As a lifelong Baltimore sports fan, there’s a couple things in this life that I loathe. The Pittsburgh Steelers, the New York Yankees, Duke, and DAN DIERDORF. I often wonder if my father passed this down to me at a young age, because I can’t really pinpoint the reason that I cringe when I hear his voice, but I do.
That being said, Dan went out of his way to reel in his secret hatred for the Baltimore Ravens this week (or is it a secret love for the Steelers?), FOR THE MOST PART!
Greg Gumbel usually doesn’t bother me throughout a broadcast but I have never heard him sound so bored calling a game. Until the 4th quarter, there was no excitement in his voice whatsoever. Joe Flacco extends a play for the touchdown pass to Dallas Clark and judging by Gumbel’s tone you would have thought Joe was throwing warm-up passes on the sideline.
Dierdorf on the other hand was in rare form, calling AJ Green’s hands “supple.”
That is to say, his hands are capable of Bending and moving easily and gracefully.
Interesting, I had to Google the definition. It even threw off the usually unflappable Greg Gumbel!
The Hall of Famer didn’t stop there; his hand infatuation even reached as far as Haloti Ngata. When Haloti came in for the jumbo package on the goalline, Dierdorf said, “I wouldn’t be surprised if the Ravens didn’t have a pass play to Haloti Ngata. He has some really good hands.”
I wasn’t aware of Haloti Ngata’s Mike Vrabel-like pass catching skills in the red zone; the big man does seem like he would be a crisp route runner, maybe a bit raw though.
Greg Gumbel was more than ready to jump in on the Haloti action, and he even coined a catch-phrase. After Ngata batted a ball down at the line of scrimmage, Gumbel said under his breath, “Ngata on my watch!”
I personally prefer, “Ngata up in here!” or “Ngata in my house!” but to each his own.
It was good to see Haloti have a big game. The only way Andy Dalton would have been more scared of Ngata is if Haloti was in his Thompson Creek Sun Costume. That poor ginger would have burned alive.
Dierdorf’s highlight of the game came on Torrey Smith’s seven-yard touchdown pass from Joe Flacco. Dan showed off his superior analyst skills, calling Smith’s catch “Anquan Boldin-esque.” Props to Dierdorf because that was the same play the Ravens had a lot of success with in the postseason run last year. In true Dan Dierdorf fashion though, he followed up his great assessment with, “The Bengals are in deep doo-doo,” in addition to calling Torrey “Jimmy Smith” following the commercial break.
The part of the game that had me utterly confused and at a total loss for words (not unlike the broadcast team) was when Justin Tucker kicked the game-winning field goal. Greg Gumbel said, “Justin Tucker for the win.” Then, after 25 seconds of silence and after everyone was done shaking hands, “The Bengals made the comeback, the Ravens withstood it and win it here in overtime”
So, the kick was good? Okay, well that’s a relief. Good thing we were all watching, and not just listening with our eyes covered.
Folks, this is why these guys get paid the big bucks and are broadcasting on the highest level!
Hall of Famer analysis!