George Hale talks sports announcers

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BANGOR, Maine- I SUPPOSE WHAT I AM ABOUT TO SAY IS GOING TO BE CONSIDERED "HERESY" COMING FROM SOMEONE WHO MADE HIS LIVING, AT LEAST IN PART, ANNOUNCING BALL GAMES.

I WATCH JUST ABOUT EVERY SPORTING CONTEST OFFERED ON TV. PLENTY OF BASEBALL , BASKETBALL AND FOOTBALL GAMES.
IT'S WHAT I DO. MOST OF THE GAMES ARE ON THE NATIONAL LEVEL BUT I ALSO VIEW THE LOCAL TEAMS WHEN THEY ARE OFFERED.

GIVEN MY BACKGROUND I SUPPOSE MY VIEWS AND OPINIONS ARE SOMEWHAT SKEWED BUT I ALWAYS TRY TO BE OBJECTIVE.
MY SIMPLE THOUGHT IS THIS.

WHY DON'T THE PLAY BY PLAY AND COLOR ANALYSTS STOP TALKING SO MUCH AND LET THE FANS ENJOY THE GAME.

AN OPEN MIKE IS ALWAYS AN INVITATION TO SAY SOMETHING EVEN IF IT REALLY DOESN'T NEED TO BE SAID.

SOMETIMES I GET THE FEELING THAT THOSE WHO JOB IT IS TO ANNOUNCE THE GAMES FORGET A COUPLE OF THINGS. THE MODERN TELEVISION GAME IS FAR DIFFERENT THAN IT WAS 20 OR 30 YEARS AGO. THE TECHNOLOGY HAS ADVANCED TO THE POINT WHERE THE AUDIENCE IS NOW PRIVY TO EVERYTHING ON THE FIELD, THE LOCKER ROOM AT TIMES ALL THE WAY TO FANS EATING CORN DOGS IN THE STANDS

FIRST OF ALL WE CAN SEE THE GAME. THAT'S RULE ONE. THE CAMERAS SHOW EVERYTHING. ONE MIGHT EVEN ARGUE TOO MUCH AT TIMES.
THE BASEBALL SEASON IS NOW WELL UNDERWAY. A GOOD ANNOUNCER WILL TALK ABOUT THE FUNDAMENTAL STRATEGIES THAT PITCHERS,
HITTERS AND FIELDERS EMPLOY. THAT'S CALLED THE GAME WITHIN THE GAME AND ITS IMPORTANT BUT WHAT THEY HAD FOR LUNCH OR WHO THEY RODE TO THE BALLPARK WITH, MAYBE NOT.

I WATCH BASEBALL MOST EVERY DAY. CERTAINLY THE RED SOX GAMES BUT FREQUENTLY I TUNE INTO MLB, ESPN AND OTHERS FOR MY DAILY BASEBALL FIX.
LIKE MOST FANS I LOVE THE GAME, HAVE WATCHED IT FOR YEARS AND I THINK UNDERSTAND IT PRETTY WELL.

I GREW UP IN THE RADIO AGE WITH THE BEST ANNOUNCERS BASEBALL AND OTHER SPORTS
COULD PRODUCE. PEOPLE LIKE MEL ALLEN, RED BARBER, DON DUNPHY AND MANY MORE. THEY HAD TO PRESENT GAMES TO A VAST AUDIENCE TRYING TO VISUALIZE THE GAME ON THE FIELD. BUT THAT WAS THEN AND THIS IS NOW.

