This is a very trivial issue, but on the other hand this is an eclectic blog.
Why are so many high-profile sports broadcasters so incredibly bad? OK, I’m sure broadcasting a sports event, like just about everything else in this world, is harder than it looks if you’ve never tried to do it. But I’m not asking why there aren’t more good broadcasters. That a certain number of people in a field, even near the top of a field, are going to be mediocre, boring, semi-competent, somewhat irritating . . . this goes without saying. What I’m asking is why a 21st century sports fan, watching a football or basketball game in glorious high-definition, should be subjected to, for example:
This babbling moron is a kind of Platonic archetype of the insufferable old white guy jock — constantly making utterly unfunny “jokes” that his somewhat less insufferable booth mates (usually Bob Griese, who used to be OK but is now mailing it in, and the intermittently competent Brad Nessler) feel obliged to laugh at and try to top, thus producing a kind of Moronic Convergence of irrelevant idiocy, that rises up between the viewer and the game like a noxious verbal fog. He also loves to point out extremely obvious things as if they were stunning insights, a.k.a. Tim McCarver Disease.
Once, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Vitale’s schtick was fresh and mildly entertaining. That was about four presidencies ago. Now he’s truly become the very definition of insufferable — splattering the screen of every broadcast with his non-stop verbal diaherria regarding Dick Vitale’s favorite coaches, how great Duke is, Dick Vitale’s favorite memories of something from the 1950s, Dick Vitale’s family album, the greatness of Coach K, Dick Vitale’s views on popular music, Dick Vitale’s opinions regarding the best team in the NFL — in short, almost any conceivable topic except something having to do with the actual game on the viewer’s screen, except for the perhaps 15% of the time when he remembers he’s supposed to say something about the game in front of him. Listening makes me want to root for a major terrorist incident to take place at his precise location on the planet.
35 years ago Monday Night Football had a cool for the time concept, when Cosell, Gifford and Meredith produced a weird but positive synergy. Since then, it’s been a slow decline into increasingly desperate attempts to recapture the freshness of that concept. I thought MNF couldn’t sink lower than Dennis Miller. I was wrong.
For God’s sake, somebody pull the plug already.