NFL broadcasts rarely show viewers what they most want to see

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Breakfast’s on me, this morning. Everyone gets a piece of my mind. 

Sunday, at the close of Jets-Bills on CBS, there was only one reason to stick around: To watch battered Jets QB Mike White mingle with opponents, including opposing QB Josh Allen, who likely would recognize and congratulate White’s above-and-beyond determination. 

Consider that when White left injured in the third quarter, Tony Romo logically declared, “He’s not coming back, today.” So at game’s end, White having returned and somehow still completing passes despite ribs hollering for mercy, White was the last can’t-miss-it story. 

But as White was shown crossing the field towards the Bills, CBS cut completely away to a full screen graphic of “The AFC Playoff Picture.” Sanctuary! 

Sunday’s next game, here, Bucs-Niners on Fox, was an impossibility, even by any-given-Sunday lessons. Tom Brady, throwing what they used to call “medicine balls” — passes that left receivers injured — and the last kid drafted, 22-year-old Brock Purdy, throwing for three TDs in his first start, a 35-7 pounding. 

And at game’s end, as Purdy was seen crossing the field, likely scoping for Brady — again, the only shot to stick around for — Fox bolted for advertisements. Couldn’t wait 10 more seconds! 

But sports TV, in its most advanced stages, has never been so indiscriminate, so negligent, so ignorant of game circumstances. 

Fans didn't get to see Mike White, right, greet Bills players on the CBS broadcast.
Fans didn’t get to see Mike White, right, greet Bills players on the CBS broadcast.
AP
Brock Purdy, right, greets Tom Brady
Brock Purdy, right, greets Tom Brady — which Fox viewers did not get to see.
AP

Jets-Bills was the latest in third-down-and-crowd-shot formulaic jobs. When it’s most essential to stay on the field, shoot the crowd watching the field! 

Over to Eagles-Giants where Fox was doing the same, except it added live split screens to create a reduced view of two things at once. Fox did not include suggestions as to which side to watch as we can’t see two things at once, a reality that has escaped TV since it first endeavored to capitalize on the fact that our eyes operate independently. 

The commentary in most NFL telecasts is still badly biased as it much favors selfish, foolish players over circumspect viewers. 

As the Giants were being blown clear to Trenton by the Eagles, Fox’s Joe Davis and Daryl Johnston refused to note what we couldn’t miss: the score didn’t prevent individual Giants from celebrating themselves. 

Down 27-7, Giants WRs Richie James then Isaiah Hodgins caught passes then made with that time-wasting, TV-encouraged industrial cliché of rising to make check-me-out first-down gestures. 

At 34-14, LB Azeez Ojulari sacked Philly QB Jalen Hurts then did a sack dance as if he’d just conquered the Baltic Sea or at least the Gowanus Canal. 

For all Johnston has to say every week, he always clams up on childishly selfish unprofessional conduct. Never offend the offensive! 

Daryl Johnston
Daryl Johnston
Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty

As need-fixing “production values,” it’s obvious, by now, that they’re incurable, thus, in order to continue to watch, we have to change, perhaps starting with our Sunday clothing. “Hello. I’m looking for something in a Moron, Extra-Large.” 

Sullivan, Griffin proof double standards alive & well

Another week of selective, infuriating double-standard justice. 

Jerry Sullivan, veteran sports columnist for two Buffalo-area newspapers and a radio commentator, was fired from all three gigs after answering a listener’s question on a podcast about female fans: 

“Hey, women, be better than this. Because the worst fans really are the women. They don’t get critical journalism. They all want to be cheerleaders, OK? You know what I mean? 

“It’s always — it’s a dangerous avenue to go down, to criticize women in general, because they’re better than men, generally — but they don’t get it as fans.” 

While indelicate, I didn’t find this offensive, just a curmudgeonly opinion with an overall judgment in favor of women. And the experiences in my own life — older sister, twin sister, wife, two daughters, and now two granddaughters, no males — are in concert with Sullivan’s: bless their hearts, they just don’t get it. 

That means I hate women? Exit interview to follow? You can’t fire me! I have a wife and daughters! 

My nephew, QB of his high school team, was playing one afternoon, when the other team was called for offsides. My older sister, mother of the QB and who’d previously watched dozens of games, began to shout, “You dirty players!” 

I tried to explain to her that offsides is not a dirty foul — no more so than Sullivan’s, this week. Yet Sullivan was fired for, at worst, being offsides. 

Then there’s ESPN football analyst Robert Griffin III, a black man, who Monday night let slip an antiquated slur for blacks many hadn’t heard in decades. 

Robert Griffin III
Robert Griffin III
John Mersits/Cal Sport Media/Sipa USA

More than three days later, we still hadn’t heard from ESPN on Griffin’s punishment, if any, as ESPN remains the home of racial and gender double-standards. 

ESPN took just one day to fire and destroy the career, reputation and life of longtime tennis analyst Doug Adler as a racist for calling Venus Williams “a gorilla,” a fabrication — a lie — disseminated by a reckless New York Times stringer. Adler had complimented her for surprise-attacking the net via “the guerrilla method.” 

But Griffin’s apology for something very real was all that was needed. Fine, carry on. Yet Adler’s firing for absolutely nothing stands. Did ESPN even know — or care — that Adler was the annual volunteer head tennis instructor for poor black kids in Washington, D.C.? 

The NBA Kings fired 30-year broadcaster Grant Napear after he, during the George Floyd conflagration, had the temerity to declare “All Lives Matter … Every Single One!” He explained he couldn’t help it as, “That’s how I was raised.” Same here. Shame on my parents. 

Again, the pursuit of equality through conspicuous inequality is a fool’s mission, but on and on we go. 

Some sound advice for announcers: Shhhhhhhh!

Doesn’t matter the sport, TV now encourages its announcers to needlessly speak over them. 

Saturday’s Portugal-Morocco World Cup match was a few minutes old when a chance by Portugal led analyst Aly Wagner to this: “An early goal is exactly what Portugal would want.” 

She must’ve been slipped a copy of the game plan! She spoke such enlightenments throughout. 

NBC’s Olympic-buildup coverage of Alpine skiing was lost to yak as analysts spoke during entire runs. 

Alpine skiing used to be a TV attraction for its natural sounds of speed, our ability to judge the snow as crusty or powdery based on what we could hear in high-velocity turns. We were course-side eye- and ear-witnesses. Not anymore! 

CBS, Sunday, seemed to have finally boosted the volume on Tony Romo’s microphone. 


Rarely heard or read a nice thing about transient big-time college football coach Mike Leach — quite the contrary — until this week, after he died. Had no idea he was such a beloved fellow. 


Not that anyone near or at the top at Fox Sports knows bad from worse, but No. 1 NFL analyst Greg Olsen still comes at us like a Morse Code operator frantically signaling distress calls from sea. “Women and children eventually!” 

Greg Olsen
Greg Olsen
Getty Images

Quote of the Week, from free-agent tourist Odell Beckham Jr.: “I would like to be in a stable environment.” Yep, none more synonymous with stability than he! Unless he was talking about Aqueduct. 

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