Friday, September 10, 2010

Why Al Michaels Is a Tool, a Brief Meditation

If anybody ever wonders why NBC play by play man Al Michaels drives me completely batsh*t crazy, I have a simple example from last night's season opening Saints - Vikings game.

At the start of the 4th quarter, with New Orleans leading 14-9, old what's his name threw a pass out in the flat to Jimmy Kleinsasser. It was ruled an incomplete pass on the field. This drove Al nuts because the official behind Kleinsasser first ruled it a catch, but the other official, who had a better angle on the ball, ruled that the ball hit the ground and it was incomplete. To me, it walked like an incompletion, quacked like an incompletion, so it was clearly an incomplete duck, to borrow a phrase from our friend T.O.

Brad Childress, now sporting a porn 'stache rather than the old professorial beard, challenged the ruling on the field, and this provided Michaels with more time to blather on and on and on about absolutely nothing. The officials upheld the ruling on the field of incompletion, but Michaels still kept yammering, "First they called it complete, and then the second official called it incomplete ..." as play resumed.

He was still rambling about it when, momentarily, the camera flashed on a very, very large human being in a purple Vikings jersey being removed from the field on one of those big motorized karts. It was Bryant McKinnie, the Vikes left tackle, who left with a finger injury (on a kart? really Bryant?). Michaels stopped blathering about the officials long enough to mention McKinnie's exit and then returned to his inane prattle about the incompletion to Kleinsasser.

So, let's get this straight. The guy who is paid to protect the blind side of the great and wondrous Favre was out. The same Favre who the Vikings sent three of their players, smack dab in the middle of training camp no less, down to Mississippi to beg to come back, so important was he to Minnesota's plans. The same Favre who is making a kaboodilly billion dollars, plus incentives this year to play for the Vikes? So the guy whose primary function on a football field is to protect that guy is out, but it barely warrants barely a mention from the play by play announcer. Mmmm, 'kay.

Moreover, the Vikings list nobody behind McKinnie on the depth chart at LT.

What the Vikes did do, was shift Phil Loadholt over from right tackle to left, and insert Ryan Cook on the right side. And Loadholt had his hands full. He was flagged once for an egregious hold on the very next Minnesota possession and easily could have been flagged two or three more times, from what I saw. Moving from one end of the line to the other in the middle of the game is hard, so I'm told.

And yet, there was no mention of it from the announcers. Do you believe in moronity?!