Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Friday, September 17, 2021

Remorseful Thom Brennaman deserves to work again now; He’s already suffered 14 months of hell

First, how are you holding up?

I’m a man of faith, I never get down on myself. I said to myself right away, this will be the start of better things for me. Yes, there are times I wish I was at the ballpark but you can’t agonize over it. If you do, you’re wasting your time.

How are you being treated in your hometown of Cincinnati?

If I’m in the grocery or getting a cup of coffee at the local convenient shop, 99% of those I bump into, I’ll hear, ‘We wish you were back, we miss you!’ Let’s say it’s even 90%. Are execs going to make a decision to appease the 10%?  Wouldn’t you listen to the massive 90%?

Moving on, Black representation among play-by-play broadcasters is alarmingly small. Only one of the 15 weekly NFL play-by-players is black. That’s a terrible under-representation. Whose fault is it?

We can all share the blame. There’s a need to build demand at a younger age. We’ve been involved with growing a communication department at our local high school here in the Cincinnati area. Let’s hope that it will attract more minorities into the business.

When I was working football for Fox, I was asked to work with Ron Pitts. The network was expecting new analysts and there was hope to move Ron to play-by-play. He did it for a while. But yes, there’s lots more work to be done so that play-by-play is more minority inclusive .

Football or baseball? Which do you miss more?

Football. I liked the broadcast team with which I worked. I loved Chris Spielman like my own brother.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 17, 2021 at 10:10 AM | 110 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: thom brennaman

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 
   1. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: September 17, 2021 at 10:33 AM (#6040064)
Deserves got nothing to do with it.
   2. Jon W Posted: September 17, 2021 at 10:38 AM (#6040065)
If I’m in the grocery or getting a cup of coffee at the local convenient shop, 99% of those I bump into, I’ll hear, ‘We wish you were back, we miss you!’


That does sound like hell.
   3. John DiFool2 Posted: September 17, 2021 at 10:50 AM (#6040067)
Oh, the poor thing.
   4. Tom Nawrocki Posted: September 17, 2021 at 10:53 AM (#6040069)
Moving on, Black representation among play-by-play broadcasters is alarmingly small. Only one of the 15 weekly NFL play-by-players is black. That’s a terrible under-representation. Whose fault is it?


"Well, David, I'd say it's mostly the fault of an industry that is so bad at identifying talent that they usually fall back on marginally talented nepotistic hires just to get a familiar name in the booth."
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 17, 2021 at 10:58 AM (#6040073)
There’s no defending the word I used in any form or fashion. I’ve owned up to it every second since.


Has he? He always seems to say something like "I don't know remember what the context of that comment was", and I think the context is pretty important too. "haha, that guy is a f**" is a lot different than "i hate that place, it's the f** capital of the world."
   6. reech Posted: September 17, 2021 at 11:07 AM (#6040077)
Thoughts and prayers
   7. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: September 17, 2021 at 11:15 AM (#6040078)
get #### on, thom.
   8. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 17, 2021 at 11:30 AM (#6040082)

“I’ve become a board member for a children’s home here in the Cincinnati area that’s utilized primarily for kids thrown out of their homes because they’re gay,” Brennaman told me. “I’ve come to understand their predicaments. Let me make it clear. I’m not doing this to check off any boxes. For over a year, my interaction with the LGBTQ community has made me a better and more understanding person. If there’s a way to right my wrong, I’m doing it and will continue to.”

...

I actually thought that Fox would be first. I explained to sports head Eric Shanks what I did, how I’ve cultivated relationships, how I’ve grown and more. But when my contract was up, Fox didn’t come through.


   9. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: September 17, 2021 at 11:31 AM (#6040083)
Perhaps this shouldn't matter, but he does not seem to fully appreciate the amount of advantage he received (receives?) for being Marty Brennaman's kid. At 22 years old, he is a network affiliate sports anchor in Cincinnati. At 24, he is doing Reds play-by-play with Johnny Bench. At age 30, he is doing play-by-play football and baseball at the national level for Fox.

If his last name is yours or mine, none of this is happening to him. Zero. He has made millions of dollars doing what a seemingly infinite number of people would do for relative peanuts - calling major college football, MLB, and NFL games since he was 22 years old. He is asking for a chance - but relative to literally almost everybody else, he has received more Day One opportunity. He is now 58 years old. He has always been...fine, as a play-by-play announcer. He is not somebody who has ever drawn me to a broadcast (the way Al Michaels has made lopsided games more watchable for 50 years), nor is he somebody who detracts from the viewing experience (say, the way a number of the ESPN MNF announcers have over the years).

But there is so much supply of talented younger announcers - including women and non-white broadcast journalists and announcers - relative to available slots, that the idea that Thom Brennaman should get a similarly high-profile broadcast job now because he "deserves a chance" is a non-starter. Are there other jobs in the sports media world that would pay him $200K a year to get back in the game at a regional level or something? Sure. (Sort of like when Brian Williams completely blew up his career as the NBC News anchor, and then had to take time off, and eventually rehabilitate his career with a backwater MSNBC program. Williams will never get back to where he was before just fabricating the news, but he got a chance to be humble and show he was legit and contrite, and he has done it, at a lower level of prestige and pay.)
   10. JRVJ Posted: September 17, 2021 at 11:31 AM (#6040084)
I had never heard of Mr. Brennaman before he became famous because of his incident.

I have no idea if he "deserves to work", but as a non-American, one thing that I don't understand about people who are disgraced due to public statements or actions is what's supposed to happen to them going forward.

Mr. Brennaman may be a dinosaur, but he's not Harvey Weinstein So it does beg the question of whether he should be kept from employment due to his racist comments until the end of his life (*), for an extra 5 years, for 2 more years, etc., provided he has shown to be contrite, does not double down on his comments and ideally, takes appropriate sensitivity courses and seminars.

(*) I make the appropriate proviso that Mr. Brennaman may be such a bad broadcaster that now that he's been off the air, there's no discernible reason for him to be brought back on air.
   11. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 17, 2021 at 11:37 AM (#6040088)

So it does beg the question of whether he should be kept from employment due to his racist comments until the end of his life


How do we know he has been kept from employment? Has he applied for any jobs? Like regular jobs, at the grocery store or something. Those jobs are plentiful, and he may be qualified to work at such a place.

Oh, he wants a highly-compensated national broadcasting job? He wants to be a celebrity again? Well, when your job is mostly to talk on the air and be seen, then you can permanently lose such a career for doing the kind of thing he did.
   12. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 17, 2021 at 11:40 AM (#6040091)
I think if you have a public profile job and you do something embarassing, you're always going to be "the guy that said f**" on the air, which really detracts from the job you're trying to do. No one's saying he can't ever be employed again, but he's not going to be able to do a broadcast without people thinking that immediately and having a reaction to it, so I don't see why any network would want to hire him. There are certainly lots of jobs where if you screw up big time, you can't really work at the top level of that industry anymore.
   13. geonose Posted: September 17, 2021 at 11:43 AM (#6040092)
I have only one experience with Thom Brennaman as a broadcaster, a Reds-Royals game some years ago. The entire game he referred to the Royals as the Brewers, called Alex Gordon "Eric Gordon" and Billy Butler was "Brett Butler," so "bad broadcaster" may apply.
   14. SoSH U at work Posted: September 17, 2021 at 11:48 AM (#6040094)
I'm sure he could get broadcasting gigs at lower levels, if he's willing to go the Brockmire route. Is he?
   15. Tom Nawrocki Posted: September 17, 2021 at 11:54 AM (#6040097)
So it does beg the question of whether he should be kept from employment due to his racist comments until the end of his life


"Kept from employment" is the wrong way to frame this. It's not as if the natural order of the universe is for Thom Brennaman to have a high-profile announcing gig, and other people have to take steps in order to prevent that from happening.

