Apparently, Arena Bowl XXIV happened over the weekend. I’ll pause for a minute to let us both recover from missing such a historic event.
Ok, my eyes are finally dried. But, at least we can relive the magic through highlights that captured perhaps the most dramatic finish to an indoor football championship in history. Trailing by three with only a few seconds left, Jacksonville QB Aaron Garcia connected with WR Jeron Harvey for the title-winning touchdown over Arizona as time expired. Now, I’m no Arena Football buff, but apparently this Aaron Garcia is the John Elway/Dan Marino/Peyton Manning of Arena Football.
Just take a look at the guy’s Wikipedia page, he holds nearly every Arena Football League passing record. Winning his first Arena Bowl in the grandest fashion imaginable should have brought an announcing call worthy of such a historical moment, except… it didn’t. In fact, play-by-play man Paul Burmeister managed to give us one of the worst, most uninspiring calls in history!
“Touchdown Jeron Harvey. Garcia to Harvey…the Jacksonville Sharks are your Arena Bowl Champions”
YAWN! The only accent Paul Burmeister even puts on the call is his best imitation of Mike Tirico’s sing-songy approach to big moments (I’m not the only one who’s annoyed by that, right?).
Now, granted the game-winning TD by Jacksonville did deflate the home Arizona crowd, but come on Mr. Burmeister! Show us a little bit of excitement instead of giving the most bland, generic call you could possibly announce for a game-winning touchdown to decide a champion. Heck, Burmeister’s call makes Chris Myers sound like Gus Johnson. He makes Joe Buck sound like Kevin Harlan. And let’s not give newbie analyst Kurt Warner a pass either. His analysis after the play is about as bland as you could be after just seeing the game-winning TD in the AFL’s Championship, although he eventually does get the story of Garcia’s triumph.
Let’s hope one of the high-priced suits at the NFL Network actually takes note of this latest debacle of announcing at the channel. Doesn’t anybody find it odd that even after almost 8 years the NFL’s own network is so absolutely terrible at… TELEVISING FOOTBALL?! First there was Bryant Gumbel, then Millen and Theismann, and now Arena Bowl XXIV. Let’s hope the NFL Network’s new tandem of Brad Nessler and Mike Mayock don’t fall under the same spell of awfulness that has followed every announcer who’s step foot in an NFL Network booth. Or, on second though, let’s hope they do… after all, this website has to have some material to work with this fall besides Pam Ward.