Commentary

A fresh and sharp review of the Super Bowl telecast called by Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen

Do you want piercing opinions from an aficionado? It’s Don Haley. He tells it as it is.

His opinions after watching the Super Bowl:

Almost famous, reflections on the 2022 NFL playoff season

  • Trying too hard to be a star: Fox Sports’ top analyst, somebody named Olsen but certainly not Merlin, assaulted my senses during Super Bowl 57 but is receiving accolades all around. For doing his job. And then some. The problem part is the “then some.” An honor student from the Moose Johnson School of Broadcasting, Greg Olsen seized the mic and wouldn’t let go. Sure, some of his shtick stuck on point, but there was just too much of it. Pass the Pepto, please. I’m overstuffed and need to pass something.
  • There’s now talk that Olsen’s purported masterwork has placed ultimate pressure on his eventual successor, Tom Brady. Pressure? Tom Brady?
  • Wowwee and ouch: Kevin Burkhardt’s play-by-play ran the gamut from measured captioning of the action to over-the-top roller coaster inflection: Wha, wha … whoa and WOW! This is a fundamental reason teams’ fans think network broadcasters are biased: in both directions. The over-exuberance for either side is off-putting to half the listening audience at any given moment. Take a breath, Kevin. Even out the bumps. Take a listen to some old Vin Scully tapes.
  • It’s how you finish, unfortunately: The great Al Michaels got a lot of guff, especially on social media, for his failure to call the winning field goal as time expired in the Jags-Chargers on NBC. For all his greatness, Revered Al deserved the criticism. Everyone misses a kick now and then. Just ask that Cowboys guy, whose name escapes Jerry Jones at the moment.
  • Trying too hard, Part II: Most if not all the ads during the Super Bowl flopped. The entire idea of ad-watching during The Big Game has jumped the shark — and drowned.
  • Tony, Tony, Tony: Romo is getting flak from some critics’ corners for wrecking the chemistry in the CBS NFL lead broadcast booth. Let’s see: Way back when, Jim Nantz was ousted from The NFL Today studio and was assigned to broadcast games. His analyst partner was Phil Simms. That pairing ultimately failed (or something). Then comes Romo with great fanfare and this pairing is now said to be in need of an intervention. Where (who) is the constant in this equation where the sheen seems to fade too quickly? Just askin’. For his part, Romo seems to have loosened up from his early overbearing ways and adopted a more leisurely approach, mixing in cultural references and some humor that seems to catch his partner off guard. My favorite line concerned Patrick Mahomes, about whom Tony reached back into the sports history books for a Willis Reed (NY Knicks 1970) reference after the Chiefs QB limped his way to a comeback victory over Cincinnati.
  • Somebody at CBS must really like Nantz.
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David J. Halberstam

David is a 40-year + industry veteran who served as play-by-play announcer for St. John's University basketball in New York and as radio play-by-play voice of the Miami Heat in South Florida. He is the author of Sports on New York Radio: A Play-by-Play History and The Fundamentals of Sports Media and Sponsorship Sales: Developing New Accounts.

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Michael Green
1 year ago

I was recently listening again to the Pat Hughes CD tribute to Bob Costas, and to the interview he did with Curt Gowdy, who talked about what many who still remember them consider the greatest network football broadcast team ever, Gowdy and Paul Christman. He said sometimes Christman wouldn’t talk for five minutes, and the producer would be yelling at him. Christman would say he wasn’t going to talk if he had nothing to say. Then Christman would talk and Gowdy would think, wow, why didn’t I think of that, because it was so good. Gowdy also noted that they… Read more »