In order for Brennaman to get back to announcing, someone has to offer him a job doing it. It's certainly no surprise, and no great injustice, if that never happens.
   16. . Posted: September 17, 2021 at 11:57 AM (#6040098)
Fact check:

1. What Thom Brennaman said reflects much more closely on his actuality, and is significantly worse, than the typical one of these "offensive" statements matters. Were he to never broadcast again as recompense, it wouldn't be terribly unjust. It is a clearly and materially distinguishable situation from, say, Jack Morris's. Brennaman's remarks do in fact cut to the core of who he is and how and what he thinks. Can he redeem himself? I suppose in theory he could, but it would be extremely tough.

2. There's no sense in which Thom Brennaman is a bad announcer. He's not really my cup of tea, but in every dimension he's a national caliber announcer, at roughly the 2/3 level at which he's been in both Fox national baseball and Fox national football. He has major league pipes, beyond any serious gainsay.
   17. Lassus Posted: September 17, 2021 at 12:04 PM (#6040100)
It requires more than just the pipes. Rex Hudler has a great voice, too.
   18. JRVJ Posted: September 17, 2021 at 12:04 PM (#6040101)
11, Of course we're talking about a broadcasting job.

12, That's a fair enough point, and as 13 says (see below), being cromulent is not a good path for being brought back into the tent.

13, I certainly agree that if he's just a cromulent announcer, then his chances of getting rehired go down significantly.

15, You make a variation on 12's point, and yes, there's a chance he just doesn't get another contract because he's nothing special as a broadcaster.
   19. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 17, 2021 at 12:05 PM (#6040102)
Yeah, the bar is actually reasonably high for cancellation, I think, unless you're already the kind of guy that people have their guns out for. It's largely been forgotten that Keith Hernandez made a comment about women not belonging in the dugout 15 years ago, and now he's a beloved member of one of the most highly regarded booths in the game. Whatever you think of what Jack Morris said, he was suspended for a few games and now he's back in the booth.

I agree that what Brenneman said was worse than either of those.

I was going to say that I'm surprised he doesn't have a podcast, but then I read TFA and he does.
   20. . Posted: September 17, 2021 at 12:19 PM (#6040104)
It's largely been forgotten that Keith Hernandez made a comment about women not belonging in the dugout 15 years ago,


I'm not sure exactly what Hernandez said; that said, people really should keep in mind that these are extraordinarily finite jobs and that people that do hiring tend to be extremely risk-averse -- and rightly so, given the fact that there are typically dozens of qualified people for each job. If there's any sense in which you fear that your players won't respond to a woman manager (*), there's simply no reason empirically to take on that risk. I make no comment on the "fairness" of all that, but it is very much an empirical description of what very likely is happening. The reality is that a woman manager/coach would have to be clearly number 1 on the list, clearly ahead of the number 2 to actually get hired. It's hard to envision a situation in which that happens; there are essentially zero MLB managerial searches in which there's a clear 1, way ahead of 2. This is essentially where Becky Hammon is in basketball.

(*) Note here that I'm not making any comment on the quality of that player reaction. Players tend to be a bit fussy and retrograde and I'm not sure "I don't really prefer a woman managing me in the dugout" is really any different than crap like, "I pitch better when I know my role," or "I pitch better if I only pitch the ninth inning." If players revolt about their roles, typically the manager goes -- and that's stupid. But it's reality.
   21. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: September 17, 2021 at 12:20 PM (#6040106)
But there is so much supply of talented younger announcers - including women and non-white broadcast journalists and announcers - relative to available slots, that the idea that Thom Brennaman should get a similarly high-profile broadcast job now because he "deserves a chance" is a non-starter.


The Reds hired a guy named John Sadak to replace Brennaman. He's in his early 40s and was previously a minor league announcer (Wilmington Blue Rocks) and did a variety of other sports.

Nobody is going to confuse him for Vin Scully but he's been perfectly fine. Shows enthusiasm, comes prepared, and is generally pleasant to listen to. There have to be hundreds of guys like that, and almost none of them have been caught on a hot mic saying something as repulsive as what Thom B said.
   22. SoSH U at work Posted: September 17, 2021 at 12:29 PM (#6040107)
I'm not sure exactly what Hernandez said; that said, people really should keep in mind that these are extraordinarily finite jobs and that people that do hiring tend to be extremely risk-averse -- and rightly so, given the fact that there are typically dozens of qualified people for each job. If there's any sense in which you fear that your players won't respond to a woman manager (*), there's simply no reason empirically to take on that risk. I make no comment on the "fairness" of all that, but it is very much an empirical description of what very likely is happening. The reality is that a woman manager/coach would have to be clearly number 1 on the list, clearly ahead of the number 2 to actually get hired. It's hard to envision a situation in which that happens; there are essentially zero MLB managerial searches in which there's a clear 1, way ahead of 2. This is essentially where Becky Hammon is in basketball.


Yeah, that's not what happened. Keith saw a female member of the training staff of the Padres and lost his ####.

   23. . Posted: September 17, 2021 at 12:32 PM (#6040108)
That's kind of why I said ... you know ... "I'm not sure exactly what Hernandez said." Keith Hernandez is likely a sexist individual under both the true and woke definitions of the term and obviously when he played would quite likely not have responded well to a female manager. You might note that I touched on that kind of thing in my post.
   24. craigamazing Posted: September 17, 2021 at 12:46 PM (#6040110)
The victimhood is rich here. What Thom did was uniquely terrible in lack of judgment, stupidity and what it revealed about his character. Very rarely, you can step in it so deep that you completely deep-six your career. His credibility is shot.

Reminds me a bit of Mark Halperin...he was canned by MSNBC and when he tried to come back, people looked around and realized how unessential he was and the negligible value he had actually added to the political beat. So they reasonably determined he was not worth the trouble.
   25. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 17, 2021 at 12:52 PM (#6040113)

Yeah I don't want to relitigate the Hernandez comments. My point was he said something that he shouldn't have, yet he's still working today, people have largely forgotten about it, and Keith has generally managed to keep his foot out of his mouth in this respect, whether or not his actual views have changed.
   26. Mayor Blomberg Posted: September 17, 2021 at 01:28 PM (#6040119)
Halperin's apparently at Newsmax, which seems a fine fit. Maybe Thom can follow sukt.
   27. salvomania Posted: September 17, 2021 at 02:22 PM (#6040126)
He has always been...fine, as a play-by-play announcer

Fact check:
2. There's no sense in which Thom Brennaman is a bad announcer.

