Changing up broadcast roles can often lead to substantial criticism, as ESPN found out when they put boxing analyst Teddy Atlas in the booth for some college football (specifically, some #MACtion) this November. Having College GameDay personality Desmond Howard in a color commentary role isn’t as radical, as he played college football and he’s held that role on some lower-level broadcasts (including the aforementioned one with Atlas) before, but his work during Tuesday night’s Boca Raton Bowl between Western Kentucky and Memphis took a lot of criticism.
Howard spent a lot of time ranting about a targeting call he disagreed with, even long after the fact, and he seemed to be offering plenty of rather out-of-place observations. Here are some of the criticisms of him. As always, these are Real Tweets From Real People:
— jf (@utepwku) December 21, 2016
The best thing to come out of this bowl game is that when it's over Desmond Howard stops speaking where we can hear him.
— Joey Sulipeck FOX13 (@joeysulipeck) December 21, 2016
Look. I like Desmond Howard, but he's uhh, not the best commentator. He's got actual insight but it's lost in the unnaturalness of it all.
— Connor Ulrey (@connorulrey) December 21, 2016
I don't really understand why they keep putting Desmond Howard on TV. He's terrible, and he doesn't seem to get better at all.
— Dima (@suckatsports) December 21, 2016
Desmond Howard is a nightmare in the booth as an analyst.
— Kurt Hustle (@CodyKetner) December 21, 2016
Desmond Howard might be the worst football commentator I've ever had the misfortune of listening to.
— Tom (@tvhokie) December 21, 2016
Desmond Howard can kiss my ass. Get out of the booth .You are terrible.
— Ron Olson (@RonOlsonMemphis) December 21, 2016
Desmond Howard as an analyst. pic.twitter.com/KpI4urBhfi
— Walker Carey (@walkerRcarey) December 21, 2016
Well if there was a game you wanted to trot out Desmond Howard as a color guy, yeah the Boca Raton Bowl works but feedback is all negative
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) December 21, 2016
Every announcer’s going to get some criticism, of course, but the amount levied at Howard was far beyond the norm, and to this observer at least, he was deserving of a fair bit of it. Being the color analyst is a far different role than what Howard’s asked to do on College GameDay, and while he has had some experience in the analyst role as well, it looks like he still has a ways to go. We’ll see if ESPN continues to try him there.