that St. Pierre was playing OK, but that the other players around him needed to play better. Incredibly, he was still pushing that crazy line of analysis after St. Pierre threw two interceptions in 11 seconds of play that were returned for touchdowns by the Ravens.

And good thing the Ravens did score two instant TDs in the fourth quarter, because the other story line that Wilcots and Harlan were locked into from the opening moments of their broadcast was the possibility of the game being a blowout. And until those two late-in-the-game interceptions, they were dead wrong on that. In fact, they made the possibility of a blowout seem so imminent in the first quarter with all their talk of the "floodgates about to open" that had I not been reviewing, I am sure I would have started surfing for a more competitive game to settle in with.

It is astonishing how some announcers come into a game with a story line in their head, and they just can't give it up even if the action on the field contradicts it. When the score was 20-13 at the start of the fourth quarter, I think one of the two should have said something like, "Well, that blowout we had been talking about throughout the game has not yet exactly happened." Just a little acknowledgment that they game had thus far gone other than the way they predicted would have been nice.

But look, I am not going to get cosmic today. The game wasn't that exciting, nor was the work in the booth maddening enough for that.

Annoying, yes. I stopped counting after the sixth time that Wilcots used the expression "slam the door shut" in the fourth quarter to describe the Ravens putting the game away.

And it is also clear when Wilcots was talking about the Ravens defense as impregnable in the first half, he hadn't done his homework and seen it in any of its previous three games -- or he would have known it is not the defense of the glory years any more.

Intercepting someone who played as poorly as St. Pierre (See Solomon, it's easy to make a clean call...) isn't exactly a badge of greatness. Yes, he had one big throw, but most of the rest of the day he looked like a 30-year-old never-was who was out of the game altogether as of just last week. (And don't tell me about drops. The few drops his receivers had were because of the missed timing of his throws,)

I wasted enough time with this less than inspired CBS crew. Time to slam the door shut on this afternoon of listening to two guys locked-in and lost in their story lines.

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