Thom Brennaman is one of the worst announcers I have ever heard, and one of the very few who I will literally turn off when he's doing a game because he's so bad.

For years the Cardinals had Al Hrabosky doing "analysis" and he was so awful that, although I'm a Cardinals fan, I would always turn my network feed to the opposing team's crew so I wouldn't have to listen to him. I learned about how good/bad other crews were; most of them were just fine, several were good, and I fell in love with the Mets crew.

But the only crew who I would not turn to was the Reds' crew, because Brennaman was the worst I have ever heard. Obnoxious amped-up "announcer" voice paired with insipid and downright stupid commentary. Glad he's gone, whatever the reason.
   28. Dolf Lucky Posted: September 17, 2021 at 02:24 PM (#6040127)
The Reds hired a guy named John Sadak to replace Brennaman. He's in his early 40s and was previously a minor league announcer (Wilmington Blue Rocks) and did a variety of other sports.

Nobody is going to confuse him for Vin Scully but he's been perfectly fine. Shows enthusiasm, comes prepared, and is generally pleasant to listen to. There have to be hundreds of guys like that, and almost none of them have been caught on a hot mic saying something as repulsive as what Thom B said.


My reaction has been very different. As obnoxious as Brennaman was, Sadak comes across worse to me. His voice is grating, he shouts out enthusiastically WAYYYY too much, and he insists on inserting sabr-babble in an overly forced manner.

In the most exciting Reds season in a decade, I've taken to listening to the radio or watching with the sound off. As I told a friend, only the Reds could fire Brennaman and end up with a worse booth. (Adding to the issue is the sad fact that Larkin is gawdawful)
   29. villageidiom Posted: September 17, 2021 at 03:25 PM (#6040137)
There are, I'm going to guess, over 10,000 people who could serve capably in a MLB play-by-play role. Thom Brennaman was fortunate to have been one of effectively 30 people who were entrusted with the job, and he demonstrated that he's not to be trusted with the role. There is no reason to give him another opportunity ahead of any of the other 9,970+ people who could serve capably but have not had the opportunity.

Some people miss him? Well, some people miss Red Barber, too, or Mel Allen, or Curt Gowdy, or Harry Kalas. Give someone else an opportunity to be someone you'll miss after they're gone.
   30. Karl from NY Posted: September 17, 2021 at 03:28 PM (#6040138)
If players revolt about their roles, typically the manager goes -- and that's stupid. But it's reality.

Yup. If your players are sexist and don't want to work for a woman, that's bad, sure, but what is an organization supposed to do about it?

1. Fire your players and limit yourself to hiring only non-sexist ones

2. Force a woman they don't want on them anyway

3. Just hire a man instead

Which of those three do you think is going to give the best outcome of players succeeding?
   31. JJ1986 Posted: September 17, 2021 at 04:18 PM (#6040144)
Just imagine being so bothered by the idea of a female coach that you will argue against it even when no is arguing for it.
   32. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: September 17, 2021 at 04:28 PM (#6040147)
fun fact about the guy who conducted this interview and wrote this article:
That stream sent him crashing over the rhetorical falls when he ad-libbed what he says was intended as a compliment to the Heat’s John Crotty, a journeyman guard from the University of Virginia.

Halberstam went adrift when he said the university’s founder, Thomas Jefferson, would have “been proud” of Crotty’s play and if basketball had existed then, “those slaves working at Thomas Jefferson’s farm I’m sure would have made good basketball players.”

Halberstam said he meant to convey that blacks would have succeeded in basketball or any chosen profession if they had been allowed into mainstream society in Jefferson’s day.
   33. . . . . . . Posted: September 17, 2021 at 05:08 PM (#6040152)
One time, I got caught smuggling pizza into school to resell. When the school found out, they banned me from coming to the winter dance. I complained how unfair this was to my father, and he told me: "######s complain about how unfair life is." I think Thom knows what word he used.
   34. cardsfanboy Posted: September 17, 2021 at 06:05 PM (#6040171)
Go to the minors and start earning your way to the majors just like everyone else, with your name, you'll have no problem getting a job as a minor league announcer, the fact that anyone thinks this hack should be a major league announcer is ridiculous, regardless of why he lost his job, his dad was utter garbage at the job, he wasn't any better, both are relying on legacies to even have a job. Go earn it.
   35. Rob_Wood Posted: September 17, 2021 at 11:05 PM (#6040221)
He is one of the worst announcers I have ever heard.
   36. Walt Davis Posted: September 18, 2021 at 02:40 AM (#6040247)
Semi non-sequiturly: I am always amazed by some of these Olympic announcers. I stumbled across some random joe, covering something like women's team handball -- I'm assuming a sport that he didn't regularly broadcast -- and eh was keeping up with the action, doing a bit of analysis (which might have been nonense given what I know about whatever sport it was) and rattling off all these Eatern European names with no worries. I don't know how anybody could be that good at something like that, even if they do have a producer in their ear feeding them stuff.
   37. TJ Posted: September 18, 2021 at 07:16 AM (#6040250)
The writer of this piece of butt-sucking tripe is named David J. (no, not THAT David Halberstam, who perished in a car accident some years ago). This strikes me as the literary equivalent of former Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Bob Gibson, who Bill James thought should be required to change his name for damaging the baseball history of the name “Bob Gibson”. I would suggest Halberstam go with “Dave”. Or perhaps “Davey”. Maybe “Davy Boy” or DJ”.
   38. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: September 18, 2021 at 08:10 AM (#6040251)
Semi non-sequiturly: I am always amazed by some of these Olympic announcers. I stumbled across some random joe, covering something like women's team handball -- I'm assuming a sport that he didn't regularly broadcast -- and eh was keeping up with the action, doing a bit of analysis (which might have been nonense given what I know about whatever sport it was) and rattling off all these Eatern European names with no worries. I don't know how anybody could be that good at something like that, even if they do have a producer in their ear feeding them stuff.

so, w/r/t NBC's olympics wrestling coverage, their announce team featured john smith (1988 and 1992 olympic gold medalist and current wrestling coach at oklahoma state) and jordan burroughs (2012 olympic gold medalist; 2016 olympic bronze medalist). these are not "random joes", these are people who live and breathe and bleed their sport.

i would be shocked if NBC didn't have a similarly high standard for other sports.
   39. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 18, 2021 at 09:56 AM (#6040257)
I'm always impressed by football announcers -- the back takes the ball, runs up the middle into a pile of bodies, the announcer says 'tackled by Elijah Rhodes'. I can't even tell what jersey actually brought him down, let alone know the name of the player belonging to that number off the top of my head.
   40. pikepredator Posted: September 18, 2021 at 10:51 AM (#6040262)
I somehow found the Murray vs. Djokovic 2012 US Open final on the radio while I was driving on a work trip and listened to the a decent chunk of the first two sets before stopping at a bar to watch the rest of the match once I lost reception. I was crazy impressed by the guy doing the play-by-play but it also made my brain exhausted trying to keep up with the action in my mind's eye.
   41. Tom Nawrocki Posted: September 18, 2021 at 11:13 AM (#6040264)
I'm always impressed by football announcers -- the back takes the ball, runs up the middle into a pile of bodies, the announcer says 'tackled by Elijah Rhodes'. I can't even tell what jersey actually brought him down, let alone know the name of the player belonging to that number off the top of my head.


