So much for washed up players and fired coaches soaking up all the space in college football broadcast booths. Anyone who has caught some Olympics coverage has no doubt seen the guy who would be perfect to give live commentary on Saturdays.
Some guy named Bela that used to coach women’s gymnastics is just who we need to be listening to. The past week or so his comments on gymnastics have made me enjoy watching it. Not sure if there’s more passion or vodka running through his system.
But it clearly has plenty of both.
Unlike everyone else we’ll listen to over the next few months, this Romanian (Yeah, I thought he was a Russian, too) with a great TV 'stache does not understand the term “politically correct.” He fires fiercely from the hip, and is more biased than not. Even better, he reminds you of your dad’s drunk buddy.
This guy belongs in the world of football. It just doesn’t seem right that this lumberjack of a man has worked in gymnastics his entire life. The only reasonable explanation I can come up with is that Lou Holtz struck a career swap deal with the devil himself.
While I haven’t been able to understand most of what this Bela has said, I have been able to pick out a few gems.
On the Chinese women’s gymnastics team winning over the Americans: “It is a shame they are all underage.”
On an American gymnast winning silver instead of gold: “The lack of competence in the judges is obvious.”
Preach it, Bela. No fluff—just straight substance. No disclaimers necessary. No fence-straddling allowed.
He has a free pass to speak freely for a few reasons. First, anything offensive can be blamed on translation. Much of what he says is not comprehensible anyway; he could just act like he never said it. Most importantly, he’s the burly guy that carried off Kerrie Strug when she won that gold medal on one leg.
It would take every announcer in Bristol a full 90 seconds to say what this guy says in five.
Since fans might be skeptical of a gymnastics coach-turned-college football broadcaster, the best way to get him started would be to put him on a broadcast team that could not possibly get any worse. Any broadcast produced by Raycom Sports, formerly known as Lincoln Financial Sports, formerly known as Jefferson Pilot Sports, would be perfect.
Since these Raycom games take place before noon for everyone not on Eastern time, many fans have a pregame Bloody Mary. Bela will do the same, just without all the mix. Notice how a few phrases would be improved if this guy had the microphone...
Raycom: “This promises to be an exciting matchup between bitter rivals Ole Miss and Mississippi State.”
Bela: “The season will mercifully end for the Rebels this afternoon.”
Raycom: “That was definitely an interesting decision to go for it on fourth down. On one hand, they had a chance to get the yardage and maintain possession. This would allow them to keep the clock moving. On the other hand, they just gave the ball back to State with pretty good field position. I’ll be interested to see what everyone in Oxford thinks about that one tomorrow morning.”
Viewer: “No sh--.”
Bela: “The lack of competence in the coach is obvious. He will be without job tomorrow morning.”
Energy and excitement would never be lacking if we could get Bela in a college football press box. If not him, I’ll have to fight for my Plan B announcer who is beyond animated, rarely sober, and barely speaks English.
Have the Saints fired their new defensive line coach yet?