Commentator Rankings (cont.)
Posted: Thursday February 8, 2007 12:09PM; Updated: Wednesday February 14, 2007 5:52PM
TWO AND A HALF **/
Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, FOX
Buck seldom tells me anything I don't know, and his habit of totally ignoring guys who make good defensive plays is especially annoying. I kept waiting for Aikman to pick up the nuances of line play, but I'm beginning to think it's a lost cause and just accept the guy for what he is, a very good analyst of routes and coverages. Both of them really let me down, though, when they did Seattle-Chicago in the divisional round without stressing the fact that the Seahawks' secondary was totally crippled.
Dick Stockton and Daryl Johnston, FOX
Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, CBS
Now if I know the reason for it ... or let's say I'm pretty sure I know ... I would assume that Simms knows it, too. It centers around the manner in which New York signed a former Patriots reserve linebacker, as well as the tampering charge filed by the Patriots in the case of Deion Branch. And it's not just between the two coaches, it's an organizational thing. The first time the matter was brought up Simms tossed it off to how competitive Belichick was. The next time it was a pupil-mentor thing. I won't take this any further, but in the background I could detect the odor of rotting fish. Then there was the matter of the rush scheme the Jets used when they upset New England in Foxboro. The situation cried out for analysis. "Mixup in protection," was all we got. Uh uh, not good enough, pal.
Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf, CBS
K.C.-Baltimore produced no natural curiosity about why a seldom used K.C. linebacker, Keyaron Fox, was in the game, and even more strange, why he was covering Derrick Mason, a wideout. Ah, let it slide. Who cares, anyway? Much easier to do a riff on how they have to stop Ray Lewis, an angle that even the loyalists were backing off from, as his game slowly declined.
Observations come in generalities...the "outstanding line play," the "good penetration," by the defense, etc. At one time, years ago, Dan had a good eye for line play, especially on offense, but I cringed as I heard him go off on Hutchinson, a guy who looked clumsy and overrated with the Vikings ... "If ever a man defined the position of offensive guard ... " bong, bong, bong, and in the background you can hear the cathedral bells chiming.
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