They do have a spotter up there in the booth with them whose only job is to watch for things like who just made that tackle. Al Michaels doesn't have to figure out those things on his own.
   42. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 18, 2021 at 11:36 AM (#6040266)
Yeah, the Olympic announcers are usually former competitors or coaches with expertise in the sport. It’s more impressive that they are as good as they are behind the mic, something I would be terrible at, than that they know their sport well.

That being said, if you go online you can find people who know the sports well, complaining about and praising the coverage, too. Just like with baseball announcing.
   43. Karl from NY Posted: September 18, 2021 at 12:21 PM (#6040271)
There's also observation bias there. They don't accurately spot the tackler on every play. You just don't hear anything when they don't; you only observe the cases where they do.
   44. Captain Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: September 19, 2021 at 05:56 PM (#6040432)
I have only one experience with Thom Brennaman as a broadcaster, a Reds-Royals game some years ago. The entire game he referred to the Royals as the Brewers, called Alex Gordon "Eric Gordon" and Billy Butler was "Brett Butler," so "bad broadcaster" may apply.



Nobody corrected him? He had bad producer/directors, then.
   45. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 19, 2021 at 08:07 PM (#6040451)
They do have a spotter up there in the booth with them whose only job is to watch for things like who just made that tackle. Al Michaels doesn't have to figure out those things on his own.

While they do have spotters, what I find amazing is that announcers can talk to the audience while listening to the spotters and producers in their ear piece at the same time. I couldn't pull off any of that stuff.
   46. Walt Davis Posted: September 19, 2021 at 08:12 PM (#6040453)
so, w/r/t NBC's olympics wrestling coverage, their announce team featured john smith (1988 and 1992 olympic gold medalist and current wrestling coach at oklahoma state) and jordan burroughs (2012 olympic gold medalist; 2016 olympic bronze medalist). these are not "random joes", these are people who live and breathe and bleed their sport.

1. Were they doing play by play or analysis? 2. Wrestling is much easier to do play-by-play for since it's 1-on-1 as opposed to a team sport where possession of the ball is constantly changing hands and you've got to keep track of 10+ names in real time. It's certainly true that they (nearly) always have people who played/coached the sport as analysts, not so much as PBP.

As it is, NBC's team handball coverage was Matt Winer, a basketball announcer, Dawn Allinger Lewis, a former player, and a Brit named Paul Pray who is indeed the Dean of handball announcers. Now (1) I don't recall whether I was actually watching team handball but (2) I wasn't hearing a British accent. Also Winer is listed as "NBC: Play by play" while Pray was ("OBS")

The PBP guy for wrestling was Jason Knapp. The guys you mention were the color commentators. Knapp has done PBP for wrestling, curling, swimming, beach volleyball, shooting, archery and judo across the last 5 Olympics and has apparently done a bit of everything for virtually every college sport for CBS (I assume their online stuff mainly). His Wiki page needs updating.

Play-by-play is a profession in its own right. It shouldn't be confused with color commentary. It is quite common for PBP guys to move pretty seamlessly across sports. It requires a talent I find difficult to comprehend.
   47. Howie Menckel Posted: September 19, 2021 at 09:25 PM (#6040464)
I know a number of play-by-play "Renaissance men" across numerous sports.

aside from what already has been mentioned, it's not like they are busy fighting fires or completing audits or selling cars as their main gig. this is, work-wise, basically all they do.

I say this not to diminish their undeniable skills. it's more that having dozens of well-paid hours over many weeks to learn about, well, anything kind of helps.
   48. Brian C Posted: September 19, 2021 at 10:07 PM (#6040469)
I remember reading an interview with Verne Lundquist back in the day where he mentioned that he would rehearse saying players' names during his morning walks. Thought it was a fun little glimpse behind the curtain, so to speak. I don't think Harry Caray did that.
   49. dejarouehg Posted: September 20, 2021 at 09:40 AM (#6040486)
There are, I'm going to guess, over 10,000 people who could serve capably in a MLB play-by-play role.


If you want to argue that nepotism/name recognition plays too great a role in these gigs, fine. However, you're delusional if you think there are 10,000 Marv Alberts, Gary Cohens, Doc Emricks (IMO, the best in the last 30 years even though I rarely watch hockey), Bob Costas or Verne Lundquists out there. (There surely are that many drunken louts like Harry Caray who know enough about sports to slur through a few hours of banter.)

Like many other endeavors, the really good ones make it look easy, but few things that pay that well are that easy. (I'm talking PBP - analysts not as much but they tend to be a little more transient anyway.) Try speaking spontaneously for 3 hours and see how well you do.

   50. Eddie Gaedel Posted: September 20, 2021 at 10:38 AM (#6040495)
Does Brennaman deserve a second chance more than thousands of equal-or-better announcers deserve a first chance?
   51. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 20, 2021 at 11:16 AM (#6040499)

If you want to argue that nepotism/name recognition plays too great a role in these gigs, fine. However, you're delusional if you think there are 10,000 Marv Alberts, Gary Cohens, Doc Emricks (IMO, the best in the last 30 years even though I rarely watch hockey), Bob Costas or Verne Lundquists out there.


I mean those are the best in the biz. There are also people like Steve Physioc that have jobs, and I'm pretty confident there are thousands of people that could get names wrong, misjudge a pop fly for a deep flyball, and recount boring stories from the 80s.
   52. dejarouehg Posted: September 20, 2021 at 11:50 AM (#6040504)
recount boring stories from the 80s.


Sorry - no idea who you are referring to and yes, I did pick out the cream of the crop. This was purely to illustrate the fact that even though the level of skillset isn't apparent to the viewer, to be one of the elite - USUALLY - requires some unique talent, excluding any announcer with the last name of Caray. (I figure they all must have some compromising information on their bosses to get their gigs. Holy crap do/did they suck, although at least Harry had that common man, beer-drinking b.s. shtick going for him.)

When I first started watching baseball in the early 70's, I loved hearing announcers (usually Kiner or Rizzuto) tell stories about Mantle, Greenberg, Hodges, etc. Given all the downtime in baseball, I think part of the critical skillset of the announcing crew - and this is clearly borne out by Cohen, Darling and Hernandez - is talking non-game-related baseball and much of that is "the good old days." Of course, you are correct that there are no shortage of people who could do a lousy job. (Steve Albert and Lorn Brown come to mind as well.)
   53. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: September 20, 2021 at 12:15 PM (#6040507)
Being a good announcer, like so many things, is difficult. But people like Brenaman, Chip Caray and many others get their foot in the door because of their last name. They are not any better (or in fairness worse) than many many many of the people doing Portland Seadogs games. Brennaman got his chance, used it, blew it. That sucks for him but why on earth would any team hire someone with even a hint of negative PR coming when they could get someone equally as talented that doesn't have any negative connotation.
   54. Mike A Posted: September 20, 2021 at 12:16 PM (#6040508)
Never really understood the Harry appeal, but I caught him later in his career when he was struggling to pronounce 'Klesko.'

