Every year, we have to labor through four weeks of preseason football. The first week goes by rather quickly because, frankly, we’re just happy to have some form of football back, but by the fourth week, we’re all just tired of it.
Aside from sub-par football and outcomes that mean nothing, there’s one other factor that makes these four weeks a mixed bag of tricks. Local broadcasts.
If you’re like me, and you watch a lot of preseason games through NFL.com, you’ll quickly notice that the normal crew of national broadcasters are absent. In their stead is a mess of local media members and often some former players in the booth.
For the most part, I really don’t have a problem with them. Yes, they tend to focus about 90% of their energy discussing “their” team while they drop a few mentions on the other team. Fine. Despite being in a professional setting, they often call refer to the home to in such ways as, “We need a better pass rush, we have a great chance to go far,” or “we need better players.” Again, fine.
The one thing I can’t stand, however, is the ramblings brought on by local broadcasters. Yes, this occasionally happens from the regular guys during the season, but the local talent is far more prone to harp on one thing or another. That was the case Thursday night when Cleveland Browns broadcaster Bernie Kosar, who played quarterback for the Browns in the 80s and 90s, trashed Rams backup Kellen Clemens.
Throughout the evening, Kosar ripped into Clemens, the highlight of which came when Kosar said, “I can’t stand watching him play.”
Besides being a completely dick thing to say, Kosar lacks the professionalism needed to work in a broadcasting booth, and that’s the general feel of many preseason games. These guys are there to talk about the teams they represent, and if you believe most of them, teams like the Buccaneers, Browns and the Raiders all have real chances of making deep playoff runs.
Preseason football often becomes a dull exercise of endurance from the fans’ perspective, and local broadcasters are like nails on a chalkboard after four weeks of meaningless football. Still, there’s always the mute button on the TV or computer, and by the end of August, I just may be using it a little bit more.