The Lions Are Looking To Gus For Some Preseason Hype

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Detroit News is breaking the news that the Detroit Lions might be looking towards one Gus Johnson to call their preseason games this August. It's not rare for teams to bring on familiar broadcasters to ramp up the season but Channel 62 in Detroit is looking to replace the team from last year....

The Lions will at least sound different in the exhibition season, with a new broadcast crew scheduled to do play-by-play and analysis on local telecasts of the team's four exhibition games on WWJ-TV (Channel 62).

Gus Johnson, a Detroit native who has done NFL games for the CBS network since 1998, is the top candidate for the play-by-play man. An announcement on the full crew is expected soon by Channel 62.

Trey Fabacher, vice-president and general manager of Channel 62, would not confirm the hiring of Johnson, but Lions sources confirmed Johnson has been the No. 1 choice for play-by-play. The Lions and Channel 62 recently signed a three-year contract for the CBS-owned station to televise the exhibition games. Channel 62 is not retaining the previous broadcast team, which had Frank Beckmann doing play-by-play and former Lions quarterback Erik Kramer doing color.
I would never disapprove of Gus on any broadcast (although the MMA heads may disagree), but for a team that needs a spark, this maybe the guy to push them over the edge. Wait this is the push for the Playoffs right? Oh it's the Preseason??? Okay, well let's get drunk, watch some Kitna, and then listen to Gus get excited about some fourth stringers! Ain't nothing wrong with that.

Ch. 62's Lions telecasts change (Detroit News)


Does that mean no more Gus Johnson for Eagles preseason games?

Anonymous said...
Jun 4, 2008, 9:13:00 AM  

That's what I was thinking Mike. This is awful. One of the reasons I would actually watch pre-season games was to hear Gus here in Philly.

Anonymous said...
Jun 4, 2008, 9:59:00 AM  

Bob Golic used to do Browns preseason games...just an entirely new level of shittiness.

GMoney said...
Jun 4, 2008, 10:26:00 AM  

For as good a job as he does on Michigan football, Frank Beckmann seemed absolutely lost doing Lions preseason games the last few years. I'm hoping they pair Gus and Chris Spielman.

Jun 4, 2008, 11:49:00 AM  

Hasn't Gus Johnson been doing the Bills preseason games with Steve Tasker for the last 2-3 years?

Anonymous said...
Jun 4, 2008, 12:07:00 PM  

Gus did do Bills games. Tasker also did play-by-play with Marv Levy for Bills games...yikes!

Anonymous said...
Jun 4, 2008, 12:30:00 PM  

NOOOOO!!!!! I hope this that channel finds someone else last minute because I do NOT want Gus Johnson leaving the Eagles' preseason games. And if Gus does leave, then I wonder who would take the job as Eagles' pre-season announcer. Hopefully they can bring up Merrill Reese from radio but I doubt that would happen.

Anonymous said...
Jun 4, 2008, 1:43:00 PM  

/Insert Joe D's disdain for this move here

Anonymous said...
Jun 4, 2008, 3:06:00 PM  


I want my GUS for Eagles preseason games.

Anonymous said...
Jun 4, 2008, 4:18:00 PM  

Good. Beckmann sucks hard core.

Anonymous said...
Jun 4, 2008, 10:03:00 PM  

After listening to a bit of Beckmann's radio show, he can only accurately call plays that go to the right.

