It's not that TBS' Chip Caray is necessarily an annoying play-by-play man -- though I couldn't believe my ears when he referred to Sunday night's ALCS Game 7 with the oh, really? term "pivotal" -- it's just that he's kind of generic. However much as Fox's Joe Buck might grate on some people (and I'm not one of them), no one would say his play-by-play just sort of lies there like a fried egg.
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It's not Cal Ripken Jr.'s fault that he's not Dennis Eckersley or Harold Reynolds, but the commentary from the latter two definitely stood out more in TBS' studio show. In particular, it's good to have Reynolds back on the national stage.
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A sampling of comments from Sunday's NFL studio shows, as provided by the networks:
Fox's Jay Glazer with an apparent "scoop": "Earlier this year, Brett Favre called the Detroit Lions, starting off with [former GM] Matt Millen and then the coaching staff and gave them a 90-minute dissertation on every single thing that the Green Bay Packers do on offense. It's his former team and he's calling a division opponent of a team that he has nothing to do with anymore. He just let loose all the family secrets."
NBC's (and Sports Illustrated's) Peter King with a "not so fast": "Favre text messaged me this afternoon before he went out to play the Oakland Raiders and said that was 'total B.S.' He vehemently denied the story. I also spoke to the Lions COO and he said, 'Our coaches are perplexed. There was no coaching of our coaching staff by Brett Favre.' "
NBC's Jerome Bettis on the Cowboys' DeMarcus Ware not playing the run: "He's sack-happy. You have to wonder if this individualism starting to creep into the defensive side. We know it's already on the offensive side. Or is it the scheme defensively? If either one of those are the case, this spells big trouble in Big D."
CBS' Bill Cowher on the Broncos: "America, listen to me, even Joe the Plumber can pass against this defense."
CBS' Boomer Esiason on the NFL's cracking down on some violent acts: "The NFL is concerned about negative PR. They go to great lengths and invest millions of dollars to try to teach coaches to teach young kids how to play the game correctly. They are consumed with The New York Times and USA Today and also the clips you might see on this network and other networks after the games are over. They don't want moms and dads saying to their kids go play soccer instead of football. There's a bigger picture here than just the game."
ESPN's Keyshawn Johnson on the Chargers: "They're like the stock market. One minute they're up, the next minute they're down. Week to week, you don't know exactly what you're getting in San Diego."
Fox's Howie Long on the tiresome issue of the Cowboys' Adam Jones: "Ask the average American if they would take a job that paid them over $1 million a year and all they had to do was not get arrested."
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What was the deal with the camera work during Saturday's Maryland-Wake Forest game? The main shot kept losing the ball or focusing too tightly on it and not giving us a perspective on the play. Has the Terps' inconsistent play this season seeped into the Raycom production? (But still enjoy that Doc Walker, though.)