Monday, December 28, 2009

Brennaman/Billick: Hard on the Ears

When you're looking at a schedule of 13 regionally-covered NFL games in a weekend, it's easy to imagine that some of the announcing will be less than stellar.

However, it's hard to imagine there being a worse broadcast team in the NFL right now than the Thom Brennaman/Brian Billick combination on FOX.

They're probably the fourth or fifth team on the network, meaning they rarely call big games. However, since I have Sunday Ticket, I've witnessed their magic a few times. Rarely were they in better -- or worse, I guess -- form than Sunday at Lambeau Field, when Seattle faced the Packers.

Brennaman and Billick were at their best worst late in the first half. Facing a third and goal at the 15, Green Bay ran the clock down to 15 seconds and took their second of three timeouts. That meant they had one timeout left (simple math, but follow along, please). It was going to be third down and goal, meaning they couldn't get a first down without scoring a touchdown. There were no more than two plays left in this possession, barring an unlikely series of defensive penalties, yet Brennaman and Billick were aghast at Green Bay's clock management. Why, they wondered, would the Packers run so much time off the clock?

After a 14-yard pass to Jermichael Finley, it was fourth down and goal at the one. The Packers called a timeout with eight seconds left. Brennaman and Billick again talked about the clock management, curious as to exactly why Green Bay would do such a thing. After a touchdown pass was called back by a penalty, there were still three seconds on the clock. Since the penalty -- which was a bad call -- moved the ball back to the 11, Mason Crosby booted a field goal on the last play of the half.

Normally, I try to leave announcers alone. In fact, I tend to be kind of sensitive to criticism of them, because I know how hard a job it is to do.

However, this is one of those stories that simply can't be brushed aside. Billick wins points with me because he can poke fun at his coaching failures, especially when it comes to developing quarterbacks in Baltimore. That's all well and good, but the guy is clueless in the booth, and Brennaman isn't much better.

The worst thing that could have happened to the Packers was that they would turn the ball over in that sequence. Outside of that, they were going to have a chip shot field goal if they didn't score a touchdown. What would the purpose be of leaving extra time on the clock for Seattle to respond? There's no reason to let a bad team back in the game with a late score, especially when that bad team is scheduled to get the ball for the start of the second half.

For Brennaman and Billick to fail to recognize the nature of the situation -- which was that Green Bay was in goal-to-go and couldn't get a first down -- is inexcusable. Luckily, Mike McCarthy has a better understanding of clock management than these two clowns.

Unfortunately, that isn't saying much.


SHOW said...

I was watching that part of the game and was yelling at them. It was actually great time management by the Packers.

Anonymous said...

Brennaman should stick to baseball...he's bad because he announces for a BAD Reds team just like his father did!

By the way...Joe Buck needs to stick to the NY Yankee baseball broadcasts with McCarver. He sucks too!

David said...

show's a closet Packers fan!