No, they all for the most part suck. The play by play guys are even worse.
Seems like at the first chance, any of those guys would jump ship to ESPN or ESPN Radio. Charissa Thompson, which was the reason most BTN games were enjoyable (sooo hot) left for ESPN. Most of them probably won't make it there, so they seem pretty settled there at the BTN. I'm not saying Pam Ward is great or anything, but "pound for pound" when you put her up against some of the commentators on BTN, she ain't so bad. Some of the guys on BTN get excited on every play, "HE'S GOT A CHANCE!" doesn't mean anything if there is somehow a "chance" on every single play.
Something all Wolverines and Spartans can agree on.
Two other things, a hatred of OSU and ND.
During the NW game, they repeatedly kept saying and So and so for NW gets a HUGE gain on first down. When they only picked up 4 yards..
Not to mention all the wrong names that are pronounced, or mixed names.
Griffith is pretty good, but most everyone else is eh..
Tim doyle should be fired for just being an idiot..
That young kid that host's a few shows and does the Saturday wrap up with all the dumb commentary on all the highlights is a funny story..
Not sure who remembers when ESPN had that competition to see who would be the next ESPN commentator, well he won that and now works at the BIG. You know he's just looking at it as a stepping stone if he can ever get there.
Yeah, that's Mike Hall, good memory. If anyone lives in the Chicago area, I believe he still does improv at iO (formerly improvolympic) as well.
Jenn Brown gets my vote...smokin hot!
That I forgive* the commentators more than most around here...
I have gotten used to Doyle, the northwestern dude, and find him funny sometimes. Better during basketball season.
Revsine and Griffith are good. I always laugh at Revsine's "NOOWOOWWWWrrgghrgg!!!"
Jansen was horrible for the Eastern game, haven't really seen him since.
The color commentator that did the Michigan game last week, and against Eastern, Rackley is his name actually said a lot of semi-interesting things, especially when contrasted to Chris Martin, who may be the dumbest human being on the planet.
*Chris Martin is unorgiveable, not only is he a terrible color commentator, but even his *prepared* pieces are incoherent, rambling, uninformative, and usually wrong.
EDIT-agree that all the play by play guys are bad. Fox owns Gus Johnson, and I usually find him doing some random big 12 game on fox...why can't they let him do a big ten game each week?
I liked him when he was with ESPN (seem to remember him mostly doing B-squad NCAAB shows) so I was excited when I saw that he come to BTN. He is definitely a good host and has some funny quips.
I agree 100% on the ridiculous "NOWWWW%WQ$#%$%!" I laugh every time.
I'm surely in the minority here but I think that Tim Doyle is hilarious.
Dhani Jones is the host of live big. Keith Jackson does Big Ten Icons. I know it's quite what you are looking for but you said BTN hosts.
Jones could of gone without saying philanthropy 50 times when he was on the air the other night.. He just kept going on and on about it
They are the reason the word "Mute" is wearing off the button on my remote.
I think Mason and Dinardo do a good job. I think its key to have former BIG coaches give insight. Also like Griffith and Revsine. Other than that, they should all be fired.
the volume to zero is better no anoying boxes in the corner
the volume to zero is better no anoying boxes in the corner
Chris Martin - worst person on tv period
Dinardo - he's ok and knowledgable but I flat disagree with a lot of his opinions (sheridan over threet anyone?)
Revsine - ok host but the overenthusiastic intros sound stupid
Mason - I think he's just on tv to get noticed for another coaching gig. Doesn't say much and seems content to put on his hair spray and smile on camera.
Eric Collins - sooooo annoying
Tim Doyle - hilarious. More doyle please
One of the studio guys (Tim Doyle?) said last week that Michigan had 0% chance of beating Northwestern simply for the fact that it was the first road game. How can you collect a paycheck after that shitty kind of analysis?
I didn't think that Tim Doyle did football coverage. I thought he was just a basketball guy. Then again, I didn't see the show you're referring to, so I could be totally wrong.
Doyle is on that Big Ten Pulse show and they have been focusing on the football season so far.
90% or more of the programming I watch on BTN is football related. Taking that into account...
The Pulse is the worst show on BTN and Tim Doyle is a big reason for it.
I'm not sure who was calling the game last week. But the guy who couldn't tell the difference between def/off, UM/NU, couldn't get any names right, and couldn't keep up with single digit yardage was probably the worst I've ever heard.
Anyone remeber the show BTN had last year called Behind the Schemes? They broke down film and went over different teams schemes and it worked or how to stop it? That was my favorite from last year. How could that have been scrapped, but The Pulse is still on? That's crazy.
