To pour salt in the wounds of Dolfans who had to suffer through Miami losing to an absolutely terrible Bills team, CBS decided to run an experiment with political correctness, inexperience, and amateurism.
The network should be ashamed of itself for many reasons.
First of all, modern telecasts feature a play-by-play caller, typically a proven journalist with a neutral voice who won’t distract from the game. Also in the booth will be an ex-player, someone who’s been in the trenches and will point out the x’s and o’s while breaking down plays. A third caller will be on the field, interviewing coaches and giving injury updates.
CBS gave us none of that. None.
The NFL, which has a say in what announcers call games, should seriously consider a fine against CBS for what they gave us Sunday. And when it’s time to renew TV licenses, the NFL should remember this insult of a broadcast, and relegate CBS to a back-burner contract, like NBC currently has (NBC only gets to air one game per week).
I know you want me to start with the female announcer, but, patience, we’ll get there.
Let’s start with the CBS insulting us by putting Jay Feely in the color commentator booth. Yes, he was an NFL player and he was even a Miami Dolphin. And, yes, kickers do indeed count as important, vital parts of a team. But they do not count when it comes to analyzing and explaining complex NFL formations, plays, and adjustments. Instead of telling us why a certain breakdown occurred, Feely routinely said gems like, “Let’s see who made the tackle” and “Watch him make this interception” (rather than use a telestrator to draw the pattern). Feely was as useful as you or me would have been. He simply watches replays like the rest of us, without the skill set to dissect what happened. Compare that to the excellent Tony Romo, who often tells viewers what is about to happen. Feely was incapable of explaining what just happened.
Feely is simply out of his league in trying to discuss the complexities of NFL offenses and defense. On most other Sundays, Feely is the sideline reporter, who gets air time maybe once or twice per game when the real announcers upstairs ask him questions about how windy it is for the kickers. Discussing kicking? I have no problem with Jay Feely piping in now and then. But discussing an entire game over the course of three hours? It was brutal.
There were many times last Sunday when I wanted Feely to break down a play, to show us why Adam Gase’s plays were not working, to explain why Tyrod Taylor was able to break containment every single play. Instead, we got Feely saying such earth-shattering revelations like, “I’m not sure how they could pick up a first down on that play. Let’s watch this replay” It was painful.
Remember the play when Jarvis Landry got caught holding and then picked up a 15-yard penalty on top of it? I’m still waiting for Feely to explain what it was for.
Look, I like Jay Feely, and he was a good Dolphin. But I’m sorry, he’s simply unqualified to analyze the complexities of an NFL game.
Speaking of unqualified, that leads us to Beth Mowins, the person who called play by play. Remember earlier, when I mentioned a play-by-play announcer’s voice should be neutral and nondescript? Her voice is the opposite. Her inflections were sooo incredibly annoying that many of us turned off the sound and followed the radio broadcast instead. She clearly models herself after Suzy Kolber, who also grates on your by emphasizing syllables out of nowhere.
As far as having a female call the game, we must point out the obvious and mention that CBS tried this as some kind of politically correct publicity stunt. Just like ESPN tried it when they hired Mowins to call a game back in Week 1. The Mowins experiment failed both times. She received negative reviews both times, and neither CBS nor ESPN earned any p.c. street cred for what they did. There has been virtually zero media coverage of CBS foisting a female announcer on their broadcast of an important game between two playoff contenders. This was NOT a throwaway game like the Colts vs. Broncos.
It’s interesting to me that Mowins is able to broadcast games for two different competing networks. Obviously, ESPN didn’t think enough of her to offer her an exclusive job, and then CBS had the brilliant logic to say, “She wasn’t good enough for a cable channel to offer her a full-time gig, so let’s get her to call a game for us!”
I’m not saying Mowins is utterly unknowledgable about football. But I am saying that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of male announcers out there as well. And we have to wonder if CBS interviewed all of them and gave them all a fair job interview. Or did they go with Mowins because, perhaps, they wanted to experiment with the novelty of a female announcer? I can tell you this much: if the announcer was a male who had a grating, annoying voice with awful pronunciation of words, I’d still be mad. It’s not so much the man/woman debate to me as it is the annoying-voice/normal voice debate.
In addition, where was the third man? CBS couldn’t afford to have a guy on the field to ask Adam Gase a few questions? No one to ask him why he refused to run the same game plan that destroyed New England? No one to report on our injuries?
Not even someone to ask Gase if placing Julia Thomas on injured reserved (he’s officially out for the year now) makes the Dolphins a much better team? (It does; addition by subtraction).