Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Blind Leading the Ratings Period

What is it about Chicago and its sports announcers? One of the world's great cities, big league in every respect, employs the worst, most egregious homers as its broadcasters in all the U.S. and quite possibly in our quadrant of the galaxy. Let's just say that Hawk Harrelson is NOT the worst of them. Takes the breath away, doesn't it?

Idly remoting around the cable universe once the Bruins game was a done deal, I happened across superstation WGN's local news broadcast, which was winding down to the sports segment. The broadcaster (weak voice, strong hair) lead, naturally, with the Bulls' win over the Celtics. No problem there.

But said babblehead had a bee in his bonnet. Rather than focus on, oh, I don't know, Derrick Rose's record-tying 36 point effort (to tie a Kareem scoring record is, to me anyway, a newsworthy feat), he wanted to draw his viewers' indignant attention to the foul called on Joakim Noah at the end of regulation, which MIGHT have cost the Bulls the game, but didn't.

Noah's collision with Paul Pierce was rerun in slow motion, and our antihero declaimed, "There's no way that's a foul!!!"

The replay, of course, showed that Noah should have drawn two minutes for cross-checking. Not one Bull, not even Noah himself, made a significant protest to the refs. Rather than tout his home team's stirring and unexpected victory, the broadcaster, whose name I made a point of forgetting, chose to gin up an imaginary outrage, one which only he saw.

All local TV newscasters are blatant homers. TV news operates on the assumption that people who watch television are first-magnitude rubes. The happy talk anchorbanter of all Boston stations about the local sports teams would be infuriating if it weren't so pathetic.

But there's homerism and then there's homerism. Bitching at the refs AFTER A WIN is the sort of behavior that gets a mere fan shut off for the night at the corner saloon. This idiot was making a national fool of himself.

God only knows what he'll be like if Chicago does get the 2016 Olympics.


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