Gridiron Journal: Those Darned Announcers +

Seems to me ESPN is being penny wise and pound foolish.

Which proverb it turns out, at least according to The Google, was coined by some guy named Robert Burton. When I was so very sure it was Willie the Shakes.

Anyhow, the World Wide Leader has obviously made a decision not to send its go to Friday Night college pigskin announcing crews to the stadiums where the games are actually being contested. Instead having the guys who ought to be in the booth calling games from their own dens.

More’s the pity.

Which saying again is also not attributed to the Bard, but some Olde English writer of the 16th C.

But, to coin a phrase, I digress.

Last Friday’s game was, reading from the accounts, pretty scintillating.

Maryland, led by Taulia Tagovailoa, who looks to be perhaps the equal of older bro, Tua, blasted ahead 21-7. Fell behind 21-38. Knotted it at 38. Then won 45-44 in OT when Minnesota missed a conversion.

I watched the beginning, but had to give it up, so turned off was I by the game coverage.

Jason Benetti was doing play by play. He’s really good.  But he made a bunch of mistakes, because he wasn’t in the stadium, seeing the whole field, or getting a feel for the game.

I really like his work normally, especially during college hoops, when he’s teamed with Dan Dakich, and gives that partner plenty of grief.

Because he and his sidekick were in different locales Friday, there was no banter of note between them.

Not that there could be much, given that Andre Ware was soporific.

I mean literally. As if he’d popped a couple Sopers before the game. You know, ‘ludes.

The ’89 Heisman winner, whose Houston Cougars still hold the record for total yards per game (625), is flat out B.O.R.I.N.G.

Because I couldn’t bear to listen to obviously shackled Benetti, and somnambulant Ware, I missed a really exciting game.

 * * * * *

What I did not miss during Saturday’s noon time slot was a great, and really sweet father/ son moment.

Joe Tessitore always sounds like he’s told the barista to add a shot or two too many of espresso in his pregame cup o’ java.

But I loved the moment he and we the audience got to savor when his son John, a Boston College pigskinner who holds for FGs, engineered a fake, which allowed the Eagles to draw the Orange offside, get a 1st down, and eventually increase their surprising first half lead over #1 Clemson.

Tessitore made the call professionally. But, bless him, he didn’t mask his paternal pride and exuberance for what his son had done.

Color guy Greg McElroy punctuated the moment by gently ribbing his partner for having to “really grind” to get background info on son John.

 * * * * *

Speaking of BC, watch out for the Eagles in the years to come.

First year coach Jeff Hafley seems to know what he’s doing. Things are looking up in Chestnut Hill.

 * * * * *

There are just a lot of coaches wearing their face masks below their mouths.

Which gives new meaning to the phrase, Chinstrap Nation.

 * * * * *

Maybe Coach Khaki should start wearing khakis again.

Jim Harbaugh, apparently looking for any alteration that might save his stint at alma mammy Michigan, is wearing blue pants this autumn.

To no positive effect.

The Wolverines ratcheted up expectations in Ann Arbor, with a fool’s gold opening week W over overrated Minnesota.

Then, at home in the Big House, lost to rival Sparty, 24-27.

The very same Michigan State squad which, under first year coach Mel Tucker, lost its opener the week before, at home, to, ahem, Rutgers.

Harbaugh is now 1-6 at home against Michigan State and bigger rival Buckeyes.

If he doesn’t turn it around for the Maize and Blue soon, as in immediately, he’ll traipsing around his home on pigskin Saturdays next season in his LL Bean jammies and slippers.

 * * * * *

Speaking of coaches who likely shall be spending their autumn Saturdays in a different locale next season, come on down Bo Pelini.

The new DC at LSU is under considerable stress already in Bayou Country, given how woeful the Tigers defense is.

I gotta ask. Is he the worst hire on that side of the ball since, oh, Brian VanGorder?

 * * * * *

So the big question in college football, other than whether the virus will allow the season to come to a completion, is which school is going to join Ohio State, Clemson and Alabama in the Final Four?

Georgia was a trendy pick, but the Bulldogs are a catalytic QB short.

The spot is up for grabs.

 * * * * *

A longshot contender for that fourth spot is Cincinnati.

The Bearcats have a shutdown defense.

And their offense is now #13 in the land, averaging just short of 40 ppg.

Cincy dominated two of its three AAC rivals — SMU and Memphis State — on consecutive weekends, scoring 42 and 49.

That O is led by improving  Desmond Ridder, a graduate of St. Xavier.

Louisville St. X, not Cincinnati St. X.

Who knew? Not me.

— c d kaplan

1 thought on “Gridiron Journal: Those Darned Announcers +

  1. Ridder couldn’t do much of anything in HS. I saw him play 2 or 3 times. Maybe he was always injured, but I was shocked UC offered him. I am more shocked that he is a top 20 QB in college with an outside chance to make an NFL squad. I guess kids can and do get better with the right coaching if they have a good attitude….

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