This past Sunday the Ravens managed to make Jason Campbell look like an All-Pro. CBS’s Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots were more than ready with the commentary to let the world know.
This broadcast team had their work cut out for them with the Baltimore-Cleveland match-up, but if anyone is up for the challenge it’s stereotypical CBS Play-by-Play Voice and Captain Obvious Analyst.
Harlan is entertaining because while the game is at its slow points he has these awkward William Shatner-esque pauses that make you wonder if your TV signal is cutting out. When the action starts, he turns into a combination of horse race announcer meets old time auctioneer. Everything turns into a jumbled up mess of meaningless words at which point you wait for Wilcots to jump in and explain to you what the hell actually happened.
“Both teams have struggled to run the ball, including the Cleveland Browns,” and “With the Ravens’ run game struggling like it is, Joe Flacco has to play well.”
That’s excellent Captain Obvious, care to elaborate? That’s the riveting kind of X’s and O’s that we as football fans listen for on Sundays.
Maybe it’s the football nerd in me that makes me enjoy Jon Gruden, because I will actually learn something while I’m watching a Monday Night Toilet Bowl game.
The most ear-soothing portion of the game was the random 30 seconds of silence when the Ravens called time out and the cameramen and broadcast team didn’t realize they were still live. Some excellent shots of grass and legs – it really showed off my HD picture!
I thoroughly enjoyed the Campbell compliments throughout the game…
On a throwaway pass while under pressure: “Don’t you love Jason Campbell’s demeanor, that’s a veteran move!”
Better yet, on the four-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Gary Barnidge, “That’s the veteran savvy that Rob Chudzinski loves about Jason Campbell.”
Meanwhile, even people in Cleveland are trying to figure out who the hell Gary Barnidge is. Show the guy some respect, that’s his five minutes of fame!
As the game passed and became more frustrating for Ravens fans, the knife in the back moment came when Tandon Doss fumbled the punt. If you weren’t already about to throw your beer, remote, or annoying (overly loud) friend through the TV, Harlan probably forced your hand.
While the replay of Doss muffing the punt was shown, Harlan blabbered on and on about Johnson Bademosi getting his hand on the ball. There’s this odd moment that happens every time your team is losing where you unleash on the Broadcast Team as if they’re sitting in the room with you…
“No! Tandon Doss just *%$#&%! sucks!”
..and everyone in the room is looking at you like you’re a mental patient.
Then again, the way this season is shaping up there might be a lot of football-related therapy sessions.
Cheer up Ravens fans, we get Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf this week!