Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Mike & Mike: Completely Biased Commentating

Pete's been watching a lot of Blazers games, so I've been watching a lot of Blazers games. I have come to both love and hate the two local announcers. I love how much they admire the players and how excited they are about this team. I think it's funny how totally pro-Blazers they are, especially Mike Rice, who at least once a game is ired by some imagined infraction missed by the officials. Mike Barrett (or "MB" as Rice calls him, which never ceases to crack me up; it's like he's a 15-year old girl) always quietly disagrees, then when the video is replayed clearly showing no such foul, gently indicates as much and graciously allows Rice to move on to something else. What I can't stand is how repetitive they get. If I hear them say "points in the paint" one more time, I may scream. And lately Rice can't stop saying the word "faux-hawk" because if the Blazers get to the playoffs he will shave his hair into a faux-hawk, possibly because Sergio has one, possibly he made this decision before Sergio's haircut. I don't really know, and I don't really care; I just want him to stop saying faux-hawk sixteen times a game.

Rice is probably 65, but there are moments when he sounds like he's 80. And there are things he says that sound so borderline racist... I find myself saying, "Oh my God, can he hear what he's saying?" (The answer is no, because he's already moved on to the next thing.) It's clear that nothing could be farther from the truth - he seems like a super nice guy - but taken out of context, (or, if you will, in the context of my crazy racist Grandfather hypothetically saying them), and they sound pretty odd. Tonight he said something about how guys from Mississippi know how to hide in the weeds. Or maybe tall grasses? Whatever: he sounds exactly like someone's granddad giving a running commentary on the game in the middle of a family get-together. (I have to admit, that has its own appeal.) Actually, he sounds like the players' granddad giving a running commentary. Like he's just so proud of each of them, but especially Brandon Roy.

If the Mikes could just stop saying "points in the paint" (seriously! it haunts me!) and obsessing about Rice's potential future faux-hawk, it would be a great broadcast (for me). The thing is, I really like them. I like the running joke that Rice cheats at the Aflac trivia question each night. I loved when Oden joined them the other night and what they wanted to know about was the 32" sandwich he had for dinner the night before. I might hate having to watch basketball all the time, but I really like our team and it's nice to hear commentary from two guys who love our team.

Okay, I just saw Jay Leno make out with a brown bear of some sort in an ad for the Tonight Show. I have clearly gone insane. I need to go to sleep.


Eric said...

Any sports commentary gets repetitive. I usually watch football games on mute now just so I don't have to put up with that. But I liked biased announcers when they're for my team. I've always felt a broadcast booth would really be perfect with 3 guys: the play-by-play guy and instead of a color guy, just have two fans for the opposing teams. They could argue endlessly about calls/non-calls, whose the better right guard, why one team is kicking the other team's ass, etc. I don't know why they feel the need to have such unbiased commentary for a sports game. It's supposed to elicit those reactions, that's what makes you a fan!

Take for example the NFC Championship game. Joe Buck and Troy Aikmen were not fully covering the story lines of Brett Favre totally pissing all over the final game of his career and the feel-good story of a kicker Lawrence Tynes for the Giants twice crapping out to win the game in regulation. But if there had a been a Giants fan in the booth, you better believe you would have heard all about both of those stories.

Sydney said...

That's a great idea! But you have to match ages. Like, it would be totally unfair to put some 25-year old guy at the table with the Mikes. Poor Mike Rice wouldn't be able to keep up with all the slang. But another ex-coach of retirement-age, that would be hilarious! They could bicker about which team was better in the '70s or the '80s (and who cares about the '90s, right?) and why the Dodgers should have stayed in Brooklyn. Oh, wait, wrong sport. Why the Jazz should have stayed in Utah?