Whitlock Hammers NBC Football's Studio Team

Friday, July 11, 2008

It's not often that you see mainstream media members completely trash a production by other people in the business, so this article by Jason Whitlock was a welcome change. In fact he takes each individual to task on why they don't work in the format and praises the only person who deserves it, Cris Collinsworth....

NBC executives must have missed the memo: The Big Show era is dead. ESPN killed it. Every Tom, Dick and Stu Scott wannabe beat the other side of the pillow, cold and Pooh season and en fuego to death.

It ain't coming back.

What's worse is that Football Night was already hamstrung by an overcrowded set featuring talking heads with limited insight about, connection to and passion for the NFL....

....Nope, Football Night has just one star — Cris Collinsworth. He loves the game. He immerses himself in the game. He's willing to be outspoken about the game. He's just not on camera enough because the show has to make room for all the guys moonlighting as football experts. Collinsworth has no one to talk to on his level. I'd bet he's the only person on the show who actually watches game film.

Dan Patrick, a brilliant broadcaster, won't help. He's a clever radio host, but he's not a football guy. Patrick will be one more person on the show who has little real interest in the game.

I'm sure all these guys are football fans. Hell, they probably operate great fantasy teams. But they'll all contribute to one big, sloppy mess on Sunday nights. In terms of relevance and chemistry, the NBC show will lose more ground to Terry, Howie, Jimmy and Curt Menefee.
The whole piece is spot on and rather entertaining (the Mariotti dig in the beginning is hilrious) and worth a read. In the end, it's not the trashing part that I care about, it's the honesty. Having this many people on a telecast is distracting and completely over-doing it. It would have made sense to bring on Dan Patrick if they were getting rid of a few people, but adding him to the calvecade of random individuals is just going to make things worse.

NBC's cast of thousands is a bad act (FOX Sports)


The Mariotti swipe was awesome. I just hope ESPN doesn't take him up on that Mariotti/Emmitt/Stu studio team idea. Sadly, that actually sounds like something ESPN would go for.

I agreed with every line of that article. Whitlock nailed the problem with the NBC show, and did it comprehensively and succinctly (and being comprehensive and succinct at the same time is not easy to do).

Whitlock is one of my favorite sports columnists around. He's "controversial", but it's because he's honest, blunt, and not politically correct. He makes controversial statements because he thinks they're truthful and need to be said, not because he's looking for maximum shock value and attention. In short, he's the exact opposite of every other "controversial" ESPN personality, and it's no wonder that the WWL fired him.

Anonymous said...
Jul 11, 2008, 2:11:00 PM  

I concur completely with Whit...and James as well.

Less is more and NBC should stick with four. Bettis and Barber are redundant so one of them definitely needs to go, King should have one segment from a remote location, and Costas is better at doing other sports/events.

Anonymous said...
Jul 11, 2008, 2:20:00 PM  

Whitlock is the man. It's a shame he's never on Sports Reporters anymore, his honesty and opinion were always refreshing compared to the broken record of opinions that is ESPN.

PLBT said...
Jul 11, 2008, 2:49:00 PM  

The absolute best line is when he is talking about Keith Olberman. He says, when he sees KO, he doesn't think football he thinks about Bill O'Reily. LOL I can almost see KO reading that with steam coming out of his ears.

Anonymous said...
Jul 11, 2008, 3:05:00 PM  

Jerome Bettis is on that show? Funny, I don't remember anything he said or did.

And Cris Collinsworth has no business being on Football Night in America. He belongs in the broadcast booth doing Super Bowls (with Gus Johnson). I have no idea why Aikman and Simms do the Super Bowls for Fox and CBS, respectively when Collinsworth is far superior to them both.

Anonymous said...
Jul 11, 2008, 3:32:00 PM  

I agree, Collinsworth is far and away the best analyst out there. Too bad his skills in the booth get hidden away on NFLN.

Gus & Cris calling the Super Bowl? Holy crap! The only broadcasting idea better than that is Dante & Galante calling the NBA Finals.

Anonymous said...
Jul 11, 2008, 3:50:00 PM  

Whitlock rules but I can tell you why you never see him on TV anymore...the guy has burned almost every bridge that he's crossed.

GMoney said...
Jul 11, 2008, 4:11:00 PM  

Something tells me Jason Whitlock doesn't get many Christmas cards.

Great article though. Completely objective and honest. And I could not have said the Jay Mariotti line any better.

