On Monday we had a great game between division rivals, the Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals. But, the announcing crew of Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, and Tony Kornheiser wasn’t so great.
Tony Kornheiser has what I’d call the “Reverse Adam Carolla Effect”. Adam Carolla is hilarious on the radio, but when you see him on television, for some reason he’s not nearly as funny. For Kornheiser, he’s great on PTI, but when he’s making his “witty” comments off-screen they fall short.
– When a penalty was called for 12 men on the field, but then the flag was picked up, Tirico made a lame comment about the Florida recount. Here’s where someone needs to take a shot at Tirico for that awful reference…but instead Kornheiser comes back with mentioning hanging Chad’s…get it…cause Chad Johnson is on the Bengals…Maybe they should put crickets in the booth.
-ESPN’s new gaudy graphics had beams of light instead of spot shadowing players. When TJ Houshmandzadeh was hit hard, Kornheiser mentioned they should’ve beamed him up before that hit happened. Clever, all that was missing was the Scottish accent.
-Then, worst of all was when Kornheiser asked if Kanye West and Batman’s Adam West were related. You don’t have to try and always be funny.
I don’t think Kornheiser is awful, but he didn’t fit with Theismann and so far he hasn’t fit with Jaworski. Kornheiser needs a strong counterpoint. He needs someone like Michael Wilbon. He needs someone to laugh at him for his dumb jokes and put him in his place. He needs someone to question what he’s still doing up in his old age. He needs someone to respond to his West comment with questioning whether Kornheiser even knows who Kanye West is. Until he has his counterpart, his jokes will continue to make people cringe.
Ron Jaworski is an upgrade over Joe Theismann. Although, that says very little. I will no longer have to listen to Theismann describe his devastating injury like he seemingly did every week (although this will make the MNF drinking game less exciting).
Jaws did a decent job. His knowledge of football showed with his ability to dissect defensive and offensive plays. But, my biggest problem with announcers is when they can’t admit they were wrong. Early in the first quarter Steve McNair threw a pass that was a good 3-4 feet above Demetrius Williams’ head and Jaws called it an excellent pass. Then, he reiterated this after watching the replay of Williams barely getting his hands on the pass that would’ve sailed over most receivers’ heads.
Then, there was the Chad Johnson celebration. Sure, it needs to be covered, but did it need to be brought up and shown 8 more times? What bothered me the most was while this celebration was going on, Shayne Graham was injured and the Bengals Punter, Kyle Larson’s extra point was blocked, but Kornheiser and the boys continued to debate how good Chad Johnson’s celebration was. This extra point almost proved critical and it was hardly even mentioned.
Then there was the comment of the night. The comment that left the booth silent, then cracking up, and luckily not much of a reply. Kornheiser was telling a story about how TJ Houshmandzadeh almost changed his name to TJ Johnson (his mother’s maiden name) and the Bengals would have had Chad, Landon, Rudi, Jeremi, and TJ Johnson. Then, the Jaws opened and this came out… ”Do you know who the biggest Johnson is?” I hope we never find out the answer to that question.