I mostly liked Skip, though. He was a smart-ass who was entertaining when the team on the field was...not so entertaining.

Chip...I just can't. I can't.
   55. . Posted: September 20, 2021 at 12:44 PM (#6040513)
The problem with the internet is that true things then get talked about and then they get wildly overstated as people try to outbid each other.

No issue if Thom Brennaman doesn't get back in. There aren't anything close to "thousands" of announcers who are just as good.(*) The reason Brennaman doesn't get back in has nothing to do with his replaceability anyway. If Costas or Cohen said what Brennaman said, in the context and manner in which he said it, they shouldn't necessarily get back in either.(**)

(*) Steve Physioc is a major league announcer, there are 1,000 guys just as good, Thom Brennaman is a major league announcer, therefore there are 1,000 guys just as good ... logical fail.

(**) There's no reason to think they would in any event, since Brennaman said it in the context and manner in which he said it because he detests gay people.
   56. bunyon Posted: September 20, 2021 at 12:45 PM (#6040514)
Saying there are 10,000 Americans who could do the job is not saying it's easy. That's 0.003% of the population. Pretty elite. The idea that there aren't 10,000 people who could do what Thom Brennaman did is the crazy thing. He got in because of his name. Others get lucky breaks. Yes, it's a difficult job, but it isn't one in a billion talent.

Whether there are 10, 1000, 10000, or a million people who could do the job, there are some who can and who don't bring his current baggage. He had a great gig for a long time. He should be financially set for life. I hope he enjoys his retirement and reflects on how lucky he's been in life. If he chooses to live out his days "in hell", that's on him.


That goes for the rest of us, by the way. We're probably all decent to good at our jobs. But we caught a bunch of breaks to get there and could be easily replaced without notice. Be a little humble. And don't call people slurs.
   57. Perry Posted: September 20, 2021 at 01:56 PM (#6040533)
I say this not to diminish their undeniable skills. it's more that having dozens of well-paid hours over many weeks to learn about, well, anything kind of helps.


I first heard Bob Costas when he was like 23 years old, doing radio for the Spirits of St. Louis ABA team. I already thought he was great the first time I heard him, but one day Dan Kelly, the Blues' radio voice, got delayed by weather returning from calling a Mizzou football game IIRC, and Costas stepped in with no notice and did the Blues game. I can't imagine calling hockey on the radio under any circumstances, but that just blew my mind. And of course he totally nailed it, he was Bob Costas, even at 23.

Never really understood the Harry appeal, but I caught him later in his career when he was struggling to pronounce 'Klesko.'


He was really, really good in his prime with the Cardinals and even the White Sox, as good as any baseball announcer ever. Well past it by his Cubs years.
   58. . Posted: September 20, 2021 at 01:59 PM (#6040534)
Bob Costas did some Big Ten basketball games in 1980 and 1981 that I saw. It was obvious even from that where he was heading.
   59. greenback used to say live and let live Posted: September 20, 2021 at 02:19 PM (#6040538)
And of course he totally nailed it, he was Bob Costas, even at 23.

BITD Costas-Kubek was better than Scully-Garagiola, and everybody knew it.
   60. bunyon Posted: September 20, 2021 at 02:42 PM (#6040544)
Yeah, saying only two or three other people could be Bob Costas is accurate. Very view highly paid pro announcers are Bob Costas.
   61. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: September 20, 2021 at 08:14 PM (#6040606)
(Y)ou're delusional if you think there are 10,000 Marv Alberts, Gary Cohens, Doc Emricks (...) Bob Costas(es) or Verne Lundquists out there.

Like many other endeavors, the really good ones make it look easy, but few things that pay that well are that easy.


Exactly right. I called HS football games for 30 years, and plenty of people told me that I was just as good as the guys doing NFL games. I just shook my head.
   62. villageidiom Posted: September 21, 2021 at 08:12 AM (#6040646)
If you want to argue that nepotism/name recognition plays too great a role in these gigs, fine. However, you're delusional if you think there are 10,000 Marv Alberts, Gary Cohens, Doc Emricks (IMO, the best in the last 30 years even though I rarely watch hockey), Bob Costas or Verne Lundquists out there.
Thankfully your strawman is not close to what I said. Like, Thom Brennaman isn't even close to those guys.

For starters, I'm sure there are at least 5,000 women who could serve capably in a MLB PBP role.

Try speaking spontaneously for 3 hours and see how well you do.
If for 2 hours and 45 minutes of that I'm describing events unfolding in front of me or reading ad copy or prompting someone else to talk, easy peasy.

There are absolutely difficult parts of the job. For me it would be having to talk while also listening to someone else talking in my earpiece. That's why I couldn't do the job. But... Talking? About stuff happening right in front of me? Sure.

I called HS football games for 30 years, and plenty of people told me that I was just as good as the guys doing NFL games. I just shook my head.
The NFL guys have a whole squadron of people helping them call the game. Al Michaels has a huge grid of players' names and numbers in front of him, with someone else having the job to point to the name of the player who made the tackle so Michaels knows what to say. You're not as good as the NFL guys, but, like, if the NFL guys were calling HS football they wouldn't be as good as the NFL guys, either.
   63. villageidiom Posted: September 21, 2021 at 08:22 AM (#6040647)
I mean, *Howard Cosell* was capable of calling MLB games, with basically no training. And that's just staying in the "old white American men" category.
   64. villageidiom Posted: September 21, 2021 at 08:24 AM (#6040650)
I mean, *Howard Cosell* was capable of calling MLB games, with basically no training. And that's just staying in the "old white American men" category.
   65. bunyon Posted: September 21, 2021 at 08:53 AM (#6040653)
And, again, 10,000 is NOT a large number.

There are probably more people who could be a US Senator as well as the current 100. Make of that what you will.

But the idea that only a handful of people could do what is, really, a fairly ordinary job, pervades all of Western society and it's BS. Maybe only a handful could be transcendent at that job, sure. But just be cromulent? Loads of folks can do that.

   66. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: September 21, 2021 at 09:09 AM (#6040658)
There are probably more people who could be a US Senator as well as the current 100. Make of that what you will.


William Buckley famously said that he would rather be governed by the first 100 people in the phone book than the US Senate. He wasn't wrong.
   67. bunyon Posted: September 21, 2021 at 09:24 AM (#6040660)
I'd rather hear a random person from a google search call a game than Thom Brennamen. So I see where ol' Bill is coming from.
   68. bunyon Posted: September 21, 2021 at 09:26 AM (#6040661)
Also, I get that announcers need to make a living around the year, but I hate average multi sport guys. I could listen to Al Michaels and Bob Costas call just about anything. But, in general, I like an announcer who loves the sport he's calling. There are too many MLB guys who clearly would rather be doing the NFL or college football. Which is fine. They should go do that.
   69. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 21, 2021 at 10:02 AM (#6040672)

Like many other endeavors, the really good ones make it look easy, but few things that pay that well are that easy.