I admit I have never watched The Pulse, but I surely believe that Behind The Schemes was one of their best shows. Some really good insight, even if it was from DiNardo.
I haven't seen Jansen on BTN, but I saw him plenty as an analyst during ESPN's draft coverage for a few years, and thought he came off pretty well.
I think Howard Griffith is alright, and Glenn Mason isn't embarassing.
Chris Martin is the worst professional broadcaster in the history of television.
GET GERRY DINARDO OFF MY TV!
is the one reason that I wish HDTV did not exist. His face terrifies me.
He looks like Gargamel (spelling?) from the smurfs!!
The lines in his face all caked with makeup mesmerizes (and simultaneously disgusts) me...glad I am not the only one
I really don't understand why they can't get better play-by-play people. Why can't you hire someone that does the following a) knows which team is leading b) can figure out how to pronounce names and c) at least makes their talking points factual? Am I missing something where this is so difficult? There are thousands of college students studying communications, and the best the BTN can come up with was whoever was calling the M-NU game?
I really hope in my later jobs I can mess up as much as these guys do and not get fired. Even my girlfriend, who does no independent reading about Michigan, just hears my ramblings and watches games, was laughing at how terrible they were.
Wow, this got really long. TL;DR version: The BTN didn't get the best pick of announcers. Announcing is harder than it seems (lots of time to fill) and they make a smaller percentage of mistakes than you might think.
I think there are a combination of factors that make the announcers at BTN worse than the announcers that we see on ESPN games.
1. ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 games (especially with Big Ten teams) are pretty big games and have announcer pairs that are probably in the top 10 of the business. So they do a very good job and make everything else sound bad. If you listen to ESPNU games it's a little worse and if you watch any of the games relegated to ESPN Gameplan or worse, the announcing is probably on par with the BTN.
2. The BTN is still pretty young. This is the 4th season I think. I'm reading the ESPN book (Those guys have all the fun -- which is FASCINATING) and in the first full decade or more of ESPN they were still making everything up as they went. Obviously sports coverage (and especially college football) has advanced way beyond the level of 80s TV but 4 years is still a pretty young station.
3. The BTN started at the same time that there was an explosion in the number of televised football games. When the BTN started it took 3+ games a week off the ESPN networks. ESPN didn't air fewer games, they actually started airing more. They replaced those 3 Big Ten games with others and started showing 3+ games a week on ESPNU. FX also started airing games. CBS Sports network started airing college football. Two weeks ago there was a live televised game of Case Western Reserve University football vs Allegheny College aired down in Georgia.
Why is this important? It made hiring experienced play-by-play announcers almost impossible. ESPN has virtually unlimited money to keep their talent (and poach new good talent) so the BTN wasn't getting many of those people.
Now, like you said it doesn't seem like it should be too hard to do a good job. However, they have to fill up roughly 2 hours of air time (subtract half time and commercials). You try talking for 2 hours without any script and limited notes and see how many mistakes you make.
Then add in the fact that play-by-play announcers have to say everything instantly as it happens. The color commentators get about 10 seconds to see and process what happened and then 15 seconds to explain it to fans who don't have any knowledge of the technical side of football. All that pressure will cause more mistakes.
Their mistakes are glaringly obvious so we remember them. But they probably only add up to 2 minutes of talking time. So they make a mistake 1.7% of the time. Not as bad as it sounds to an MGoBlog reader who catches every mistake.
Wow, you did a great job of giving a TL;DR version. I didn't read the summary until the end, but you definitely nailed what you said in two sentences. Mine won't be that good, but here's my attempt: teh btn gets pass w/ sum things, not all. full time pbp job+mistakes=unacceptable.
The ESPN situation is definitely the biggest factor. They have (by far) the best color people, and I think that's fairly understandable to fans. Sometimes the BTN is going to have guys on the air who are awkward (like Mason is sometimes, especially last year) or just can't communicate as well as someone like Herbstreit can because it's an upstart network that's thrown up against superior competition. OTOH, the play-by-play stuff is another issue, in my opinion. If you listened to the audio on BTN, they were constantly and inaccurately saying that NU was winning. I don't claim to be a broadcaster, but having listened to enough sporting events (including NHL on Versus, which has definitely had its awful moments) it seems like the play-by-play stuff shouldn't be hard.
As for the 1.7% mistakes, that's a good point, but it's also much higher than we're used to (because of the better quality of announcers elsewhere). That 1.7% would probably be enough to get an announcer pulled from an ABC/ESPN game (especially junior ones like the BTN has), so to hear it in a primetime game on BTN is frustrating. I probably couldn't talk for three hours without a mistake, but if I held a full time job announcing play-by-play, I feel like I could at least name the team with the upper hand with 100% accuracy.
