Tuesday, March 20, 2007
So in my daily travels throughout these Interwebs I came across this article by Neil Best at Newsday.com. The reason I'm bringing light to it is because I think it proves my "Generation Gap" theory on Gus Johnson. Neil Best is no doubt an older gentleman (he's been at Newsday since 1982), and he is annoyed with Gus' loudness.
STOP YELLING AT ME! NOW!!! I MEAN IT!!!!! Yeah, Gus Johnson, that means you. (And you, too, Kevin Harlan, Mike Patrick, Gary Thorne, Dick Vitale and the many other bellowers whom duty calls on me to invite into my personal space.)Best isn't really breaking any new ground with the Oden and fouling issue, so what is this article really about then? It's about the older generation "not getting" Gus Johnson. (Continue Reading this long-ass post after the jump)
As often happens when Johnson is excited, it was not clear precisely what he said after Ohio State's Ron Lewis sank a tying three-pointer with two seconds left in regulation against Xavier. After a dozen listens, it might have been, "Makes it! Ooooh!" It was reminiscent of his frothing at the mouth late in last year's UCLA-Gonzaga regional final and after the Knicks' David Lee tipped in a buzzer-beater in the second overtime against the Bobcats in December.
Johnson and Dan Bonner would have been better off conserving energy to discuss pertinent stuff such as whether Ohio State's Greg Oden should have been called for an intentional foul in the final seconds. Or why Xavier's Sean Miller became the latest in a long line of college and pro coaches to commit hoops hara-kiri by refusing to foul an opponent with a three-point lead and the clock winding down. Sigh.
As with everything there's a generation gap.......music, technology, and now sports. I'm pretty sure Moneyball started this thing, but it's garnered a life of it's own across all Sports. Now it comes to Announcing.
I use the term "Free Pass" a lot around here. By my definition it means giving credit to older Announcers (John Madden, Keith Jackson, etc.) who have paid their dues in the Sports World, but make mistakes in their old age. It's obviously a loose term and people float in and out of the category all the time (Al Michaels, Hubie Brown, etc.).
I don't have any issue with Neil Best in fact I rather enjoy his work. He seems relatively in touch with the The World of Blog, and is a great writer.
The question I have for him and the older generation is.......What's wrong with variety? What's wrong with change? The inherent qualities that make College Basketball so amazing are Energy, Excitement, and the Unknown. You don't get those 100% of the time in other Sports like you do in March Madness. As you've heard me say before......the key word here is "Madness". More from Best......
Interestingly, Johnson is regarded as a play-by-play demigod in some corners of the blogosphere and is generally more popular among young fans than geezers. (Vitale, the original Old Yeller himself, is wildly popular on college campuses.)Actually their volume tops out at 6.5, but the main problem with that argument is that "geezers" aren't the main audience. How do I know that? Just look at the advertisements.......what have we seen over and over the past few days.
So give me the silky professionalism of still-going-strong Verne Lundquist, 66, and another venerable old-school voice, Dick Enberg, 72, each on duty this weekend. The understated Jim Nantz, too.
So what if CBS has a Sweet 16 announcing lineup with demographics more suited to "60 Minutes" than to March Madness. Its volume dial tops out at 9, and for that I say a hearty, howling.
- How I Met Your Mother Previews
- The Dickie V Hooters Commercial
- Beer Commercials
- Dell Computer Commercials
- The Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock "It Takes Two" Commercial
- Pizza Commercials
- BW3 Wings and Bar
- 60 Minutes......oh you say this is for the older generation? Then why was Simon Cowell on that day???
Another thing I've noticed with the younger generation.....they are able to compromise and see the value in having multiple options and opinions. This is why I can enjoy Verne Lundquist, and Dick Enberg (at times) as well as Gus Johnson and Ian Eagle. I'll leave you with a quote from Enberg.....
"My bias begins with being a former educator and being energized when I'm around young people on a college campus," said Enberg. "There's nothing more than a college game to be reminded that I still want to be a professor again someday and look into those bright young eyes that have all that electricity and energy."Hmm.....maybe I've been too hard on Enberg??? But you see my point. We all need a little electricity and energy, and I would think the older generation needs it before anyone else. I have no issue with Neil Best, the older generation, or anyone who doesn't like GJ.....everyone is entitled to their opinion. I'm just curious as to why they/you feel that way.
There's a poll in the top left corner of the page. Please take a second to vote your feelings on Johnson. I'm curious to see where the cards fall........
Keep it down to a roar, please! (Best: Newsday)
Enberg Needs No Intro (Hoffarth: LA Daily)
Pairings For The Sweet Sixteen and Elite 8 Games (Awful Announcing)