There are lots of things that are not 'easy'. Comforting a dying cancer patient at 2 am when they are in pain isn't easy, and it doesn't pay well at all. Saying there are people (even 10,000 people) who could do that job isn't saying the job is easy. As the saying goes, the graveyards are full of indispensible people.


But the idea that only a handful of people could do what is, really, a fairly ordinary job, pervades all of Western society and it's BS. Maybe only a handful could be transcendent at that job, sure. But just be cromulent? Loads of folks can do that.


I think it's part of a worldview that everyone has a calling, and what they end up doing is (usually) what they are 'intended' to do. And that if you lack that calling, or if God doesn't want you to do it, you'll not be able to or will be no good at it.

That was more understandable in a world in which a person could hold the same job, or at least work at the same company, for decades until they retired. Less so in a gig economy where the average person goes through 10-20 jobs over the course of their life.
   70. Eddo Posted: September 21, 2021 at 10:36 AM (#6040676)
There are lots of things that are not 'easy'. Comforting a dying cancer patient at 2 am when they are in pain isn't easy, and it doesn't pay well at all. Saying there are people (even 10,000 people) who could do that job isn't saying the job is easy. As the saying goes, the graveyards are full of indispensible people.

Also, 10,000 is not that many. I randomly looked up how many orthopedic surgeons - which I don't think anyone would say is an easy job - there are in the US, and every source I found said there were at least 20,000. (I repeated for neurosurgeon, and that is lower, but still over 3,000.) So I think that yes, there are easily 10,000 people in the US who could call a baseball game.
   71. jmurph Posted: September 21, 2021 at 10:45 AM (#6040678)
It's difficult to find average salaries for these guys? Obviously the big name network/major sport guys make a ton of money. But what does someone working in minor league baseball or small time college football broadcasting make for 10-20 years until (and if) they make the big time?

I'm just thinking about this: anyone who has ever worked for a very large company has probably encountered a colleague who MCs all the big all staff meetings or whatever, with a great voice, and someone always jokingly tells them they should be a TV news anchor or broadcaster (I can think of three specific people who fit the bill from my only job in a large corporate setting), but I'm reasonably sure all of those people are making a ton more money in the corporate world than they could make as mid-career, small time sports broadcasters. And their jobs are more secure and don't involve non-glamorous travel to minor league sports cities.

(EDIT: This is my long-winded way of saying the 10,000 number is probably on the low end, it's just that the vast majority of those who are capable wouldn't have any interest.)
   72. dejarouehg Posted: September 21, 2021 at 10:59 AM (#6040679)
This is my long-winded way of saying the 10,000 number is probably on the low end


That should make all those kids who spent all that money (or their parents') to go to Newhouse feel much better, since they don't all get these jobs. (This, in no way is an argument against the rampant nepotism.)

MiLB broadcasters don't make much and are usually obligated to do other team-related tasks.
   73. dejarouehg Posted: September 21, 2021 at 11:02 AM (#6040680)
I mean, *Howard Cosell* was capable of calling MLB games, with basically no training. And that's just staying in the "old white American men" category.


No, Cosell was actually dreadful at MLB (and NFL for that matter) and he didn't call games, he usually just interrupted the PBP man whenever he felt the need to opine. He did, however, draw eyeballs to the set.

As for no training, you clearly know nothing of Cosell......but he was a white man, so you get points for that.
   74. Perry Posted: September 21, 2021 at 11:17 AM (#6040682)
On the other hand, I've heard Cosell call boxing matches, and he was really great at it (with the caveats that it was a long time ago and I know nothing about boxing).
   75. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: September 21, 2021 at 12:05 PM (#6040693)
irrespective of why brennaman was let go, i feel comfortable calling him below replacement level as a baseball broadcaster - there are soooo few openings from year to year and some interesting ones working outside mlb.

10,000? no, not 10,000. whatever on the number, though - any estimate here would be meaningless.

bunyon - i wanna co-sign your post 56.
   76. . . . . . . Posted: September 21, 2021 at 01:34 PM (#6040717)
About 20 years ago, I was lucky enough to spend a couple of periods in the booth with Sam Rosen and John Davidson calling a NY Rangers game. They were generally regarded as among the best in the business.

It was a ton of work, they’d spent a ton of time preparing, Davidson had an almost-encyclopedic knowledge of the sport (only a portion of which, Uncle Milty style, he showed on the air).

Whether 10,000 or 1,000 or 100,000 people could do what they did is, IMO, basically semantics. It’s a number much larger than the available jobs, and that’s all that matters. But that doesn’t mean the job isn’t incredibly demanding and difficult, if you care about doing it well.
   77. Ron J Posted: September 21, 2021 at 02:08 PM (#6040729)
#76 Jim Hughson didn't like to do baseball (or any sport outside of hockey) even though his various employers have wanted to use him more. He prepares well, enjoys sports (always a plus) and has a great voice.

Thing is it bugs him that he doesn't have the depth of knowledge about baseball that he does about hockey. He's a hockey lifer and he knows who coached the winger on the 4th line in junior hockey and has probably talked with that coach about that player. No amount of gameday prep makes up for that.

And it's my impression that most of the hockey announcers are equally knowledgeable about the game. It's fascinating to listen to the various talking heads fill time on deadline day.

I don't get the sense that Brennaman is that level of prepared. This incidentally is the difference between Cosell on boxing and Cosell on other sports. He knew boxing. He really liked boxing and somebody who's actually into their subject is almost always more engaging.
   78. Gary Truth Serum Posted: September 21, 2021 at 03:53 PM (#6040753)
I mean, *Howard Cosell* was capable of calling MLB games, with basically no training. And that's just staying in the "old white American men" category.


No, Cosell was actually dreadful at MLB (and NFL for that matter) and he didn't call games, he usually just interrupted the PBP man whenever he felt the need to opine. He did, however, draw eyeballs to the set.

As for no training, you clearly know nothing of Cosell......but he was a white man, so you get points for that.

Cosell was the type of announcer who is now extinct in that he didn't do play-by-play (aside from boxing) and he wasn't a former athlete or coach doing analysis (a point he lectured us about with his book "I Never Played the Game"). He was the third guy in the booth who used his recognition and oratorical skills to draw attention to the telecast. That hasn't been tried since ESPN ended the Tony Kornheiser experiment on Monday Night Football in 2009.

The only time I ever heard him doing play-by-play for team sports was during a skit on one of Jonathan Winters's comedy specials. It was pretty apparent this was not his usual type of work.
   79. base ball chick Posted: September 21, 2021 at 04:05 PM (#6040755)
brennaman does NOT "deserve" a major league broadcasting job. He's AWFUL. and he has not been banned - he could be hired by any team, but can't think of why

some guys are great - jim deshaeis, bill brown. some guys are lousy (the 2 guys the astros brought in to, um, add to the senile milo hamilton who was kept like 10 years after his sell by date) or hawk harrelson or fp santangelo or that jerk on the nats (i think it's nats) broadcast

i don't know if there are 10K other people who could do a ML quality broadcasting job, but i am positive there are plenty better than brennaman. i refused to listen to the reds broadcast of double brennaman and the "cowboy" - yucky

i listened to about 15 minutes of some old broadcast with howard cosell and all i can say is that i can't possibly be the only person who heard that voice who wanted to punch him in the mouth. i'm surprised he knew a basketball from a baseball. no idea how he was at any other sport because i don't care about any other sport

bob costas is elite inner circle HOF baseball announcer

   80. SoSH U at work Posted: September 21, 2021 at 04:37 PM (#6040760)
That hasn't been tried since ESPN ended the Tony Kornheiser experiment on Monday Night Football in 2009.


