Talk without speaking …

Thanks to the wonderful 21st century invention known as pausing and fast-forwarding through live TV, the Super Bowl blackout became a moot point. Instead, Chez Porvaznik wrapped up watching the recently purchased Led Zeppelin Celebration Day blu-ray which had been part of the pre-game festivities. As if we didn’t know we weren’t missing a damn thing of note at any point, though, and courtesy Deadspin, some of the many reasons why I’m a game-only guy. Please note some language not suitable for the little ‘uns.

This blackout should serve as the turning point, the moment in history when a network executive finally puts his foot down and says: “Why are we doing this? Why do we spend gobs and gobs of money on ex-players and ex-coaches who can’t fucking talk?” What is the point of Dan Marino? Seriously, WHAT IS THE [BLEEPING] POINT? If he were fired tomorrow, would you miss him at all? You probably wouldn’t even notice him until he knocked up your niece. A decade ago, The New York Times estimated that Marino makes $2 million a year from his broadcasting duties. That’s $2 million—more than 70 times the median annual wage in America—for nothing.

In fact, it’s less than nothing. For $2 million a year, you get Dan Marino clumsily attempting to justify the fact that he makes $2 million a year. There is a phony pomposity to virtually all pregame shows, in which the analysts present their empty opinions as scriptural pronouncements. But deep down, they must know that they’re eminently replaceable. They must know that they can and should be fired any second because they offer nothing of value. You can see that insecurity play out on pregame shows week after week in the form of strained laughter and guys going into three-point stances on tiny sections of studio FieldTurf. These are all men who must know they’re wasting your time, and must therefore inflate themselves on the air in order to hide that fact. Take it from someone who knows: The more that you suspect you’re a fraud, the louder you’ll talk.

9 comments to Talk without speaking …

  • Not just Dan Marino how about Shannon Sharpe. Can anyone understand what that dude is saying?

    I agree about the pre-game/halftime anytime shows = pomposity X infinity.

  • Raoul Ortega

    It’s the only feetball game I ever see, and that’s only because I’m there for the party with friends I see not often enough.

    What struck me, and others there at the party, was how there seemed to be no contingency plans, by either the NFL or the broadcasters. We joked, for example, about how they needed to show clips of previous in-game blackouts and delays. Towards the end, they finally did show one such clip, but that was it. With the game as lopsided as it was, I wonder just how many people tuned out after 20 minutes of inactivity, and never came back.

    Also, replays of the ads would have been welcome relief from the broadcast crew, even though most of the ads were their own form of drivel.

    (Also joked about how the national anthem wouldn’t have been as long if it had been done by Bleedin’ Gums Murphy.)

  • Texacalirose

    As I reported before, I did laundry during the blackout.


  • Dr. Schplatt

    I generally watch sports with the volume turned pretty far down. In Taiwan I watch channels like ASN or ESPN Asia, FOX sports Asia, etc. The cool thing is, my cable box has options of listening to the English announcer track, Chinese track, in some cases Korean or Japanese, but a lot of the games seem to have a bug where the announcer track is pulled from the game completely and all you have is player sounds, crowd noise, etc. I watched the Super Bowl on ESPN Asia and I turned off the announcers. It was awesome.

    • The announcer-less game they did back in the 80s (pretty sure the 80s, with I think the Jets playing someone as I recall — Colts? Patriots?), nothing but the players, refs and crowd noise one of the best experiments I wish they’d make an every game option. At least until they can resurrect Merlin Olsen and put him back in a booth with Dick Enberg.

  • Daniel Crandall

    Perhaps as a test before they’re put on the air, to see if they actually have anything to offer is to force them to do play-by-play – not color commentary – for a radio broadcast. If the likes of Marino or Sharpe or Lou Holt or any of these former athletes or coaches can’t do that … “NO SOUP FOR YOU!!!”

    I’m always amazed at the play-by-play done for radio on hockey games. Those are some sports broadcasters that really have to know what they’re doing.

    In fact, the same can be said for the football. I say, turn off the TV sound during the games and watch while listening to the radio broadcast.

    • Texacalirose

      “… turn off the TV sound during the games and watch while listening to the radio broadcast.”

      Kinda like Bouncy’s vocal renditions?? :)

  • Mrs.Make.Do

    Is this what they’re doing to The Morning Drive? (golf)
    Please say no.

  • This article (and the other linked): funny and spot-on.
    Kevin Harlan should’ve called this game (he did the CBS radio pbp), though he says he does prefer the radio side of it.
    What happened to Phil? He was pretty good when he started out — IIRC — is it the plastic surgery that screwed it all up?

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