Newsday’s Neil Best watched a lot of hoops last weekend, and he’d really appreciate it if the nation’s basketball announcers would “STOP YELLING AT ME, NOW!”
Give Gus Johnson (above) credit. He pulled off the TV feat of the week. Somehow he was able to call Sunday’s Knicks-Raptors matinee game on MSG after spending all day Saturday screaming so loudly in Lexington, Ky., that CBS should have yanked away his microphone and just flung open the doors of Rupp Arena.
As often happens when Johnson is excited, it was not clear precisely what he said after Ohio State’s Ron Lewis sank a tying three-pointer with two seconds left in regulation against Xavier. After a dozen listens, it might have been, “Makes it! Ooooh!”
It was reminiscent of his frothing at the mouth late in last year’s UCLA-Gonzaga regional final and after the Knicks’ David Lee tipped in a buzzer-beater in the second overtime against the Bobcats in December.
Johnson and Dan Bonner would have been better off conserving energy to discuss pertinent stuff such as whether Ohio State’s Greg Oden should have been called for an intentional foul in the final seconds.
Or why Xavier’s Sean Miller became the latest in a long line of college and pro coaches to commit hoops hara-kiri by refusing to foul an opponent with a three-point lead and the clock winding down. Sigh.
7 thoughts on “Best To Johnson : Screamo Is Soooo Nineties”
I love the Gus, and I’m not sure how I feel about those who don’t, but his announcing was actually kind of making me anxious much of the weekend. He started getting really wound up with like 10 minutes left in Tennessee/Virginia, and made me really nervous. Unless and until I start gambling on basketball, I’d prefer not to be pacing anxiously while watching a game in which I have no rooting interest.
There was a particular series of shouts where he just went over the top. “COLLEGE BASKETBALL! CBS SPORTS! THIS IS MARCH MADNESS! RUPP ARENA!” I’m sure he soiled his pants because it sure as hell freaked me out.
Asking an announcer to pay attention to minutiae like, I dunno, obvious fouls or stupid plays is asking way too much. Given that, I’ll take Gus’ cockeyed enthusiasm over the sub-Albertian gravitas of a CT School of Broadcasting dropout like Kevin Harlan, or Jim Nantz waxing the One Shining Moment tadpole. And given CBS’ penchant to screw the March Madness pooch by, I dunno, cutting away from the final 3 minutes of a 2-point game to show the waning moments of a 20-point blowout, I want and need Gus on that wall.
Tho I’d take 5 minutes of Sean McDonough’s incisive cynicism over the lot of them. Unfortunately, I think he’s burned every possible bridge there is in sports broadcasting, & is now relegated to doing play-by-play of caber tossing competitions for Fox Sports North Dakota. Sigh.
If I buy the finalfourfa.com domain, can someone host it?
I’m surprised no one’s taken the time to note the rank amateurism on display from James Brown this weekend, who sounded like he was calling the game while making a phone call at the same time: distracted, uncertain, occasionally non-sequitirial. True, it’s much easier when you’re behind the mic and have the intellectual crutches of Terry Bradshaw and Howie Long to fall back on, but these first round games pretty much announce themselves.
Peter, Terry Bradshaw is not a crutch. He’s a brain-damaged man-child. Respect that.
Brown was indeed terrible; the only broadcasters I cana say I enjoyed at all were Lundquist/Raftery in New Orleans (mostly because of Raftery) and my hometown NJ Nets team of Ian Eagle and Jimmy Spanarkel. Yeah, they’d be more at home talking about Kendall Gill or Kevin Edwards, but they also managed to get information across — and convey some excitement — without overselling anything. Also, I will use the phrase “sub-Albertian gravitas” out loud sometime today, that’s my word.
So. Dick Enberg. What’s up with that?