I asked Eli Gold a question. He’s the popular voice of the Alabama Crimson who migrated from New York.
Who is your favorite football radio voice today? No hesitation, Kevin Harlan! Budding voices today look up to Harlan for his description, entertainment and mellifluous voice. Eli’s resonating timbre is always in fine fettle and he actually has a few years on Harlan. Anyone growing up in the York area which Eli did in the late 60s and early 70s has to have at least some trace of Merle Harmon (Jets) and/or Marty Glickman (Giants and later Jets) in their calls. Hey, Mel Allen left Alabama for New York and built his fame there. Gold has done it the other way around.
Kirk Herbstreit – A Village Idiot
Mario Cristobal is the new head coach at Miami. So what does Mario do upon his introduction to the media? He tells the group that it was Kirk Herbstreit’s criticism of the Miami football program that stimulated UM’s administration to fire Manny Diaz. What does it say about the school that proceeded to follow Herbstreit’s echoes, not its own? What does it say about who really runs the program? It seems that the U of M administration takes its cues from a village idiot like Kirk Herbstreit! Please!
Then, Kirk applauds Nick Saban for taking a shot at Alabama fans for expecting the Crimson to pull off more blowouts. Winning isn’t enough. More blowouts is what they expect. So Herbie is now in the business of suggesting that fans suppress their hopes – no blowouts!
If that’s still not enough, Herbstreit took strong positions on whether the Power 5 should dominate the playoff selection. Do non-Power 5 programs like Cincinnati belong? Should it qualify equally? It was an obvious shot at veteran broadcaster Tim Brando, who’s carped about the committee unfairly dismissing the non Power5 members.
Now we’re also learning that Herbie wants to be Chief Adjudicator of college football, head of the playoff selection committee, in charge of hiring and firing coaches and setting a code to enforce how fans behave for their teams. Oh, he also wants ESPN’s NFL gig. Now, there’s a humble fellow for you!
I just wish that Brent Musburger was still Kirk’s sidekick and would smack him around a little bit. Herbstreit deserves it. His play-by-play partner Chris Fowler is getting better but he’s a softy and won’t confront Herbie. The moment Fowler finishes a sentence or comes close to stop talking that the village idiot has something to say. It starts in a New York second. The man is so self-centered and talks incessantly that He thinks the show is just about him. As he blathers away foolishly, he doesn’t realize that viewers need a breather. Apparently he doesn’t.
Until someone blows the whistle on him, it’s time for Kirk to take a chill pill.
Driving around last weekend, I heard Mark Kestecher and Sean Kelly both do play-by-play on radio, two separate football games. They were both pretty good.
Another one who I never heard before was Tom Ramsey, a quote/unquote analyst. Ramsey made Herbstreit sound laconic. He was so bad that I said to myself, thank God for SiriusXM. I found a better game pretty fast. Ramsey, giddy and squeaky on-air that he was unlistenable. ESPN focuses so much on television, that radio is a second thought. I get a sense that the Bristolites will be out of the radio business soon!
Saturday, December 11
College Football Weekend of December 11th:
Long hours – Vin Scully – in his younger years – Remembered by former minor league baseball announcer Frank Adkisson of the Omaha Royals
Yes, Vin was for the most part a solo broadcaster, representing the loftiest of play-by-players. Jerry Doggett would relieve him a couple innings a game
From Frank Adkisson:
I heard that Vin would stay in a downtown Los Angeles hotel room following night games that preceded early afternoon games the next day. It would afford Vin more prep time and more sleep. On one occasion, late on the second day of this process, the score was 11-1 in the 7th inning of an afternoon game. I got a sense that he was laboring some. Even the greatest is human!
Vin once called an NBC Saturday game of the week; flew into Houston to join a Dodger game that night at the Astrodome in progress (6/23/1989). Off the flight to Texas, he stepped into the booth and picked up the broadcast in the 4th inning and anchored the play-by-play to its conclusion, a 22-inning game marathon. He never complained. Total time was 7:14.
I can still recall his line of “Ain’t we got fun!” when 1B Fernando Valenzuela caught a pop fly. It was one of two games when the Mexican hurler had to either play in the outfield or at first base in an unending game.
The following day, Sunday, there was a quick getaway, 13 innings in a nifty 4:17. In all, Scully did 40 innings in two days in two cities. And he was already of 61 years of age.