Spartan Radio

Submitted by wildbackdunesman on October 24th, 2009 at 11:47 PM

I listened to the MSU game on my drive home from our major disappointment. MSU played a great game against a solid team.

With that said, George Blaha and Jim Miller are not very good radio guys. I know every team has homer radio guys, but these guys are near insane and make up their own football rules.

The most annoying instance was an unnecessary roughness call against MSU. Miller, a former Spartan QB, actually said "the unnecessary roughness should be called on Stanzi for leaving his Receiver out to dry with a late pass". So the ref should throw the flag on the Iowa QB for an unnecessary roughness hit by a Spartan DB on the WR?!?!?!

They kept whining, and choosing not to describe how the hit was "legal" - all while saying that these refs should have to go to extra summer training.

Finally the sideline reporter pointed out that it was a helmet to helmet hit, to which they falsely replied that helmet to helmet never applies unless the guy is defenseless.

There was a lot of other whining and ripping on the BigTen for having the worst refs.

Anyways, long drive back after we looked awful. We have to improve, our line played awful and the drops and QB problems are mounting. Here is to a better game at Illinois.



October 24th, 2009 at 11:54 PM ^

I, too, was listening to that game on the drive home and couldn't believe the bitchfest that ensued after that injury and subsequent penalty. Miller should be reprimanded for his dumb comments, the guy was way off-base as you noted. If you're going to call a game of football, you'd better know the rules before you start bashing the officiating when they make the correct call.


October 25th, 2009 at 8:46 AM ^

A good announcer after going into a tirade about the refs being wrong and the BigTen having the worst refs in the country would have then described why it was not a penalty. They should have started pointing out what it was and was not, such as: 'It was not late, it was not helmet to helmet, and etc.'

The fact that they didn't do this either says that they were bad announcers or being disingenuous with their blasting of the refs call.

A good announcer would not make up rules that don't exist through out the game and then scream when the ref doesn't enforce imaginary rules to help your team.

As an example they twice mentioned that the penalty could/should be on the Iowa QB for throwing the ball to a spot where the Iowa WR would get hit by an MSU DB. This is asinine at the very least to invent BS rules to whine about.


October 24th, 2009 at 11:57 PM ^

Does anyone have video of the controversial calls? I saw the holding on Rucker on a stream but it was low quality. I thought it was fairly obvious that it was holding/pass interference but that's not what I'm hearing from Spartan fans who watched the game. I'd like to see for myself.


October 25th, 2009 at 1:57 AM ^ I looked it up. The NCAA rule reads:

"No player shall initiate contact and target a defenseless opponent above the shoulders. When in question, it is a foul."

The term "target" implies intent, which I don't think was there. So it must have been the "when in question" clause that the ref was looking to. The MSU DB seemed to have started the hit below the shoulders, but ended up hitting the receiver in the head due to the force of the hit and the receiver's legs buckling beneath him. At game speed, I think it would be a difficult call either way.


October 25th, 2009 at 9:06 AM ^

Here is what I found in the 2009 NCAA rulebook. Keep in mind that I did not see it happen, nor did Blaha and Miller describe what happened -- all they talked about was how the BigTen has the worst refs in the country and that the penalty should be on the Iowa QB for throwing the pass in a manner where the WR would get hit.

There seems to be many rules on helmet to helmet hits.

"No player shall initiate contact and target an opponent with
the crown (top) of his helmet. When in question, it is a foul." (Page 122)

"No player shall initiate contact and target a defenseless opponent above the shoulders. When in question, it is a foul." (Page 123)

"Intentional helmet-to-helmet contact is never legal, nor is any other blow directed toward an opponent’s head. Flagrant offenders shall be disqualified." (Page 12)

"Targeting and initiating contact. Players, coaches and officials should emphasize the elimination of targeting and initiating contact against a defenseless opponent and/or with the crown of the helmet." (Page 16)

"Butting or ramming with helmet" (page 152)


October 25th, 2009 at 2:14 PM ^

... is apparently not from anyone who saw the same replay I did. That was the most blatantly obvious defensive hold I've seen in years. Generally, when you throw the receiver out of bounds eight yards downfield and the ball hasn't gotten there yet, you're going to get flagged.

