When it comes to the boundless realm of awful sports broadcasting, I normally hold my reservations close. After all, it’s one of those jobs that everyone thinks they were born to do, if only their managerial post at Radio Shack didn’t curtail them along the way. Fact is, broadcasting is a very difficult job; trying to captivate an audience of denizens by filling two hours worth of game-time with inconsequential observations, light-hearted jabs at your colleagues, and useless factoids collected while eavesdropping during the team luncheon. Broadcasters know that at least 50% of those watching hate your guts and 100% of the losing team’s fans agree. Then think about how many games these people cover, and how arduous of a task it is to conjure up something riveting and original each time, allthewhile having to worry about not saying something offensive in the overly-sensitive world and losing your job on the spot. So I give them the benefit of the doubt for the most part. Even Pat Summerall, who sounds like he has to be awakened from deep slumber and force-fed Ensure just so he can sputter out a lifeless “touchdown Eagles.” After all, he’s somebody’s Granddaddy, and that’s both reassuring and precious.
But nary is the day that I will ever be able to sit through a Brent Musburger production ever again. The guy has exceeded tolerable and has now moved into downright disgusting territory. T’would be quite a different take if Musburger was simply not good at calling a game. He sucks at that too, but it’s his whole “self-righteous, holier-than-thou-haughtiness” which burns my cochlea. Every Musburger production comes equipped with a lecture, as if he wrote the book sports while receiving direct orders from God. Like his assessment of USC WR Dwayne Jarrett’s taunting of a Michigan defender in the Rose Bowl: “It is my only wish that number 8 act like the professional that he is, and just leave these antics at home. There is no place for this kind of behavior in football, and I’m serious about that.” Is that a threat, Brent? When did you notify Dwayne Jarrett that his car privileges for the month were terminated and he was to report directly to his room sans cake, to think about his awful deeds.
“Let me tell you something folks, I’ve been around this game of collegiate football a long, long time, and only three people have showed me that, without a doubt, they are truly a master of their craft. Those men are: the great Bear Bryant, Ara Parsegean, and that man right there, Charlie Weis.” It’s unnecessarily bold and incredulous statements like that which make me want to crawl through the TV and punch him in the stomach.
Now, I know it’s a broadcaster’s responsibility to keep viewers tuned in, even when the game has ceased having any worth. But Brent, come on, don’t placate us like we’re a bunch of kindergartners eagerly awaiting the end of the day and the start of an ice-cream social. “Whooooaaaa baby! This one is faaaaar from over folks. All Brady Quinn and his Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, a campus gently nestled in the glorious hills of South Bend, Indiana need now is a touchdown, an onside kick, a touchdown, another onside kick and a field goal.”
Or his inapt enthusiasm on plays void of all things enthused. “And this is a hiiiiiigh punt, Williams signals for the fair catch, lets it bounce over his head, AND WHOOAAA DOCTOR! The Tigers down it at the fiiiiiive! Mercy!” Yeah, it’s a punt Brent, we saw it too, and in now way does it warrant this kind of reaction.
The thing about Musburger that separates him from the throngs of fellow bad broadcasters, is you know he’s 10 times more unlikable out of the booth. I can see him in the drive thru at Wendy’s doing the same stuff. “Now hold the phone folks…I might want to try a combo but we’ll just have to wait and see.” 2 minutes pass… “Whooooaa baby, Iiiiii think I know what I waaaant. I’ll take the haaamburger. Hamburger for Musburger. It’s a match for the ages folks.” 5 minutes pass…“Yeaahhhh, this haaamburger has mayonnaise, lets double check, yes, Maaaayonaise, folks! Not what I ordered, you stupid piece of s***. Will you bring me my mayo-less sandwich in the next 30 seconds? You’ll just have to stay tuned to find out.”
I know this only beats a dead horse into the ground, but that is exactly what I want to do to this clown every Saturday.