It's funny, but when you mention Kornheiser following the earlier description of Cosell's role, the Dennis Miller experiment doesn't seem as out of place. All were inhabiting that non-PBP/non analyst role that seems unique to MNF.

   81. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: September 21, 2021 at 05:20 PM (#6040766)
I've never been a particular fan of Cosell's, but you could argue he belongs in the Football Hall of Fame (he was inducted into the TV HOF in 1994).
   82. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 21, 2021 at 05:28 PM (#6040769)

Whether 10,000 or 1,000 or 100,000 people could do what they did is, IMO, basically semantics. It’s a number much larger than the available jobs, and that’s all that matters. But that doesn’t mean the job isn’t incredibly demanding and difficult, if you care about doing it well.


A job/position can be something that is difficult/requires skill/work/etc. to do well, and also be something that you got a leg up on. Brennaman has talent, but he also has connections. Other people have talent but no connections. Saying that Brennaman got where he is because of connections is not to deny the presence of talent, great or small we can debate later.
   83. dejarouehg Posted: September 21, 2021 at 07:44 PM (#6040792)
The only time I ever heard him doing play-by-play for team sports was during a skit on one of Jonathan Winters's comedy specials.
Also on The Odd Couple.

i listened to about 15 minutes of some old broadcast with howard cosell and all i can say is that i can't possibly be the only person who heard that voice who wanted to punch him in the mouth. i'm surprised he knew a basketball from a baseball.


Yes, his voice was incredibly annoying and I found him to be a nuisance. That said, you can not question his general intelligence and no 20th century broadcaster comes close to Cosell in his pro-civil rights positions or his pursuit/promotion of sports journalism, if that matters to anyone. (Or, being an egotistical self-promoter, narcissistic d-bag. Just trying to be fair and balanced.)
   84. jmurph Posted: September 22, 2021 at 08:11 AM (#6040865)
A job/position can be something that is difficult/requires skill/work/etc. to do well, and also be something that you got a leg up on. Brennaman has talent, but he also has connections. Other people have talent but no connections. Saying that Brennaman got where he is because of connections is not to deny the presence of talent, great or small we can debate later.

Joe Buck is the example here. He's obviously not loved by all, but he can clearly handle the job across two sports. He also got the job because of his last name.
   85. bunyon Posted: September 22, 2021 at 09:51 AM (#6040882)
A job/position can be something that is difficult/requires skill/work/etc. to do well, and also be something that you got a leg up on. Brennaman has talent, but he also has connections. Other people have talent but no connections. Saying that Brennaman got where he is because of connections is not to deny the presence of talent, great or small we can debate later.

Absolutely true. I think people bristle at the idea of privilege because they assume, when people say they are privileged, that they don't have talent/skill. Which isn't true. It's just that talent/skill is rarely enough. Some amount of luck/privilege is involved in gaining any competitive position.

Which is the entire point. Brennaman isn't to blame for rising quickly on his name. But he isn't to be lauded for it, either. Now that he's made an ass of himself, his name carries less weight and his talent is enough greater than his competitors to make him a worthwhile hire. Like I say, he had a long run, making a lot of money, in a highly competitive field. Time to enjoy retirement.
   86. SoSH U at work Posted: September 22, 2021 at 09:57 AM (#6040887)
Which is the entire point. Brennaman isn't to blame for rising quickly on his name. But he isn't to be lauded for it, either. Now that he's made an ass of himself, his name carries less weight and his talent is enough greater than his competitors to make him a worthwhile hire. Like I say, he had a long run, making a lot of money, in a highly competitive field. Time to enjoy retirement.


Or, he can go back down into the lower levels of the sports media world, where his name would carry more weight and the position is less visible, and try to earn his way back up the big leagues. But it doesn't seem like that path interests him.
   87. bunyon Posted: September 22, 2021 at 10:00 AM (#6040891)
He could never rise from the lower ranks on talent alone. He's too well known, for good and bad. And he's not any better than dozens of MiLB talent. If he was promoted, it would be marketing.
   88. SoSH U at work Posted: September 22, 2021 at 10:18 AM (#6040896)
He could never rise from the lower ranks on talent alone. He's too well known, for good and bad. And he's not any better than dozens of MiLB talent. If he was promoted, it would be marketing.


Most hires in the industry are at least partly, if not entirely, marketing based. Drew Brees did not step immediately from the field into a high-profile position in football broadcasting on merit.

Brennaman could sign up with some minor league team or low-level college football broadcast and rebuild his reputation, where he's showing professionalism and making people forget our last memory of him.

And I'm not saying it would definitely work. It probably won't, because he's simply not that good.

But if he really wants back in the profession, that's what he should be doing.
   89. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: September 22, 2021 at 10:27 AM (#6040900)
“Whether 10,000 or 1,000 or 100,000 people could do what they did is, IMO, basically semantics. It’s a number much larger than the available jobs, and that’s all that matters. But that doesn’t mean the job isn’t incredibly demanding and difficult, if you care about doing it well.”

“i don't know if there are 10K other people who could do a ML quality broadcasting job, but i am positive there are plenty better than brennaman.”

These 2 comments, yeah.

“ Joe Buck is the example here. He's obviously not loved by all, but he can clearly handle the job across two sports. He also got the job because of his last name.”
This is as well. (I’m not a Joe Buck fan, but he’s obviously very competent and has clear talent, aside from having been afforded opportunities that go beyond what I think he’d get on merit + my issues with how his lack of passion impacts his performance).
   90. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 22, 2021 at 12:32 PM (#6040962)
After reading the article, I do think Brennaman deserves a second chance, but I wonder how many words the author has ever devoted to the case of Colin Kaepernick.
   91. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: September 22, 2021 at 12:39 PM (#6040963)
Joe Buck is the example here. He's obviously not loved by all, but he can clearly handle the job across two sports. He also got the job because of his last name.

that is a disgusting act by jmurph.
After reading the article, I do think Brennaman deserves a second chance, but I wonder how many words the author has ever devoted to the case of Colin Kaepernick.
brennaperson getting a second chance denies someone else their first.

that cost is too high.
   92. Perry Posted: September 22, 2021 at 12:47 PM (#6040966)
i listened to about 15 minutes of some old broadcast with howard cosell and all i can say is that i can't possibly be the only person who heard that voice who wanted to punch him in the mouth.