The personal foul was close ... looked to me like he led with the shoulder and their heads hit after, but it's hard to tell. I wouldn't be nearly so annoyed by that one if they'd thrown the flag right away instead of waiting until after they saw that the guy was KO'd. If it's clean, injury doesn't make it dirty. If it's not clean, lack of injury doesn't make it clean.


October 25th, 2009 at 12:09 AM ^

The worst thing about those hits is that if the Iowa player just slowly gets up, or just pops up, there generally isn't a penalty called. Its like they see the player KO'd and its like must be a penalty. Much like Kronwalls hit on Martin Havlat in the Wings/Hawks series this past spring. Not much you can do. fun game to watch though...


October 25th, 2009 at 9:56 AM ^

I agree. I thought it was a bad call - it was not nearly as blatant as helmet-to-helmet as some other hits by MSU players (which go unpenalized). It was clearly a late reaction to the Iowa player being knocked out, and though I understand that is the rule, it felt like a bad penalty. It feel the same way about those late PI calls and the roughing the kicker penalties when the guy was clearly going for the ball and the kicker just fell on top of him.


October 25th, 2009 at 3:04 AM ^

I hate the man because he has a degree from Michigan, but sold out to call games and root for MSU. Look it up, I believe he earned an MBA.

We could've gotten him a broadcasting job at UM somewhere, right?


October 25th, 2009 at 8:54 AM ^

If only Michigan State radio had someone as fair and unbiased as Jim Brandstatter as their play by play guy. I mean, you couldn't even tell he was on Michigan's side.

Typical Wolverine hypocrisy.


October 25th, 2009 at 9:28 AM ^

Please try to comprehend a bit better.

Sure schools will have homer radio guys.

However, I have never heard Brandstatter invent imaginary rules for his team, go on long tirades about the BigTen having the worst refs in the country, or not describe why the ref was wrong if he says the ref was wrong.

You expect every radio guy to favor his home team. That doesn't mean that you have to be asinine, insane, and illogical doing it.

No Wolverine hypocrisy, just poor Spartan reading comprehension.


October 25th, 2009 at 11:40 AM ^

You still can't read.

I expect all radio guys to have bias. Your link has shown bias and maybe a few false perceptions (even sean on 96.1 ESPN radio an MSU fan says the MSU clock stopped early - so its not a big stretch).

It does not show Brandstetter and Beckman:

1) Making up imaginary rules and then complaining about fake rules not being enforced properly.


2) Complaining about the refs without giving reasons for why the ref was wrong.

Nice try.


October 25th, 2009 at 12:00 PM ^

1. Nor did Blaha make up "imaginary rules", so I'm not sure why this is your main point. He was taking Michigan State's side in a debatable call. It was a clean hit, because he hit with his shoulder and wasn't leading with his head, but I wouldn't expect the same fanbase that thinks a pylon is the end zone to know much about football.

2. What is he supposed to do, paint a picture in the minds of the audience? This is radio, and he's busy giving the play by play. If you tuned in after the game, he explained why he thought the call was wrong.

Nice try.


October 25th, 2009 at 12:10 PM ^

1)So you are now arguing that it is a rule that a QB will get a 15 yard penalty if he throws a ball that allows his WR to get hit helmet to helmet by a DB. Can I please see what page this rule is on in the NCAA rule book?

2) Yes a radio announcer is suppose to paint the picture of a game. Do you honestly think otherwise?

If you choose to throw several tirades throughout the game about the refs giving the Iowa the game, then mention specifics. It was not a penalty was not a late hit and it was not a helmet to helmet etc......The Iowa QB threw the ball into coverage and the MSU DB was trying to make a play and incidental helmet to helmet was made that didn't appear to be intentional or significant, he didn't lead with his helmet etc....


October 25th, 2009 at 12:27 PM ^

What? Now you're babbling and putting words in my mouth. I'm arguing that there should have been no penalty on the play, and Blaha was illustrating that by saying that the quarterback was as much at fault as the receiver. He's saying that it's football, and hits happen, so if you're going to penalize that, then penalize the quarterback for letting it happen as well. You accuse me of lacking reading comprehension; you aren't able to comprehend something as simple as that.

