Harlan Makes the Most of an Awful Game

TV Geek Harlan Makes the Most of an Awful Game

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The game itself between the Ravens and the Colts was one of the worst I have seen in a long time – brutal to watch, and just flat out boring.  Can I get my Sunday afternoon back?  We only get 16 of these and I had to waste one watching that tire fire?  If not for the Orioles finishing off the sweep of the Tigers it would have been the worst Sunday in all my years watching sports.

Let me start this TV Geek by saying that I’m biased; Kevin Harlan is my favorite play-by-play man in all of sports.  Mainly because Harlan does NFL (TV and radio), NBA, and NCAA basketball and he does them all well.  Take a second and think about how hard that is, calling a game on Sunday then traveling to another city for a game on Monday night.  That’s learning 212 players, more than a dozen coaches, along with schemes and what the teams are going to try to do in the games.

Harlan’s analyst is Rich Gannon, who doesn’t bother me but also doesn’t really bring anything special to the broadcast in my opinion.

You can tell Harlan loves the game by the demeanor in his calls and from the questions he poses to his analysts.  At one point during the game Andrew Luck started calling out “Easy! Easy!” while under center, and Harlan, like a buddy in your living room, asked Rich with enthusiasm, “What does that mean?!”  Gannon explained that Luck is about to change the play, and “easy” is a warning to not jump.

The broadcast team has a great chemistry and it shows from the very beginning of the game.

The refs had a gaffe on a 3rd down spot that favored the Colts, quickly challenged by John Harbaugh.  During the challenge Harlan joked that the two referees marked the spot of the ball in different places and that they compromised by putting the ball in the middle ground.

Rich Gannon let his “Quarterback Flag” fly during the Reggie Wayne pick play that was penalized.  Gannon scoffed at the notion that Reggie Wayne impeded Asa Jackson’s chase of the tight end.  After rewatching the play Gannon settled down and agreed with the call.

There was only one point in the broadcast that I actually shouted “Shut the $&%* up!” (at the announcers).  Before Justin Tucker’s 52-yard field goal going into halftime Gannon criticized the run-play that left only 0:03 on the clock.  Look I’m not a coach or a player, but even I’m aware that the run was only designed to set Justin Tucker up on the hash mark that he is most comfortable.

Keep your game tight Rich, you used to be a quarterback, you’re better than that.

As far as players getting praise, this is three weeks in a row that broadcast teams have raved about the first round draft pick CJ Mosley.  He’s getting some well-deserved pub by the national guys up to this point.

In closing:

The game was awful.

Rich Gannon wasn’t much better.

Kevin Harlan’s calling style would best suit basketball players running down Pimlico Race Track.

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Matt Costantini

About Matt Costantini

Matt Costantini is a recent graduate of BIM and a life-long Baltimore sports fan. Resided in Section 124 at M&T Bank Stadium with his father and brother and was in left-field for the O’s last playoff game before the decade and a half of misery. A huge college basketball fan (UMD of course), sometimes forces himself to believe he likes the NBA. Inspired by the likes of Mark Viviano and Dan Patrick, Matt is prying his way into the Baltimore media market. More from Matt Costantini

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