Monday, September 25, 2006

Touchdown! Touchdown! Touchdown!

Yesterday's announcement that Kent Pavelka is returning to call Husker basketball certainly raised a few eyebrows (including mine) and reopened the last great debate inside the Husker fan base. Personally, I liked Kent Pavelka as a play-by-play voice and I'm happy that he's finally back. However, I really have to wonder... why?

The old line about Pavelka was that he "priced himself out of the job" 10 years ago, but the fact that Pavelka even offered to work for free once eliminates that argument. Even the GM of the new "Husker Sports Network" seemed to acknowledge that the sale of Pinnacle Sports reopened the doors of Husker sports for Pavelka.

But why bring Pavelka back? The simple answer is that Nebraska basketball needs an infusion of interest. Over the past few years, Creighton hoops has surpassed the Huskers in fan interest, so why not bring back the announcer who called Husker hoops during their glory days in the middle 90's? Put a little more excitement into the early basketball broadcasts, and hope that people like what they hear, both from the voice behind the microphone and the game he's describing.

However, this seems to send a strange message about the existing Husker broadcasters. Randy Lee certainly didn't do anything to lose his job. And most of the reaction from fans has revolved around returning Pavelka to the job he was most known for: the voice of Husker football.

The current "voice of the Huskers" Jim Rose has been a disaster in my mind. I thought Warren Swain, while competent, never captured the essence of the job. When Rose was named to replace Swain, I thought Rose had the passion for Husker football that Swain lacked. Problem was that Rose combines the arrogance of Brent Musberger and Howard Cosell, the vocal capabilities of Pee Wee Herman and Fran Drescher, and the accuracy problems that plagued Lyell Bremser, Pat Summerall, Keith Jackson, and Harry Caray in their final years. In other words, the worst of all announcers.

Rose has one redeeming factor as a walking encyclopedia of the history of Nebraska athletics. He can name the high school mascot of nearly every player on the team, and can probably recite the depth chart for the 1981 team. Problem with that is that there is so much information in his brain, he loses any sense of perspective. During last year's College World Series, he actually thought a home run was the greatest moment for the entire athletic department in 35 years, which included 3 national championships and two Heisman trophy winners. No wonder some fans refer to him as "aunt Blabby".

I've criticized his role as the "Husker Information Minister" over the past couple of years as the chief apologist for Steve Pederson, which makes it even more surprising that the Nebraska athletic department would bring back his predecessor. Talk shows and the internet have been full of fans saying that Pavelka is replacing the wrong announcer. Why would Host Communications and Nebraska reopen this can of worms, especially when Rose has sacrificed nearly all of his credibility in defending Nebraska against any and all criticism?

Don't get me wrong. Replacing Jim Rose with Kent Pavelka would be a welcome change in my opinion. I just think it's strange that it's happening. Perhaps Steve Pederson recognizes that despite Rose's support of him, the broadcasts have been "gravitating to mediocrity."


Jud said...

I second you on the fact that Jim Rose is a disaster. I really have nothing against him except for the fact that he is a terrible broadcaster and is untelligible when it comes to vocalizing plays as they occur.

Excitement = good or bad? At any given moment Rose could be calling a game winning play or play that sinks the huskers and you would never know until two minutes later when he finally calms down. Someone should start a petition for him to take a broadcast journalism course or two.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Rose,

All I can say about him, is he is doing exactly what he always wanted to do. And to do that he kiss a lot of ass.

When he was younger he idolized Lyle Brimser.
I think he had the idea of being the voice of the huskers from day one.

Yes he is a walking data base of sports information. But one thing he never had, was experience in a game, other than golf. (that he played almost everyday growing up)

Do not be fooled he was never an athelete (jr high, high school or college), not that would make you a bad sports caster, but there are things that you come to understand that only atheletes understand, before during and after the game, win loose or draw. That knowledge would most likely help on the excitablitiy that Jim has on every play (to calm down).

I will tell you I have seen Mr Rose in other endevors and he is about Jim Rose, and Jim only wants to be on the winning side.

So we will see how long he will stick this out as the huskers find themselves comparable to the 1940-50's teams.

It is kind of funny that the husker football team has not done very well since he became the voice of the huskers.
Maybe we could have him replace, the huskers would do better!? Makes one wonder!

Jerry Hinrikus said...

5 points for great pbp (for you experts... that is play by play)
1. The score
2. The time
3. Theatre of the mind (for you experts...that is what is happening on the field.
4. History of the game and team.
5. Passion and excitement.
Jime Rose delivered all 5 and was the only reason I paid for Sirius play by play. You don't don't know.
My name is Jerry Hinrikus, I have had many, many, many pbp folks work for me through the years in radio and on the internet. None better than Jim Rose.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Hinrikus,

I must have gotten under your skin a bit.
Then the question would be were you looking hard and digging deep to find this comment location?
Or did you just google this after Mr. Rose stepped down to see if there were any comments on the situation?

If you think the world of Mr. Rose, then help your friend out and hire him for your broadcast company, in Kansas.

I am sure Mr. Rose will land on his feet some where, he does do a fairly good commercial voice for tv and radio.

And honestly he did have a fairly good radio sports shows a decade ago in Lincoln.
Play by play just may not be his forte.