Each week during the football season, I write about the Ravens telecasts on my blog and in the Monday paper. And each Monday and Tuesday, network publicists, executives and announcers, directors and producers write or call and say I am being too harsh.
But each Monday and Tuesday, die-hard Ravens fans, who watched the team on TV, also email, call and tweet. And you know what they say? I wasn't being harsh enough. Fans from other markets write, too, with the same message.
So, in an effort to help educate outfits like CBS Sports about how discontented some fans are with their cut-rate telecasts, starting today, I am going to try and do a post with reader comments on the telecasts each week -- usually Monday afternoon or Tuesday 6 a.m. posting at Z on TV.
If you want credit for your critique of the bozos in the booth, add a line to your email or call telling me it is OK to include your name. (Otherwise, I'll steal your best lines and use them next week. I'm kidding, really.)
So, let's start with Rich Gannon and Marv Albert from Sunday's CBS telecast of the Ravens victory over the Miami Dolphins.
After ripping Gannon's analysis during the Ravens-Browns game a couple of weeks ago, I praised him (mildly) for anticipating that Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil could drive the big story line of the game with their withering pass rush against the Dolphins scuffling offensive line. But I criticized Albert for having no feel for the rhythms of the game. Read it here.
Here's what some of the fans had to say:
David, a local attorney, emails: "You are spot on with your analysis of Marv Albert. His sense of rhythm is clunky and disjointed. Worse yet, he actually called the Ravens the Colts during one sequence in the fourth quarter. Multiple times. Well, at least he didn't say the that the Ravens have Bert Jones dropping back to pass...."
Pete, from Kent Island, emails: "How many times did they mention Flaco's 5 interceptions last week? Too many. I hit the mute button and turned on the radio."
George, a longtime NFL fan, emails: "I make it a point to read your critique of the previous game TV announcers. Not only do I agree with you most of the times, but I listen for mistakes as do you.
"Yesterday, in the 4th quarter, Marv Albert was talking about the Ravens defense. Here is what he said. "The Baltimore "COLTS" have 5 sacks in this game." I laughed and told my wife that there are still some people in the country who still associate "COLTS" with Baltimore. As a former season ticket holder of the "COLTS" and one who saw the first game played by the "COLTS" in 1947 against the Brooklyn "DODGERS" of the AAFC, I love it when I hear this.
Keep up the good work. This week, the game is on FOX, so hopefully we will hear some good reporting."
Jeff sent in this email critique, which mentioned the large contingent of Ravens fans who made the trip to Miami: The jerks on tv didn’t even mention the ravens fans (unless I missed it) but why am I surprisedIf its not on a sheet of paper for them by Friday it won’t be part of the broadcastCBS should lose their contractThey know nothing about the teams, miss basic stuff, do a 3 hour commercial for CBS, miss camera anglesThey are so bad.
Keith focused on the maddening lack of injury reporting in this email: they mentioned Osemelle went out but never a reason why…
left us to thinking he was benched for play, when indeed he had been dealing with back spasms—so he was injured
Marv Albert is good basketball announcer (or was) but adds not much to a football broadcast.
He’s over the hill….. not a mention of injured receivers, and Tandon Doss, Torrey Smith picking up the slack…or defense –no discussion of DumerVille pressure,
Which was prevalent--only suggs sacks…
Raven fans were vocal at game –heard them in background loud on third down offensive series for Miami
And when interception thrown by Tannehill— never mentioned Raven fan faithful showing up and loudness….which is good for the NFL!
Broadcasters must be blind by not seeing final kick go wide , but also deaf…
How much does CBS pay for the NFL rights?? Why pay all those millions and put inferior talent to broadcast the game….
People will start listening to the radio instead... I almost did…
Keith, a Browns fan from Sandusky, Ohio, wrote this after the CBS telecast of the Ravens-Browns game with Gannon and Flacco in the booth: "It was interesting to read your take because, as a Browns fan, I dread getting Albert and Gannon because they know nothing about the Browns and this broadcast, I thought, was all about the great Ravens team and that they were playing a generic no name team with nobody on it. The thing about your take is that it shows they didn't know anything about the Ravens either and it wasn't just an attitude of "The Browns? Who cares?"
Andrew writes with what I think is a great suggestion about pro football embeds: I was relieved to read your article in today's Baltimore Sun. I
routinely found myself complaining to my fiancé about the broadcast.
We were talking about ways to improve the CBS broadcast and provide a different product than the Fox broadcast. I know your obligation is to report on the broadcast, not fix it, but
I'm hoping you would provide your opinion on a suggestion I was going
to send CBS... Embed one analyst per team during the season that will know the ins
and outs of that team. On game day, put the two analysts for the
opposing teams in the booth with a play-by-play guy. This would ensure
that the analysts provide quality insights rather than "he was focused
on the bobble head." Sure this would imply greater cost, but they would offer a unique
insight into each team that none of the broadcast networks could come
close to. It would easily catapult CBS to the premier NFL network. I would really appreciate your thoughts on this proposal so that we
don't have to worry about horrible broadcasting, pointless insights,
and more Rich Gannon & Dan Dierdorf.
If the networks seriously cared about the viewing pleasure of the fans, they would consider something like this. Just as the cable news channels and networks embed young, up-and-coming, recent college grads with the presidential campaigns, they could do the same with college grads who served internships and want a paying job in sports. It would certainly be an economical way to do it.
OK, I only scratched the surface, but this is getting long by blog standards.
Again, please share you thoughts Sunday and Monday after next week's game, and tell me it is OK to use your full name if you want credit for it.