(See what I did there?) I mentioned last week that I was planning on making the time to check out Sterling Sharpe’s first play-by-play gig on the NFL Network and that I was actually looking forward to it. I also added that I thought it might actually work and after checking out a good portion of the game, I want to take this time to say that I was wrong….so very wrong.
The broadcast wasn’t entirely bad, and the trio eventually settled in a bit, but the first half was beyond horrendous. It seemed as if Sharpe didn’t know he was supposed to be doing play-by-play and at times he would go five to seven minutes without even describing the action on the field. During just about every series, and on punts and kickoffs, there were gigantic pauses and dead air while the play was going on, and occassionally players would be running back to the huddle before he would convey the results. At one point, Marshawn Lynch pulled off a 16-yard run and the RB was back in the huddle before anyone in the booth said a word. It was easily a good 40 seconds or so of nothing. As a PbPer, you don’t have to describe every single moment of each play but it would be nice to hear a little description every once and awhile. Here’s a brief Youtube clip where you can get a sense of what I’m talking about….
And that was just part of the first quarter! Sharpe also struggled with player’s names and yardage throughout and seemed to use the phrase “To a Man” in regards to every single conversation with a coach or player. Both Faulk and Deion tried to help him out when they could but it was almost like the were waiting for a cue from Sharpe. They all sounded and looked to be having fun, but it really came across like Sterling got zero coaching and was just thrown to the wolves. Having three analysts in a booth and no play-by-play guy is close to the most distracting thing I’ve ever watched.
Again, I think he’s a great analyst but this experiment was not a success by any stretch of the imagination. If he sticks to the analyst role, and to honest commentary on Matt Cassel and other players, I think we can just pretend this never happened.
The NFL Network Gives Sterling Sharpe A Shot At Play-By-Play (Awful Announcing)
Tom Brady And The Pats vs The NFL Network (Awful Announcing)