Saturday, June 14, 2008
Well here's an interesting twist to the whole "NBA is Fixed"/Tim Donaghy mess. I don't know if this is a David Stern inspired angle but Dan Wetzel has decided to talk to David Stern about that local announcers might have a role in this whole NBA mess.
“Sometimes you listen to a game from both (local) feeds and you’d think you were listening to completely different games,” NBA commissioner David Stern said Thursday.I urge you to read the whole article because it's a great read, and Wetzel even got some great quotes from Mike Breen regarding the issue. I find it hard to believe that local announcers could have any lasting effect in regards to the refereeing issue, but I guess anything is possible these days. Sure homeristic announcers put some spin on the game, but most (not all) NBA fans are smart enough to pick out these moments.
The way the NBA is consumed by fans is mostly on the local level, either via television or radio. Night after night these days, fans hear that their team is being jobbed by officials; not just losing out on all 50-50 calls or the unfortunate victims of human error but downright cheated out of victories.
“I would say that there’s a lot of officiating done by local announcers,” Stern said
The broadcasters didn’t cause Tim Donaghy, the FBI investigation or the NBA’s current challenge with conspiracy catcalls from fans. The NBA has issues it needs to address; in some ways the league had made its own trouble.
But in a number of markets, the announcers create a distrusting environment. While there are plenty of exceptions, on many broadcasts objectivity isn’t a concern. Bias may come more from the color commentator, often a former player, and not the straighter play-by-play person, but the result is the same.
In the end David Stern just has to suck it up and get a third party to address it. Everyone knows this but it seems as if the NBA is too stubborn to admit it. I really hope this isn't just a diversionary tactic because as much as I pick on homer announcers they're there for a reason. Fans identify with them and at this point no ref should be getting the benefit of the doubt.
Refs caught in crosshairs of biased announcers (Yahoo)