Mini Smearies: Pet Peeves of Sports Journalism, Part 3 of 5

The Color Guy

Seriously, do we need this guy? With very few exceptions, has a color guy ever offered anything useful to a broadcast? Seriously, what benefit is there to sticking Tim McCarver in a booth with Joe Buck?

Joe: The Cards are struggling and they face a hot pitcher today in Jurrgens. What do they need to do to snap out of this current rut, Tim?

Tim: Well, Joe, they need to play better than they’ve been playing.

Really? In order to play better, they need to play better. That’s the big ticket? And before anyone goes up in arms, no that’s not a direct quote. It merely paraphrases nearly 100% of color “analysis” that goes on during a baseball season. You can apply it to football too. (nothing negative in this smear applies to John Madden. Yes, he is terrible, but without him, we wouldn’t have the hysterical comedy of Frank Caliendo… so Madden gets a pass).

Pat Summerall: What are some keys for the Bucs to have success today?

Sucky Color Guy: Well, Pat, I think they need to protect the quarterback.

Well holy hell! It’s a good thing I’m not an offensive coordinator! This whole time, I’ve been thinking that quarterbacks have a much easier time moving their team down the field with 300 lb man beasts driving them face first into the turf. Silly @#$%ing me!

The Solution: I hypothetically may or may not work with a certain person at my day job that I may or may not have, that likes to tear down the thoughts, work, ideas, and whatever else have you just because this person thinks that having an opinion makes it valuable and makes them look better to the boss. The problem, there is nothing backing that opinion. I don’t like it. Really? How come? I just don’t like it.

It’s opinion vs. analysis. And it’s pure, unadulterated laziness. And it’s an assumption that your audience is too stupid to figure out that you’ve completely mailed it in. Or that your brain lacks the processing power to formulate anything other than a cookie cutter thought. Or that you’re performing some sort of social experiment where you’re trying to figure out exactly how little you can do and not get called out on it.

There needs to be a test. Standardized testing. For all color guys in all sports. And then, just maybe, when Joe Buck asks whomever took McCarver’s place what the Cards need to do to snap out of a funk against a hot Jair Jurrjens, you may just get something useful like If I’m the Cards’ hitting coach, I’m telling my guys to go up hacking. Jurrgens has thrown 84% first pitch strikes in his last four starts so if they’re gonna get something to hit, it will be early in the count. You don’t want to be down 0-2 or 1-2 to Jurrjens with the slider that he’s been bringing recently. Or if Summerall asks what Josh Freeman needs to do to be successful against a certain defense, This defense has gotten great interior play recently but has struggled when the quarterback gets outside the pocket. Freeman is mobile and they may be able to exploit the lack of pursuit speed from the ends and backers. Hell, I don’t even know if that makes sense, but you see what I’m getting at, right?

Bonus Peeve: This is not limited to sports, but I can’t stand people who will write anything to get a headline or a mention. And I know I’m not helping because I’m about to give someone a mention. Remember when credibility mattered? A journalist you considered respectable wrote something and you knew it was on. Because he or she was credible. Now you have idiots writing articles like this one listing the top 20 “worst bands” of all time, and including bands like Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Dave Matthews bands, while omitting bands like Bloodhound Gang (who admittedly could barely play their instrumetns), Ace of Base, and any number of other groups who have zero or negligible vocal or instrumental ability. Love them or hate them, there’s no denying that bands like Pearl Jam, the Peppers and DMB can at least play their instruments with reasonable competency, thereby rendering the assertion that their among the worst simply ludicrous.

In the good old days, people would laugh those morons out of town. Now, people link to it on their Facebook, ensuring that the half wits who wrote it get some kind of recognition. And how much of a half wit am I to fall into the trap?

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