TODAY'S SPORTS ANNOUNCERS SEEM TO FORGET ONE IMPORTANT FACT. I REPEAT! WE CAN SEE THE GAME. FANS ARE LOOKING FOR INFORMATION THAT ISN'T READILY APPARENT LIKE INJURIES, CLOSE PLAYS , PITCHING AND DEFENSIVE CHANGES. ALL THE REST IS SIMPLY NOISE FOR PROMOTION FOR THIS OR THAT.
I REALLY DON'T CARE THAT THE COLOR GUY ONCE STRUCK OUT TEN TIMES IN A WEEK OR GOT CHASED BY RABID FOX IN THE OUTFIELD. TOO OFTEN THE JIBBER

JABBER DRIFTS OFF TO SUBJECTS UNRELATED TO THE GAME ITSELF. IT'S NOT ONLY BASEBALL WHICH OBVIOUSLY IS A SLOW PACE GAME DURING MARCH MADNESS THE OBLIGITORY INTERVIEW WITH THE COACH HEADING TO THE LOCKER ROOM MADE ME HEAD TO THE BATHROOM I MEAN HOW MANY WAYS CAN A COACH RESPOND TO " WHAT KIND OF ADJUSTMENTS ARE YOU GOING TO MAKE" OR "YOU MUST BE DISAPPOINTED IN YOUR DEFENSE" IN MY VIEW TOO MANY BROADCASTERS TRY TO BLIND US WITH THEIR KNOWLEDGE OF THINGS THAT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THE GAME AT HAND IN MY LIFETIME ONLY ONE ANNOUNCER WAS ABLE TO TALK CONSTANTLY DURING A GAME AND AT THE END YOU WANTED MORE FROM HIM. THE GUY IS VIN SCULLY.

MANY OF THE GREAT ANNOUNCERS HAVE RETIRED AND LEFT THE SCENE. THEY ARE BEING REPLACED BY INCESSANT TALKERS WHO OPINE ON MOST EVERYTHING. THE NATIONAL TELECASTS ARE MORE GUILTY THAN LOCAL BUT ITS GOTTEN WORSE. THROUGH THE YEARS. ONE REASON IS OBVIOUS. NETWORKS HAVE INCREASED THE NUMBER OF VOICES ON THE GAMES.

IF YOU HAVE 3 OR EVEN 4 PEOPLE DOING A GAME EVERYBODY WANTS THEIR SHARE OF THE AIRTIME AND OF COURSE TRY TO COME UP WITH AN ANGLE THAT HASN'T BEEN COVERED. I HATE TO SAY THIS BUT SPORTSCASTERS HAVE BEEN LULLED INTO THINKING THAT THEY ARE PART OF THE SHOW. TO ME RELAXING WITH A RED SOX GAME, WITH THE AUDIO TURNED DOWN, HAS BECOME MORE COMMON THAN IN YEARS PAST.

AND I LIKE DAVE O'BRIEN AND JERRY REMY DON'T GET ME WRONG. BUT I KNOW THE PLAYERS, THE STATS ARE ON THE SCREEN AND I CAN SEE THE GAME
ON MY BIG SCREEN. I'M REALLY NOT MISSING MUCH AND IT'S ALMOST LIKE BEING AT THE BALL PARK. FRANKLY IT'S QUITE RELAXING AFTER A LONG DAY.
DON'T GET ME WRONG. THERE ARE SOME GREAT GUYS AND NOW GALS DOING GAMES THESE DAYS.

BUT IF YOU EVER HAVE A CHANCE, MAYBE ON YOU TUBE, LISTEN TO THE WORK OF BARBER AND ALLEN, ERNIE HARWELL, CURT GOWDY, LINDSEY NELSON, BOB PRINCE AND MANY OTHERS. THEY ONLY HAD A COUPLE OF CAMERAS, NO INSTANT REPLAYS AND DEPENDED ON THE GAME ITSELF TO CARRY THE DAY. THEY INSTINCTIVELY KNEW THAT THE AUDIENCE COULD ACTUALLY SEE THE GAME. WHEN I WATCH A GAME I HAVE THE LINEUP IN HAND, THE LATEST STATS AND
INJURY REPORTS.

HOW MUCH MORE DO I REALLY NEED.
WELL, MAYBE A HOT DOG AND A BEER.

THIS IS GEORGE HALE WITH MY PERSPECTIVE ON SPORTS.