Since that wasn't the call, or even the premise of the argument, your point is moot. On the other hand, can you show me what page of the rulebook says that an airborne receiver that does not touch in bounds and hits a pylon scores a touchdown? I'm sure Jim Brandstatter was up in arms about that egregious error, with all his unbiased football knowledge.

Section 1

October 25th, 2009 at 3:54 PM ^

I like that transcript of the disgraceful Spartan Bob clock-game. I was there, and I saw that series of events transpire with my own eyes, and I was basically yelling the same things that Beckmann and Brandstatter were saying. There was no way on earth that another play should have been run in that game; the game was stolen from Michigan, and the disgrace that was the official timekeeper, turned out to be a disgrace that the entire Conference realized after the fact.

So, thanks for reminding me that Jim Brandstatter made exactly the right call in that game.

Section 1

October 25th, 2009 at 3:58 PM ^

What I thought was, 'Dang, the Spartans needed Eddie Brown to come back as a D-back for that play! Eddie would have tripped the Iowa reciever! And if he did it real good, he'd have gotten away with it! No call, end of game, and the Spartans win!'

It worked against Desmond Howard. Right?

PSALM 23 Rod N…

October 25th, 2009 at 9:26 AM ^

I always enjoyed UM's unbiased neutral broadcasting...........
(Sarcasm) Not just Brandstatter, please see Bob Ufer.
Even though I detest DRWORM and Trolls in general, I do agree with him.
Blaha is OK.


October 25th, 2009 at 9:39 AM ^

The point is not whether or not there is bias. There is always bias with sports radio.

The gripe is with:

1) Repeatedly invent non-existent rules to gripe about
2) Constantly criticize refs without specifically stating why the ref was wrong

Have you ever heard Brandstetter do the above ever, let alone repeatedly?


October 25th, 2009 at 12:03 PM ^

That is funny, because I didn't complain about the helmet to helmet on Troy Smith that pretty much ended our chance to play for a National Title in 2006.

Anyways, the issue isn't bias (standing up for your team on any questionable call no matter what). The issue is nonsense, like not saying why the call was bad and then making up fake rules and complaining that the fake rules aren't being enforced.

If that same play happened against us yesterday, would I be saying the penalty should have been on Daryl Clark for where he threw the ball and not Donovan Warren for a helmet to helmet hit on a PSU WR? I should hope that I wouldn't invent rules like that. Especially if I was paid to know and announce football.

Section 1

October 25th, 2009 at 3:06 PM ^

And that is exactly what I was thinking last night as I watched the replay. Word for word. I thought, if Donovan Warren had made that hit and had gotten flagged, I'd be screaming my lungs out at the refs.

The hit was not helmet-to-helmet, except incidentally. (Are we going to take the position that helmets must never touch anything?)

The hit was initiated pad-to-pad, and was not initiated "above the shoulders."

It was, in every way that I could see, a bad call.

Yes, it was a call made only after a ref saw that the Iowa reciever was going to be slow getting up. Which tells every receiver in the Big Ten; stay down. When in doubt, don't get up. You might get lucky, and draw a 15-yard/1st down personal foul with some sympathy from a linesman or back judge.

As for George Blaha and Jim Miller; I think they do a good job of conveying the nature of the game and the Spartan-homer view of play. (Since I was watching tv, I didn't hear their call of the play -- but I get what they were saying. It doesn't bother me at all. I thik it helps the description of the event.) Radio guys are homers. That's just the way it is. I much prefer Beckmann and Brando, but then again they are my guys, my homies, and Blaha isn't. And yes, I hold Blaha's ND association against him. But that goes for any ND-association. Blaha's a pretty good announcer.

physics guy

October 25th, 2009 at 2:20 PM ^

that the rule is stupid because you're supposed to knock off the other guy's block in football. This is a ridiculous take also. Rules exist for a reason. You can't tackle when you block someone, you can't run into the punter, and you can't hit helmet-to-helmet when you tackle. It's one thing to argue whether it was a legitimate hit or not (for the record I think the refs got this one right); but to just arbitrarily apply or ignore rules to suit your team's needs is just ignorant. If you don't like that, then go follow another sport or make up your own.