Despite my incredibly long manifesto I'm not really disagreeing with you about the quality of the BTN. They're certainly not as good as your standard ABC/ESPN crew. I'm willing to cut announcers a little bit of slack for mistakes. If they say the wrong team is winning one time, then fine. If they keep messing up, that is a much bigger deal.
Another thing to consider is that they don't get as much practice as ESPN announcers. I kind of hate to keep bringing up Those guys have all the fun but it is amazing and I literally just read this part. ESPN first aired college football in 1984 and there were a total of 48 games shown the whole season. In 2011 I would bet substantial amounts of money that ESPN produces (in some capacity) 48 games every week. A lot of those announcers do a weeknight game AND a weekend game. With all that experience they're going to be much better.
I'm certainly not going to subject myself to the audio horrors that it would involve but I bet if you compared the NW game to a 2007 game the announcing would be vastly improved. Hopefully over the next few years the announcing gets right up near the ESPN standard. Their homegrown talent will have experience and if people make the jump to ESPN the (hopefully) deep pockets of the BTN can hire experienced replacements from the other lower tier networks.
Were you away from MGoBlog for a while between signing up and coming back for Pick Six? I liked both of your comments here, but I don't remember seeing you around since I signed up. Maybe I'm just oblivious, though.
I do go in phases depending on how busy I am. Plus my username isn't very memorable. Not that that's a bad thing.
Every time DiNardo starts talking my head flares up in pain
Dave Revsine is okay. I like when he growls out "NOW"!
Mason was annoying last year, seemed like he was always yelling vice talking, like Doyle still is. Mason has calmed down this year and adds value to the programs.
coined the phrase butterfly for Darius Morris should be voted off the island
Since some people have mentioned play-by-play announcers as "hosts," I would say Gus Johnson is the best BTN host. No explanation needed.
I wish they just used Frank Sinatra singing as audio instead of actual announcers.
I hate denardo!
Tim Doyle = nails on a blackboard
I don't think Mike Hall is bad. I kind of like Step Into My Office and think he's good on that show.
make fun of the other "experts" or hosts.
Overall when four of them sit together on the panel, seems like the View, but only with a little more testosterone.
The volleyball play-by-play. Seriously, you'd think a conference with over 100 years of football tradition and excellence could get better play-by-play and studio talent. Are these just guy who live around Chicago?
Dinardo is a pompous blowhard. Martin is seldom right, but never in doubt - I scream everytime he starts that "as a player, which I was,..." crap. Mason's not too bad , but he comes across like an insurance salesman. The play-by-play calling is generally mediocre, even worse than Brent Musburger.
But, to the earlier point. It is a very new network and this is part of the growing pains, I guess.
DiNardo did a piece on the Saturday morning show a week and a half ago I think on the LSU defense. It wasn't particularly heavy lifting, showing 1st how gap sound the d-line is, then how great one player is and then how disciplined a corner was in forcing a guy with the ball back inside and off the sideline. Standard UFR stuff, but I appreciated it nonetheless.
Tony Banks is awful
Mason is OK as long as they 3 aren't jibber-jabbering and being silly.
Not a Howard G fan
Revsine and Hall are fine
Some of their produced pieces, however, are excellent.
Every time DiNardo talks, you can see why he took LSU and others down the tubes.
Howard G. is OK.
At least Mason knows the Big Ten, so he comes off as credible.
I like Revsine and Hall. They aren't grating. They can make a good quip every now and then.
Tony Banks needs a wardrobe consultant. Did you see the velvet smoking jacket (in MSU colors) he wore on the show a few weeks ago. I guess he snuck that one past the wife. Looking past that, he's as insightful as watching a game with my uncle.
The rest of them are a faceless mob that hardly register.
They might do better to develop interns from BiG schools. At least there would be reasons for the bad commentating. We might even get lucky. Even some of our more accomplish alum over on ESPN could mentor for a short period. I would think ESPN would not see the power of the BTN as a threat. This would give these alum a way to give back.
Yes, DiNardo is the world's oldest Juggalo. He balances BTN and managing the Vu in East Lansing... Class job over there, stopped allowing pregnant girls, that sort of thing...
Samantha Steele, Longhorn Network is the rising star we need .... She makes Erin Andrews, who is overrated IMO, look like a HS cheerleading advior/Applebees hostess.
The announce teams are almost unlistenable, however.