SCOPE - November 23
by David Hershorin
vs. Ohio State - ABC at Noon
Brent Musburger, Gary Danielson, Jack Arute
a game! We were privy to one of the classics in
this rivalry. It's too bad Brent wasn't on his
game. But Gary and Jack carried him like Maurice
Clarett carried the Buckeyes. The end result was
a charged effort that fell slightly short for
such a huge tilt.
introductory sequence revolved around the match
up's history, focusing on the 24-24-2 record of
the preceding 50 years. Even more poignant was
the graphic displaying Michigan's 6-0 record when
Ohio State was undefeated with a Top 10 ranking.
So much for that streak, as OSU purged ghostly
cobwebs to emerge focused on Tempe. So why wasn't
Brent focused? Mostly little things
a stretch of a comparison when he likened the
Buckeye's two-way player WR/CB Gamble to Charles
Woodsen. The positions they share are their only
similarity. Woodsen's quality of play is light
years beyond Gamble's. The potential is there.
But why hype people when the action on the field
amply carries the broadcast? Typical Musburger.
When, like Saturday, he is off his mark, it makes
listening to music while viewing an attractive
audio alternative. Gary and Jack, though, came
across as having much to add. Arute's sideline
update of freshman phenom Maurice Clarett's shoulder-nerve
injury utilized both a medical book diagram and
a team doctor to breakdown how it might impact
his playing time. Danielson rightfully harped
early and often about the Wolverine's success
and the Buckeye's failure on third down conversions.
He even practiced what has become an "announcer's
perogotive" - to point out a streak or trend,
so it can end soon after it is told. In this case
it was Michigan's field goal efficiency. It was
40% until Gary told us it was just before their
first FG try, which, of course, they made
with their next two tries.
the broadcast had other production weak-points
to make it sub-par for the quality ABC has established
this year. Too often pivotal replays played second
fiddle to network promos (often not even sports-oriented).
It alienates core football fans by interrupting
any continuity established. It's about the football,
not the network, folks. Strong was the quick replay
of the Buckeye scoreboard before kickoff. Some
student scoreboard operators had jokingly put
up fake numbers reflecting a huge OSU win. Ohio
State head coach Tressel saw this but couldn't
get it taken off before some Michigan players
saw and relayed it to their teammates, evidently
providing spark which carried the Wolverines far
into the fourth quarter. Well-placed information
that kept us glued to our seats 'til the end.
The mixed bag of broadcast quality can be hard
to grade. But without any major glitches, we'll
give the entire team (announcing and production)
a B-, hoping their personal season low causes
an upswing for this upcoming busy holiday weekend.
can't you guys use Brent for
an NBA game or something?