Anonymous said...
Jun 5, 2008, 12:59:00 AM  

Southfield, MI, June 19, 2008 -- WWJTV will telecast the Detroit Lions 2008 preseason with a homegrown veteran broadcast team presenting the games; it was announced today by Trey Fabacher, vice-president and general manager of WWJTV/CW50.
Detroit native and CBS Sports veteran Gus Johnson will lead the on-air team providing play-by-play for the games. He will be joined by former Lions Pro Bowl kick returner and Heisman trophy-winner from the University of Michigan Desmond Howard who will provide color analysis. Well-known sports broadcaster, Matt Shepard, will co-host the Lions pre-game programs along side Lions Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end Charlie Sanders. Both Shepard and Sanders will also provide commentary and sideline reporting during the games.
In the production truck, a pair of award-winning veterans will team up for the game telecasts. Bryan Bender will produce the games and Toby Cunningham will again direct the broadcasts.
“We are thrilled to have Gus, Desmond, Matt, and Charlie joining our WWJTV Detroit Lions broadcast team,” said Fabacher. “When we add this group to the incredible skills and talents of Bryan and Toby as well as an entire new graphics and on air look for WWJTV, the pre-season Lions games this year will remain locally based, but with network experience at the core.”
Gus Johnson joined CBS Sports in 1995 as a play-by-play announcer for the CBS Television Network's coverage of college basketball, including the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship. Johnson has called several Detroit Lions games over the years since he first started announcing NFL games in 1998, and this season marks his 11th covering the NFL for CBS. His credits at CBS Sports also include play-by-play for college football, track and field, boxing, the Hambletonian, and the bobsled and luge at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games. Johnson serves as host of “At The Half,” CBS Sports' college basketball halftime studio show, and “Sportsdesk,” CBS Sports' wrap-around studio show. He currently is also featured on the CBS network’s new Mixed Martial Arts broadcasts. A native of Detroit, he graduated from Howard University with a degree in political science.
Desmond Howard played for the Detroit Lions from 1999-02, and was the NFC’s kick returner for the 2001 Pro Bowl following the 2000 season. In four seasons with the Lions, he ranks among the top kick returners in franchise history. He retired from the NFL in 2002 to pursue a career in broadcasting. Previous to his stint in Detroit, Howard played for the Washington Redskins (1992-95), the Jacksonville Jaguars (1995), the Green Bay Packers (1996, 1999) and Oakland Raiders (1997-98). He won the Most Valuable Player Award as the Green Bay Packers captured Super Bowl XXXI. Howard was named the Heisman Trophy winner in 1991 while at Michigan. He is one of only four players in history to win the Heisman Trophy and earn Super Bowl MVP honors. Howard is currently featured on ESPN.
Veteran sports broadcaster Matt Shepard is known to most Detroit sports fans as the play-by-play announcer for numerous broadcast radio and TV stations through the years, including covering the Detroit Pistons, the WNBA Detroit Shock, and the Detroit Red Wings. Shepard currently calls play-by-play for University of Michigan basketball games and Eastern Michigan football games. A two-time winner of the Michigan Association of Broadcasting (MAB) Sportscaster of the Year award, Shepard has been involved covering the Detroit Lions since 1998.
Former Detroit Lions great Charlie Sanders, who wore the Honolulu blue and silver from 1968 to 1977, will appear on the broadcasts as well. Sanders, who was recently inducted into the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame, appeared in seven Pro Bowls and is one of only seven tight ends inducted into the Hall of Fame. Additionally, he was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 1990, the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, his native state, in 1997, and the Guilford County (Greensboro, N.C.) Sports Hall of Fame in 2005. Sanders has played, coached and scouted for the Lions over the years, and he has served as a broadcaster for the team from 1983-88 and in 1997.
Bryan Bender begins his 13th season with the Detroit Lions and Ford Field directing the team’s broadcasting department. He assumed his role of Director of Broadcasting and Production in 2005, overseeing all television, radio and stadium productions. He was hired by the Lions as the Broadcasting Services Coordinator in 1997 and was promoted to Director of Broadcasting Services in 1999. In 2004, he was awarded an Emmy award for the “Ford Lions Report” program. In addition to his current role of coordinating the Lions' television programming, Bender also produces the team's preseason telecasts as well as the in-stadium game production at Ford Field. A graduate of Eastern Michigan University, Bender lives in Grand Blanc with his family.
Award-winning producer Toby Cunningham has held several positions at WKBD-TV and WWJTV, as Producer/Director, Production Manager, Executive Producer, Director of Creative Services and Director of Production. He has produced and directed most of the CBS stations’ sports programming for many years which has included Detroit Tigers baseball, Lions Football, and other sports specials.
The Lions will open their 2008 preseason at Ford Field against the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants on Thursday, August 7. They travel to Cincinnati for Game 2 on Sunday, August 17, then host Cleveland on Saturday, August 23, and finish the team’s four-game preparation for the 2008 season at Buffalo on Thursday, August 28.
WWJTV is part of the CBS Television Station Division, a division of CBS Corporation.
For further Information, please contact Paul Prange at WWJTV at 248-355-7012

Anonymous said...
Jun 24, 2008, 11:58:00 AM  

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