If you follow Twitter while watching a major sporting event, you will undoubtedly browse tweets that cut down the athletes, second guess the coaches, and mock the referees. However, there is a whole separate domain of tweets that are funneled at a certain group:
The broadcast team.
Go ahead and follow the hashtag of any televised athletic contest and you will read tweet upon tweet absolutely ripping the play-by-play and color analyst personnel. Some of the commentary from Twitter users about the commentary of the broadcast team can be downright ruthless. Forget the ire directed toward the participants on the field (players, coaches, officials), the real hatred that is served up in 140 character bombs is catapulted right at the broadcast booth.
Because I am a good American, I toss my fair share of ammunition as well. I loathe the work of Cris Collinsworth on NBC’s Football Night in America. I think he tries his very best to devalue the superb work of his partner Al Michaels by soiling it with his own arrogant drivel every single Sunday night during the NFL season. As much as I try to calm my thumbs, I end up tweeting a few gems each year blasting the incompetence of Collinsworth.
But I must concede that in the back of my head I know that I am being a jerk. In reality, the people who analyze the games in millions of living rooms each week have expertise and training. They know their stuff. Some viewers love them and some viewers hate them. Serving as a sports analyst, especially on a national stage, is a polarizing job. It just comes with the territory.
With that said, if a person is bothered by the play-by-play man or color analyst assigned to a game, who says they must subject themselves to the audio portion of the broadcast? We all know the age-old solution that all the blowhards say to their favorite local radio guy…When the game is on a major television network I mute those idiots and crank up my radio to listen to you!”
This is a time tested answer to the “annoying” national talent on the television but I think what I do is better.
I just mute the television period. Alternative broadcast be damned.
I do this for a few reasons. First, there isn’t a more objective way to watch a sporting event than in complete silence with no influence. When I watch people send out tweets, so many of them more or less regurgitate what the broadcast crew said. They don’t know it, but the color analyst they claim to hate is actually giving them all their material. The times that I watch a game in silence I am able to provide fresh insight that a million other people aren’t racing to send out.
I also tend to watch games in silence just because I can’t take the screams, the squeals, the catch phrases, and the back-and-forth of the play-by-play call. This right here is not a critique on these announcers, it is more of a shot directed at my nervous self. Sometimes when I watch one of my favorite teams play I am already enough on edge that I don’t need the stress and excitement from the people in the booth.
My final reason for muting broadcasts is just because these days I find myself multi-tasking when watching sporting events. I might be reading, blogging, or talking on the phone. I am more successful doing multiple items at once when there isn’t constant chatter in the background. I find myself doing as much busy work as possible when there is an NFL game on NBC.
I know watching a sporting broadcast in silence is not a new concept (especially if you go to sports bars). I am aware that a network actually experimented with it once before (although they still had the game sounds transmitted, they just didn’t have a broadcast crew). But I don’t know if everyone is aware that they can simply press a button to get rid of a broadcast booth nemesis. While I don’t recommend trying out this method for the Super Bowl, it might be something you consider doing during the NCAA Tournament. Just whatever you do, please don’t ever mute this blog. Don’t Blink.