At some point, maybe in the last seven or eights years, we started covering those calling the games almost as much those playing them. In fact, you could argue that today’s broadcasters are vilified far more than most athletes. It has almost become cooler to go after Joe Buck, Joe Morgan, Dick Vitale and Tony Kornheiser than it is to attack the players who are half-assing their jobs or whining about contracts.
I realize I’m in the in minority here, but I can’t understand this trend at all. Why is it that we would rather Fire Joe Morgan than fire Big Papi or stop Brett Favre’s next comeback or ban Michael Vick from ever getting near a football field again?
These thoughts all came to mind Monday when I learned that Tony Kornheiser would be leaving the Monday Night Football booth and replaced by Jon Gruden, who will leave the very second the right coaching job comes his way. People didn’t like Kornheiser from the get-go so it seems like everyone is content with seeing him go. Apparently, he didn’t know enough about the intricacies of football.
But what I liked about Kornheiser was just that. I’m not the biggest football fan in the world so I liked his humorous take on things. But even if I was, I highly doubt that I’d be offended by the fact that he never played the game. I mean, I never played a professional sport and I still feel the need to blog and podcast about sports all the time. That’s true for virtually everyone who likes sports.
The truth is I don’t think I’ve ever not watched a big game because I didn’t like who was calling it. And I sure as hell wouldn’t start watching pro bowling if they had Al Michaels breaking down each frame.
There is no question that the best commentators can add to an already compelling game. I just don’t see how the bad ones make them any less interesting.