Have college football announcers completely lost the plot? Or is it just the first-week jitters?
First, Gus Johnson had a rough go of things on Fox Sports’ broadcast of TCU-Colorado Saturday. Johnson, who seemed to be having a hard time keeping track of what was going on at times during Saturday’s broadcast, referred to a missed field goal by TCU’s kicker as “incomplete.”
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) September 2, 2023
It should be noted that Johnson was on the call for Minnesota-Nebraska not even 48 hours prior to Saturday’s game. But still, while we suppose that he was technically correct, it seemed like a slip of the tongue.
Johnson had a few errors during the course of the game, but the “incomplete” on a field goal stuck with us. It apparently stuck with Tom McCarthy as well. McCarthy, the Philadelphia Phillies’ play-by-play voice for NBC Sports Philadelphia, was on the call for Sunday’s Big Ten showdown between Rutgers and Northwestern. And while McCarthy was on the other side of the country in New Brunswick, he also referred to a missed field goal as “incomplete.”
We have another announcer referring to a missed field goal as "incomplete" after Gus Johnson did so yesterday.
It's Tom McCarthy this time. https://t.co/9bFYTt3vlt
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) September 3, 2023
“It’s on its way…and it hits the right upright. Incomplete.”
Having never heard an announcer use that as a phrase for a missed field goal before, it’s a bit odd to have it used twice in as many days.
McCarthy is far from new to football, and college football for that matter. The veteran announcer is most known for TV play-by-play for Phillies games (on a full-time basis since 2009). But he did spend nearly a decade broadcasting Princeton University football and men’s basketball during the early half of his career.
McCarthy has been calling NFL games (as well as other sports) for CBS since 2014 and has also called NFL games for Westwood One and Fox. He was partnered with Tiki Barber for CBS games in 2021 and 2022. He’ll work with James Lofton and Jay Feely this year. He also filled in for Jim Nantz during Week 18 of the 2021 NFL season for a Carolina Panthers-Tampa Bay Buccaneers regular-season finale, as Nantz was ruled out due to health and safety protocols.
So, McCarthy is a well-traveled broadcaster and arguably one of the best in the business. Ill-timed quips like this happen, but it’s a bit bizarre that “incomplete” has already been said not once, but twice, in that context. We’ll have to see if this becomes a trend in college football, or the NFL for that matter, this season.