How to Beat That Sports Announcer You Hate

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.

Brent’s Top Five For Monday

Good evening, readers! Thanks again for taking the time to check out Don’t Blink. I hope you all had great weekends and that Monday was not too rough on you. Well it is another one of those nights where I rather just touch on several different subjects instead of writing a long post on just one. So get ready, I am going to whip through five totally unrelated topics.

Monte Improves to 2-0: You bet I will be using my blog to fill you in on how Monte is doing in the 2013 Mascot Challenge throughout the three plus month competition…well, at least as long as he is still winning (kidding of course). This past week Monte soundly defeated Bucky the Badger from Wisconsin. I definitely thought the final tally would be closer but Monte won the vote 63% to 37%. Unfortunately, we might find ourselves on the other side of that outcome this week. Our bear is against Big Red from Western Kentucky and right now Monte trails 60% to 40%. But the week is young and I know Griz Nation will rally. Vote for Monte here and make sure to complete challenges by using the #CapitalOneMonte hash tag.

Weather Still Nice But Days Getting Shorter: It is mid-September and fortunately we are still getting some warm days in Missoula. I hope they stick around as long as possible. Some people wish for more “Fall-like” weather but no thank you! That just means the start of eight long months of cold, snow, and wind. However, the nice weather can’t hide the fact that the days are getting shorter. Today I woke up while it was still dark out, drove to work while the sun was rising, and left work with it already dark. I really don’t want to say goodbye to the warm weather and the long days.

Big Week At Work: What a week I got going at work! This first half of the week I am working long hours to prep myself for the events we have at the latter half. Thursday night we have our major basketball fundraiser, Friday night we have soccer and volleyball, Saturday afternoon we have football, and Saturday evening we have another volleyball match. With more on my plate than ever before it is going to be a very exhausting several days but after it is all said and done I will get that redeeming feeling of accomplishment. I love my job and I love doing my best for Griz Nation…can’t ask for much more than that.

Shakeup in the Booth: I watched all of the Sunday Night Football game yesterday and I watched the second half of tonight’s Monday Night Football game and it convinced even more of an idea I have had for the last few years. Can we please merge/cut NBC’s SNF announcing crew with ESPN’s MNF crew? From NBC we will save Al Michaels and give Cris Collinsworth the ax and then from ESPN we will let Mike Tirico go and keep Jon Gruden. Al Michaels does a fabulous job calling any sport under the sun and no analyst compares to the knowledge and character that Gruden brings to the booth. The Michaels-Gruden team would call both evening NFL games on Sunday and Monday and we could send Tirico and Collinsworth to Canada to call CFL games or something.

Amazing Sunrises/Sunsets Across the Country: Is it just me or did the whole nation experience beautiful skies this morning and this evening? Driving to work today I definitely got the joy of driving into a sky filled with amazing colors and judging by my Instagram feed so did seemingly everyone else both in Montana and in every other corner of the nation. Getting to admire the beauty of the sky this morning made me feel better starting off the long week and I hope it brought similar joy to others whether it was at the start or end of the day.


Have a great week everyone! Hope to talk to you a couple more times this week but can’t make any promises. Thanks again for taking time to read what I have to say, I appreciate it. Don’t Blink.