April 06, 2010
Sleeper teams or sleeping fans?
The first semi-final game of the final four was far less than perfect, but again, so were the announcers. As I tuned in to watch Michigan State battle Butler for a chance at the NCAA championship, I quickly realized that the play on the court would have to grab my attention more than Jim Nantz’s play-by-play. While my eyes were watching the green uniforms of MSU, my ears kept leading me to believe I was about to watch Tiger win yet another Masters green jacket. Nantz has certainly proved himself as a capable announcer in the sports world, but this is the “Final Four.” This is when no-name schools get a chance to beat the traditional powers. This is a weekend that has culminated from upsets and buzzer beaters. This is a weekend where players can be remembered forever and the announcers can put their voices in the history books. While Nantz was insightful, his delivery was methodical. He was on point with his calls, but it could have been so much more. I can only imagine what an energetic Gus Johnson would have done in a situation where Butler has a chance to make it to the finals in front of 20,000 plus hometown fans. Instead, Nantz failed to capture the magic of the moment and let the play speak for him. The problem with that strategy was that the game was sloppy and slow. An MSU turnover would often result in a Butler brick.
In the end, the game needed an announcer to make up for the play on the court and the conservative Nantz was not about to provide a shinning moment. One can only hope that the decibel level will pick up on the 18th green this upcoming Sunday.
Posted by abaumann at April 6, 2010 01:02 PM