When you’re watching a sporting event, do you ever wonder what the people talking actually add to your knowledge? What entertainment value are they providing to the general viewing public? Did I just become dumber for having listened to that?
Commentators and sideline reporters have been around since the beginning of sport broadcasting. They are there to tell us what is happening, and to add excitement and their own personal flavor to the game. That is fine, if it is done correctly. Too often, I will be watching a game and think to myself, “What purpose does this prick serve to anyone?”
Some of the worst things that I hear are the ones that these people say on a routine basis. It is as if there is a list of buzz words and sayings that every broadcaster and sideline reporter receives, and feels like they have to use. Sideline reporters are the worst when it comes to this. If you are a sideline reporter and are not a pretty, skinny, blonde woman, chances are I hope you get fired in the next week. I’m looking at you, Holly Rowe.
Here’s a list of things of a few things sport broadcasters say and questions they ask, and how I would respond:
- “I think that the team that can score more points is going to come away with a win today!”
- Really? That’s how it’s going down in this one? Brilliant realization, Confucius.
- “Both teams are coming into this game playing to win.”
- I didn’t even think there was a possibility that one of these teams was playing to lose until you made me question their motivation.
- “Coach, what is your game plan for the second half?”
- This one gets asked at halftime of every sporting event, and usually gets a political response that sounds like, “We’re just gonna stick to our strategy and things will go our way later.” I would say, “Well, we’re down three, so our strategy clearly isn’t working. We’re scrapping the play book, firing the new guy, and stabbing our worst player in the leg. That’ll light a fire under everyone’s ass and will hopefully turn up the intensity for the second half. Gotta run to the locker room.”
- “In the live-ball era, the Yankees have drawn the most intentional walks out of any team in the AL on Saturday afternoon games played after the all-star break when the starting game temperature is above 94 degrees and the crowd is below 80% of the stadium’s capacity.”
- How the fuck is that a relevant stat? When you reduce the sample size down to 4 games, anyone can find meaningless statistics. I love Sabermetrics as much as the next baseball fan, but if I can’t fit the statistic into a tweet, chances are it is bullshit.
I understand that there is a lot of idle time that sportscasters need to fill, and often do with dumb statistics, repetitive highlights, and worthless observations. However, I have a better idea: why don’t networks take the money they are paying these talking heads and pay the best comedians and producers to make us laugh and amaze us during these breaks. If I have to hear another football broadcaster tell me about how it is the hottest/coldest/rainiest day in three weeks and how that is certainly going to affect gameplay, I’m going to punch a wall. That’s just stupid.