Matt said...
Jul 11, 2008, 6:48:00 PM  

I wonder why Whitlock doesn't call out his boys at FOX. It's interesting that the FOX show is as loud and obnoxious as any out there, yet NBC is the on he wants to bash?

At least at NBC they aren't yelling over one another to make a point.

Anonymous said...
Jul 11, 2008, 6:53:00 PM  

This article makes sense, but it's overshadowed by the fact that it's coming from the only "sportswriter" who is a larger tool than Mariotti.

Anonymous said...
Jul 11, 2008, 7:12:00 PM  

It's interesting that the FOX show is as loud and obnoxious as any out there, yet NBC is the on he wants to bash?

Maybe it's because "loud and obnoxious" doesn't always equate to "bad"? Personally, if I have a choice between the guys who get too excited and the guys who don't give a shit, I'll err on the side of those who care too much every time.

Anonymous said...
Jul 12, 2008, 1:02:00 AM  


the guys at fox aren't loud and obnoxious because they're passionate about the game, they're passionate about their tv time, and that's all.

There isn't a single pre- or postgame show that's worth a shit. Too many ex-athletes who can't communicate and execs who think having a big name player=good analysis.

The most people that should be in any studio should be 4, and I can only think of one ex-football player or 2 who should be in the studio are steve young and howie long. The rest can go rot for all I care.

Anonymous said...
Jul 12, 2008, 2:13:00 AM  

I totally agree with my boy Awful A!

Adding Dan Patrick would of made sense if they got rid of that pathetic clown Keith Olbermann and the Blog Hater Bob Costas.

Dan, when he was the host of GMC ABC NBA COUNTDOWN was a sole host. Being a cost host with 2 other people sound totally lame!

At least ESPN Has Stuart on site and Chris Berman in studio...

Anonymous said...
Jul 12, 2008, 9:53:00 AM  

A wild week indeed when Skippy Bayless and Whitlock are th evoice of reason.
I'll either watch the NBC show to see the trainwreck that enuses or just click it to "The Bachelorette".
Thanks Joe.

Jergs said...
Jul 12, 2008, 10:32:00 AM  

Whitlock may be right (for the record, I think he is) that the NBC's show is, and is going to be an even bigger, trainwreck. But its rather difficult to say he's being "objective" when he spends two paragraphs praising Fox's show as "the best in football" while writing under for Fox Sports. I'm sorry Jason, but regardless of your honesty, it comes across as nothing more than a pandering shill.

Anonymous said...
Jul 12, 2008, 2:18:00 PM  

With the addition of Patrick, the smugness level went up to about 2,300 Tiki Barbers.

Every single guy on that show is a smug self-satisfied douchebag.

Yeah, let's take a stand against global climate warming change and NOT turn off the gigantic Toyota advertisement...

Can't we just have a Brent Musberger type in the "home studio" with one mic and a video screen? what the hell is wrong with that? they used to do it that way and it was great.

Anonymous said...
Jul 12, 2008, 4:41:00 PM  

Well, if there's anyone who knows about being a "big, sloppy mess", it's that no-talent hack Whitlock.

Anonymous said...
Jul 12, 2008, 6:36:00 PM  

I have to wonder how much of Whitlock's opinions are his own, and how much are his still-present resentments for being fired from ESPN.

Unknown said...
Jul 13, 2008, 2:14:00 AM  

"I have to wonder how much of Whitlock's opinions are his own, and how much are his still-present resentments for being fired from ESPN."

How would resentment towards ESPN factor in to a column on NBC?

Anonymous said...
Jul 13, 2008, 1:52:00 PM  

Dan Patrick and Collinsworth should stay. They should add a coach and a defensive player. I would put Dick Vermiel and Warren Sapp there.

KO belongs on MSNBC/News. Barber just belongs on TODAY with his idol Matt Lauer. Jerome belongs in Pittsburgh. Costas should just be named the Commissioner of baseball.

Anonymous said...
Jul 14, 2008, 2:22:00 PM  

I dont know if any of you heard it, but DP fired back today on the show. I heard it during the second hour at the beginning before the Butkus interview. He said that he would quit FNiA if he lost a football trivia contest to James Brown and Curt Menefee. I cant put a direct link up, but just go to the website and click on the 2nd hour.

Anonymous said...
Jul 14, 2008, 8:15:00 PM  

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