That was EXACTLY the reaction most people had to Cosell, which oddly enough, was part of what made him so successful, especially teamed with Don Meredith on MNF. Add in his blatant egotism, his Jewishness, his heavy New York accent, and his outspoken support for Mohammed Ali and other activist Black athletes when almost nobody else in sports media was backing them, and he was undoubtedly the most reviled figure in the 60s/70s sports landscape, at least between the coasts. He knew he was the villain to a lot of people and boy did he lean into it. He also knew he was smarter and more articulate than his detractors and that made them hate him even more.

I didn't like him as a baseball commentator -- the game bored him and it showed -- but otherwise I loved him and we could use more like him in media today.
   93. frannyzoo Posted: September 22, 2021 at 12:54 PM (#6040970)
As a New Mexican and thus thrust into the Arizona RSN, I have to say Mr. Brennaman did me a favor of sorts. He was so bad, so irritating, and such a knee-jerk homer that I quickly never watched the D'Backs again, a pleasant condition that has lasted now for years and years.

Thanks, Thom.



   94. Srul Itza Posted: September 22, 2021 at 03:24 PM (#6041020)
Joe Buck is the example here. He's obviously not loved by all, but he can clearly handle the job across two sports. He also got the job because of his last name.


People keep talking about the "last name", but at the same time, would it be all that unusual for someone who grew up listening to his father do a certain job and being immersed in that life, being somewhat better at it than other people? Having picked up some tips, having imitated their father, etc., etc.? I am not saying that it made him actually good at the work -- my gold standard was growing up, listening to Marv Albert call hockey and basketball on the radio -- but I don't think it is all that unusual for someone to follow in their parent's footsteps like that.
   95. Srul Itza Posted: September 22, 2021 at 03:44 PM (#6041034)
That was EXACTLY the reaction most people had to Cosell, which oddly enough, was part of what made him so successful, especially teamed with Don Meredith on MNF.


MNF was a unique institution. It would be hard to explain to people who have grown up with 100 sports channels, ESPN, etc. When MNF started, there were only 3 networks and very little prime time sports. Very little prime time, period, with how few channels there were.

MNF was a big platform, with a larger dose of casual or even non-fans watching, so it was entertainment as much as sports. So you had Frank Gifford doing the play by play, Dandy Don doing the laid back southern color, and Cosell kibitzing -- and there really is a lot of dead time in football to fill.

So did MNF in large part "made" Cosell (who was far better known as a boxing guy), but his presence helped up MNF from mere sports programming. And that sarcastic whine was a big part of it.
   96. bunyon Posted: September 22, 2021 at 04:26 PM (#6041064)
People keep talking about the "last name", but at the same time, would it be all that unusual for someone who grew up listening to his father do a certain job and being immersed in that life, being somewhat better at it than other people? Having picked up some tips, having imitated their father, etc., etc.? I am not saying that it made him actually good at the work -- my gold standard was growing up, listening to Marv Albert call hockey and basketball on the radio -- but I don't think it is all that unusual for someone to follow in their parent's footsteps like that.

Yeah, you'd think that might happen. But then there is Joe Buck and Thom Brennaman as evidence against.
   97. bunyon Posted: September 22, 2021 at 04:28 PM (#6041065)
I miss talking about MNF with my friends on the Tuesday morning bus to school.
   98. . Posted: September 22, 2021 at 04:37 PM (#6041072)
Cosell was actually an 80s version of so-called "cancel culture" getting in major hot water in 1983 for referring live to Alvin Garrett, WR, Washington as a "little monkey." Can't remember if he never was in a MNF booth again or what exactly happened to his career after that. Definitely had a major, if not fatal, career impact. The substantive to-and-fro in the press wasn't a whole lot different than it is today, absent the stupid, brain-dead Twitter mobs.
   99. Jay Seaver Posted: September 22, 2021 at 05:25 PM (#6041086)
People keep talking about the "last name", but at the same time, would it be all that unusual for someone who grew up listening to his father do a certain job and being immersed in that life, being somewhat better at it than other people?


Sure - I mean, look at the 2021 Toronto Blue Jays! I think that Jamie Lee Curtis puts it well when she talks about how when she auditioned for Halloween, she was pretty good, probably good enough to get on John Carpenter's short list, but that "daughter of the actress from Psycho" undeniably gave her a leg up over other people going for that role; she'd be more valuable to the producers even if the other actresses were just as good or even a little better. It's tough to figure out how that sorting works long-term; sure, none of those players on the Jays make it to the big leagues without proving themselves, but at some point they probably got opportunities that folks with similar talents didn't.

Or, he can go back down into the lower levels of the sports media world, where his name would carry more weight and the position is less visible, and try to earn his way back up the big leagues. But it doesn't seem like that path interests him.


Of course, it's not like being cut and then signing a minor league contract because nobody knows if you can still locate your fastball; it's hoping his celebrity would be valuable enough to be worth making your employees share a booth with a jerk. I mean, maybe he'll have become enough less of a jerk to "earn" his way up, but how do you give him the benefit of the doubt, and is what he brings really worth giving it to him versus someone who does not have a history of being a public/HR liability?
   100. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 22, 2021 at 05:29 PM (#6041091)
Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Francis
for his generous support.

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogNew MLB CBA should include amnesty clause
(14 - 2:35am, Oct 22)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogYankees GM Brian Cashman says club will 'address' shortstop and 'evaluate' catcher positions
(5 - 11:54pm, Oct 21)
Last: The Duke

NewsblogMLB Just Tried a Bunch of Experimental Rules in the Minors. How Well Did They Work?
(8 - 11:41pm, Oct 21)
Last: Doug Jones threw harder than me

NewsblogBaseball Games Are Still Too Long—and Getting Longer
(109 - 11:39pm, Oct 21)
Last: Doug Jones threw harder than me

Newsblog2021 LCS OMNICHATTER!
(585 - 11:31pm, Oct 21)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogNBA 2021-2022 Season Thread
(250 - 11:13pm, Oct 21)
Last: Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus

NewsblogThe fans' way at Fenway: loud, louder, loudest
(51 - 11:04pm, Oct 21)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogDodgers Albert Pujols Hits the COVID-19 Injured List
(220 - 9:16pm, Oct 21)
Last: David Nieporent (now, with children)

NewsblogCarlton Fisk kept it fair, but Keith Olbermann’s attempt to sell historic ball is foul
(9 - 8:46pm, Oct 21)
Last: sunday silence (again)

NewsblogWhere Mets may turn next as Sandy Alderson’s role in search comes into question
(2 - 8:36pm, Oct 21)
Last: Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb

NewsblogIt’s time for the city of Chicago to repeal the Wrigley Field night game ordinance
(18 - 7:29pm, Oct 21)
Last: What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-21-2021
(14 - 7:26pm, Oct 21)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogOut of the bargain bin, will Rangers’ willingness to spend in free agency be rewarded?
(2 - 6:08pm, Oct 21)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogNathan Eovaldi, Boston Red Sox take issue with pivotal ball-strike call in loss to Houston Astros
(39 - 4:58pm, Oct 21)
Last: dave h

NewsblogOT Soccer Thread - Transfer! Kits! Other Stuff!
(456 - 3:45pm, Oct 21)
Last: AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale

Page rendered in 0.5651 seconds
48 querie(s) executed