Tuesday, December 01, 2009

...someone tell me why so many warm bodies are needed?
I'm talking primarily about Fox's Sunday post-game sports reports, but this can also apply in varying degrees to the Other Networks as well, and the topic boundaries can also include pre-game and halftime shows. I remember waaay back when, during Monday Night Football, Howard Cosell would broadcast enjoyable and understandable analysis, together with clips of each football game played on the preceding Sunday. Then, he'd toss it back to Frank Gifford, who, with Dandy Don Meredith, might briefly comment on the First Half of the Monday night game, just in time for the Second-Half Kickoff. But I 'spose that was before this age of Information, in which we all get excruciatingly detailed analysis of Everything All Of The Time.
What I've always wondered, is WHY a halftime host needs FIVE OTHER PEOPLE do a tightly-formatted football analysis program. They each only get about 20 seconds to say something, anything, and that's IT. Cram it all in there, guys. Experts they may all be; Terry Bradshaw had a phenomenal run at Pittsburgh, back when he had hair (Long, long ago). And when did Howie Long, another halftime guy, play? I remember the name, and he still looks the same, with that stupid block-haired cut he sports (he could stand on his head without using his hands). And former Dallas head coach Jimmy Johnson still sports that heavily varnished head of hair. He's never had it cut; it was smothered in Varathane long, long ago. And I LIKE those old football guys, but when anyone has to speak in Sound Bytes, things fast become unlistenable. Howard Cosell probably never even Touched a football, yet the job he did by himself is Better than what I'm seeing on TV these days.
After squeezing in their comments, the ex-jocks then start throwing verbal jabs at each other in best locker-room fashion, and then the host has to shout over everyone as he tries to find a graceful way to end the segment before tossing things back to the network, 'cos all them commercials have gotta be crammed in there somehow. Talk about Bad TV. In a way, these ridiculously-hyper game inserts where everyone has to talk a million miles an hour are just Not Natural. All I, or anyone else needs is to hear the score, perhaps a one-or-two sentence recap of the games, and that's it. And, why have all those guys sitting around the set, if the time they get to make their points is probably shorter than the time it takes to ignite a piece of onionskin paper? I would rather hear One Guy, speaking at a normal rate, give a brief report of all Sunday's games and then get the viewers ready for Second-half action. Howard Cosell used to do that. Say what you want about Cosell, but I think he did a great job. So, although I'll be watching pro football next week, I'll constantly have my finger hovering above the mute button. Guys, don't make me use it.
This is the age where we over-analyze Everything. When I hear the phrase, "In-Depth-Coverage", I run for cover, 'cos I know I'm gonna be buried by an onslaught of verbage, detail, and too much information. This is what the cram-it-all-in Pre-game, Half-time or Post-game inserts try to do; they wanna tell me everything I ALREADY KNOW 'COS I'VE WATCHED THE GAME!!! And if I haven't, if I know who's won or lost, that's all I really need. But most of all, why have all those guys they really don't need on program inserts that take up less time than it takes to Boil An Egg (3 minutes, right?) Honestly, the Pre-Game, Half-Time and Post-Game shows are harder to watch than any 5 minutes of the early-morning TV shows, where there's only a little bit of time per subject, and guest-interviews are hurried along to the point of Total Absurdity. I don't know about you, but stuff like that is difficult for me to watch, let alone endure for any length of time.
The reason I'm not a Hypocrite here is because, although this post probably doesn't need to be as long as it is, I didn't need 5 other people to write it, and you can take all the time you want, not just 3 or 5 minutes, to read and absorb my wide assortment of petty gripes. And we'll get back to the game after this...(insert commercial here)


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