Home > Sports, TV > It's the BCS on Fox! Because the BCS doesn't suck enough already

It's the BCS on Fox! Because the BCS doesn't suck enough already

When Fox outbid the other networks for the college BCS games, I’m sure Rupert Murdoch’s gang was ecstatic to get the season-ending bowl package. However, immediately after they won the bid, I’m guessing that they had an “Oh shit” moment. As in, “Oh shit, we don’t do… college football.” It’s like Chris Rock’s view about single motherhood:

Yeah, you can do it without a man, but it don’t mean it’s to be done! Shit! You can drive a car with your feet if you want to; it don’t mean its a good fucking idea!

OK, maybe that’s a bit harsh, but if you just turned the TV on tonight and started watching the Orange Bowl, would you intuitively know that this is one of the biggest bowl games of the year? Would the atmosphere and production match the venue? And I’m not just making a snarky comment about Wake Forest v. Louisville in a BCS game. Like all things in TV sports, it’s all about the talent — or lack thereof.

Tonight’s trio of announcers are bringing all of the character and excitement of a local cable-access broadcast of a high school soccer game. As this article in a Florida newspaper points out, savvy TV viewers could probably see a stinker coming. Matt Vasgersian (yes, THE Matt Vasgersian) is the play-by-play guy with Terry Donahue and Pat Haden adding commentary. As the article points out:

Vasgersian, the San Diego Padres’ play-by-play announcer who did XFL games for NBC, is a far cry from the distinguished roster of former Orange Bowl voices that include Curt Gowdy, Red Barber, Jim Simpson, Ray Scott, Chris Schenkel, Don Criqui, Dick Enberg and Brad Nessler.

The unflappable Curt Gowdy. The often-imitated Red Barber. The venerable Dick Enberg. The… XFL veteran, Matt Vergersian. And honest to god, I’m not sure that Donahue and Haden did any research for the game. Beyond their pointless add-ins, their voices are fairly flat and indistinguishable. Oh, and one of them — Donahue or Haden — just suggested that Wake Forest’s coach, Jim Grobe, should “throw the flag” to challenge a questionable call. Great thought, except you can’t throw flags in college football. That’s the NFL. Dumb-asses.

The gaffes aren’t confined to the announcers’ box. Three separate times, they cut to a sideline camera that had an obvious smudge on the lens. Don’t the cameramen have a hanky? Pretty much a D-plus effort thus far. I’ve seen better productions for fourth-tier bowls — you know, the ones that take place before Christmas Day.

I guess I shouldn’t expect any less from a system that brought us the BCS – a method for divining a champion so flawed it doesn’t need a rehash here. Aw, we don’t need a playoff, because there’s no way a Boise State or Wake Forest could play at… this… level. [Gulp] But, if the powers-that-be in college football won’t give us a playoff, can’t they give us a high-quality TV product? Don’t they owe us that much?

For the Sugar Bowl, Fox will go to the opposite end of the spectrum, with Kenny Albert helming a booth crew that includes Terry Bradshaw and Howie Long. That won’t be a dry, dull booth. It’ll be like the NFL on Fox, except these guys will have even less of a background on college football. Hell, they may not even watch the game. They’ll probably just break the record for “laughing at the other guy’s lame jokes for three hours.” Can’t wait.

And before I could post this, they mentioned that Taylor Hicks is the halftime entertainment. We all know how I feel about American Idol. Serenity now!!

Categories: Sports, TV
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