No stranger to balancing multiple gigs at once, Kirk Herbstreit understands the workflow that Gus Johnson experienced in Week 1 of the 2023 college football season. Johnson who was on the call for Minnesota-Nebraska just 48 hours before, seemed to have a hard time keeping track of what was going on at time during Saturday’s TCU-Coloardo game.

Early in the game, Johnson called an incomplete pass as a completion and then talked about the play as if Colorado had possession (TCU did).

Later on, when TCU’s kicker missed a field goal, Johnson referred to it as “incomplete,” which we suppose is technically correct but, you know.

And then there was Gus saying that a punt ended with a touchback only to realize that it had actually gone out at the one-yard-line.

But those gaffes are not why Johnson has come under fire and why Herbstreit has since come to his defense. Instead, there was one particular radio host who felt that Johnson came across as a fan, rooting for Colorado and Deion Sanders during the Buffaloes’ upset win over TCU on Saturday.

“First of all, you don’t want to do a 45 to 3 game. I’ve done plenty of those,” Herbstreit told Barrett Sports Media. “So if you’re if I’m guilty of anything, I’m kind of excited when the game’s competitive. If a team gets down by a couple of scores and then they come back and tie it? Selfishly speaking, I get excited.”

The criticism of Johnson hasn’t been rampant, and even Hebrsteit admitted in his interview with BSM that he wasn’t aware of any of the negativity directed toward Johnson. However, there was one radio host in Cleveland who took issue with Johnson, and Ken Carman asked Johnson to “dial it down a little bit there, buddy” on 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland on Tuesday.

“If you have a game going back and forth like they had in that particular game, it’s easy to get caught up in the emotion of the game,” said Herbstreit. “It was like two or three plays, touchdown! Two or three plays, touchdown! How do you not get into that?”

“It’s very easy to get caught up,” he added “That’s why we all love college football, the emotion of it and the pageantry.”

One radio host isn’t the general consensus on how a particular audience views an announcer. And in Johnson’s case, his calls are generally beloved across CFB. Herbstreit wanted to make it pretty clear that there’s nothing wrong with getting excited in the booth, and he’s right. Johnson wasn’t actively rooting for Sanders, but he also understands the gravity of the moment and just how historic it was for a team with 80 new players to knock off last season’s national runner-up.

[Barrett Sports Media]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.