It Drives Me Crazy

It absolutely drives me crazy how the ESPN (and other network announcers for the most part) do not know the college football rules.  I have watched a ton of college football over the past week and I have very little stomach for the announcers trying to explain a rule, and they are wrong.  They see a play or ruling on the field and they question the rule (to no one) and so they wing it.  Yes, some of the bowl games have conference representatives in the press box during bowl games but I have to respectfully question whether or not the representative knows the rule or whether or not they can accurately explain the rule.


FOX network has employed Mike Pereira for that purpose for their NFL games.  It has been a success as Mike is very informed on the rules but even better yet, he can explain the rule at the public’s level.  That’s not to say the public is stupid, it’s to say the rules are VERY complex and they need to be explained at a simplistic level.  Kudos to FOX for caring about the public’s perception of the officials and for wanting to get facts, not conjecture by the announcers.  Now and then they ask Mike for his opinion on judgment, and it goes against what the officials on the field ruled.  That is understandable, judgment is just that, judgement, and there is no exact science for judgment.


When I came off the field at the conclusion of the 2010 season, I approached Holly Rowe of ESPN.  Holly lives in Utah and we had occasion to visit several times.  I asked Holly how the ESPN network gets it’s rule knowledge and she basically said that if they have a question, they contact Dave Parry or Rogers Redding.  As we all know, our friend Dave Parry has passed away and I don’t know how accessible Rogers Redding is at the spur of the moment on any given Saturday.  I haven’t spoken to Rogers regarding that issue but I would be willing to bet it is between zero and none.  And when Rogers is contacted, is he giving NCAA Rules Editor speak or is he speaking his mind?  I am guessing the former.  Basically, I do not think ESPN even cares about getting it right.  Right doesn’t sell advertising and right doesn’t create controversy, and as we know, controversy sells.


My proposal.....I want that job.  I want to be somewhere, I don’t care where, I want all the ESPN games on monitors in front of me, and I want to be accessible to the talent in the booth for explanations.  It may be a play or two later by the time they contact me and I can give them a accurate explanation, but at least it will be right.  Sounds arrogant, right?  I don’t mean it that way, I say it to validate the essence of  I am on an educational crusade to educate the public about the hard work these officials got thorough to be out there and how 99.9% of the time, the officials get it right.  The public has a clouded opinion of the officials because they are spoon-fed wrong information by the announcers.  They’re announcers, they can’t really be expected to bring accurate rules knowledge to the table.


Come on ESPN, care about getting it right!

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