Tuesday, January 02, 2007

When did this happen?

I was doing a google blog search to see if anyone else picked up on the Musburger, Davie, Herbstreit exchange about bloggers calling for Lloyd Carr's head and it got me to thinking. When did TV announcers become shills for underperforming head coaches?

I mean you hear it all the time. Ron Zook had a cheering section in Bristol during his (mis)management at Florida. Now Lloyd Carr is the darling of the broadcasters. Nothing personal against Carr, he seems like a fine man and he has had past success at Michigan. But that doesn't mean that he can't be questioned. As one blogger put it, bloggers are fans. You have to be highly invested in a team to blog about it. Look, I understand if an announcer doesn't want to pile on a coach when he's down, but they don't have to go out of their way to defend a guy either (and alienate all of the fans that think that maybe the problem isn't the players but the coaching).

I also think that perhaps they feel threatened by the rise of the blogosphere and the message boards. These announcers are under more scrutiny now than ever before (just like the coaches). Perhaps they are afraid of losing their jobs because of on-line criticism about their work. But the bloggers aren't going away so it seems to me that rather than fight it, the on-air talent at these places should be more careful about what they say before they say it. I mean when Kirk Herbstreit says something idiotic like:

I don't care that [Michigan] beat Notre Dame and Notre Dame is terrible. I don't care that they beat Wisconsin and we don't know how good Wisconsin is. I saw them play against every team this year.

they are going to get called on it. My beef with Herbstreit was never that he thought Michigan was number 2. My beef with him was that he readily admitted that Florida had a better argument, a better resume, but arrogantly said that he watches all the games and therefore HE KNOWS BETTER than the Coaches or the Harris voters or even 3 of the BCS computers. The problem with that argument is that then everything devolves into a matter of opinion. And his opinion has been wrong many times this year. Just because Herbie says something doesn't make it so. Of course Florida could play Michigan on a neutral site and lose. But the current system doesn't allow for that. We have to use the emprical evidence available to make an informed judgment that is better than "I know more than you and I think..."

I don't blame Michigan bloggers and message board posters if they are upset with Carr and his knack for losing the most important games every season recently. They say even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then. The empirical evidence is shows that Carr hasn't been eating many nuts lately.

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