In the midst of a two-hour weather delay, a loss, and an all around sub-par performance from the home team, there were a few bright spots to the broadcast of Sunday’s game.
I’ve never seen a football game delayed at this length before, and given the circumstances of what CBS had to deal with, I think they did a good job. They sent Jim Nantz in front of the camera almost every 30 minutes to explain to viewers what exactly was going on and when CBS thought play would be able to resume.
During the delay the broadcast team even found a few interesting interviews with the head of the officials for the Ravens-Bears match-up as well as Ravens President Dick Cass.
But before the weather delay even came into play Nantz and Phil Simms started off the program on a good note. Tandon Doss fielded a punt and touched off the first bit of controversy in the game. Doss got hit by multiple defenders and the ball came loose on the play. Often, if the broadcast is pressed to get a commercial break in they won’t have time to give you a good angle of the replay. Well not only did CBS have the correct angle to show the knee of Doss and the ball, but they aired the footage showing the returners knee on the ground with the ball in his grasp before going to commercial. This was the first collective “Thank God!” you heard in your house or local viewing establishment by Ravens fans.
Nantz also had all the interesting stats and game notes ready. The veteran announcer was perfectly on the mark with Dallas Clark’s 500th reception. He was also ready for Justin Tucker’s field goal of 50+ yards that made him 7-7 on the road beyond 50. Jim was even ready for Flacco’s 20,000th passing yard. This shows me that Jim Nantz did his homework before showing up to the stadium on Sunday.
Could I give Mr. “Hello Football Friends” hell for calling Dallas Clark either “Dennis Clark” or “Dallas Pitta?” Sure, but I’m not going to because he followed it up by telling people that Dennis Pitta was on his mind due to his early recovery from a hip injury.
I hammer on this every week; I want my color commentator to give me insight that a play-by-play guy can’t. When Chicago was running the three stacked receivers Simms let the viewers know why this set was effective and what caused confusion on the defensive side of the ball. Phil also gave you thoughts about Joe Flacco that many of the Baltimore media and fans have been saying for a long time. Due to Joe’s height and arm strength he is a great quarterback for throwing short quick passes.
Both Simms and Nantz did a good job of letting us know how the field conditions and extreme winds were causing Chicago and Baltimore’s game plans to change throughout the game.
Unlike Greg Gumbel, Jim Nantz presented the enthusiasm that gave the impression he was genuinely excited to be there, even after the two-hour delay of play.
Unlike Solomon Wilcots, Phil Simms doesn’t throw Captain Obvious statements at you with no real depth as to what you can learn from it.
By far, the best broadcast of any Ravens game I have listened to this year.
Next up (unfortunately) Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf!