CBS Broadcast Does a Disservice To the SEC, Its Teams, and Its Customers
Imagine being a student where you're carrying a class load consisting of just one class that you only had to attend one day a week. The class required that you do little to no research on your part with all of your study materials being provided to you. Adding to an already enticing situation was the fact your course of study covered one of the most popular subjects nationwide, college football. Sounds pretty good huh?
Now consider that you're failing...
CBS sports holds an important piece to the SEC football broadcast package. Having the sole broadcast right for the afternoon matchup. The 3:30 pm game in a way has always been considered the prime time game. It often features the premier SEC matchup of the day. To accomplish this CBS was often given the first pick of games that weekend.
Surely, CBS wants to put out a high enough quality product to ensure the presence of the right to make the first game selection of the day as an option. If so, many are at a loss as to the choice of Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson as play-by-play announcer and color man respectively.
Using my previous analogy regarding the students with the easy classload and plug in Lundquist and Danielson as the students in question, maybe you wonder what they did to fail so miserably?
Where in a multitude of places should I begin?
First off, I feel it's fair to point out that the large multitude of these sins were committed by play-by-play man Verne Lundquist. If color man Gary Danielson is guilty of anything it was in not correcting his cohort who made some of these same mistakes repeatedly and over the period of multiple quarters.
They were simple things. Like the location of where the game took place. I'm sure there may be a Fayetteville, Alabama, somewhere on the map but it wasn't where this game took place. Lundquist only did this one a couple of times. By itself not so bad but teamed with everything else it only added to the irritation.
Which leads us to "Lionel" Washington. Washington blocked a punt in the third quarter leading to an Alabama score. Those watching the game got to hear multiple times over how "Lionel" Washington's blocked punt was a turning point in the game.
I'm sure "Lionel's" Mom thought it was funny the first time her son's name was mispronounced. After the fifth time, she likely wished she could knock some sense into Lundquist's head. After about the tenth time he did it there's small wonder she didn't actually do it.
Meanwhile "Lionel", whose real name is Lorenzo Washington, played an excellent game and while he probably laughed it off after being informed, he still deserved better.
Then you have tailback Terry Grant who apparently committed some heinous crime that placed him in the doghouse of Nick Saban. It must have been true as Lundquist told the story several times.
The problem is there was never any incident that placed Grant in Saban's dog house. The fact is coming off his rookie season Grant suffered a groin injury.
By the time he'd fully recovered the talent level, the tailback position had taken a pretty significant upgrade. There had also been a coaching change. One that looked for a different type of talent than was the case when Grant was recruited.
To his credit though Grant has worked his tail off to get stronger and actually become a serviceable power back. He should be getting a pat on the back for being a team player. Instead, he has it suggested on a national TV broadcast that he either had some kind of attitude problem or had at one time broken a team rule.
Linebacker Dont'a Hightower suffered what was likely a season ending knee injury. The entire time the cameras were on him after his injury, Lundquist constantly referred to him as Dante Stallworth.
Lee Corso is still recovering from a stroke he suffered this past summer yet he still performs his job on a far higher level than Lundquist.
There were other things that stuck out as well but there's no sense in beating the proverbial dead horse. This week it happened to be my team. Pay attention when it's your team being featured, you might be surprised what you hear regarding your team and their opponent.
Maybe by the end of the season there will be enough of us fed up to the point to actually complain with a loud enough voice that CBS might see fit to put a professional product on the air.
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