Monday, December 15, 2008

Does CBS owe Panthers an apology?

Thanks to a number of alert readers and TV viewers of the Panthers-Broncos game who first pointed this out to me, I reviewed the final minute of the first half of the game Monday morning and came to this conclusion: CBS really whiffed in its coverage of that part of the game.

CBS’s announcers were so intent on talk-talk-talk that they TOTALLY MISSED the fact that the official added seven seconds to the play clock, changing it from 10 seconds to 17 seconds.

Then the CBS analysts basically accused the Panthers of cheating – of “unbelievable home cooking,” as CBS's Dan Fouts proclaimed -- to allow Carolina time to kick a field goal at the end of the half.

This was completely incorrect. It took CBS at least 15 minutes to explain its error, and even then the explanation came off as half-hearted and pretty weak.

OK, let’s back up a second. Here’s what happened: Carolina led 17-10 when Denver got the ball at its own 18 with 30 seconds to go.

The Broncos had a pass for no gain on first down, then called timeout with 17 seconds to go. The clock ran down to 10 seconds, but the official clearly stated over his microphone that seven seconds were going to be added because that’s when Shanahan asked for the timeout (conceivably, an advantage to Denver at that point).

Shanahan then, inexplicably, had the Broncos run the ball. What’s the point of the timeout if you’re going to run? To make matters worse for Denver, Selvin Young fumbled after a huge hit by Carolina’s Charles Godfrey and Carolina’s Tyler Brayton recovered with 0:07 to go.

In the CBS three-man announcing booth, analysts Fouts and Randy Cross kept interrupting each other, so intent were they to say: “The clock didn’t run! The clock didn’t run!”

They had totally missed the fact that the clock had already been reset to 17 seconds and did, in fact, run for the entire play (for 10 seconds in all).

Play-by-play man Dick Enberg missed all that, too. Fouts and Cross kept egging each other along on how awful this is and what a shame it is to have a clock “not run until the fumble." That’s when Fouts (jokingly?) accused the Panthers of “unbelievable home cooking,” as if some shadowy Panther figure was managing the clock somewhere deep in Jerry Richardson’s box.

Even the replay – shown a couple of times and clearly showing the clock counting down from 17 to 7 seconds – seemed to totally befuddle the CBS crew. It’s one of those moments where thousands of Panther fans had to be screaming at their TV screens: “You idiots!”

Carolina, meanwhile, kicked a field goal and went up 20-10 after the fumble. It was a huge sequence of events, giving Carolina a two-possession lead and lots of momentum just before halftime.

After the halftime break, the announcers came back before the third quarter and Enberg explained the situation. He told it like it basically was – I’ve always liked Enberg’s style – as to how the clock was reset from 10 to 17 seconds by the officials.

BUT THEN Fouts and Cross make no mention of the incident at all – they just started talking about Steve Smith.

A stand-up guy at that point would have said: “Look, I apologize for implying the Panthers somehow influenced the clock at the end of the first half. We were wrong. We just didn’t notice that the officials had put seven seconds back ono the clock. Sorry about that. It was our mistake." And then they could have just moved along.

Instead, Fouts and Cross just acted like their previous comments never happened, like no one noticed them at all.

Well, believe me, lots of people noticed them. This isn’t a huge deal or anything. But it always irritates me when TV guys make a mistake, and then either barely make mention of it or ignore it altogether.

Just say when you messed up, guys. It’s not that hard.

26 comments:

Jonathan said...

I noticed that too, it was funny because while they were doing that they had them put up the game clock. They said there was 10 seconds to go then the game clock on the screen showed 17 and then you could tell they realized that fact and were gasping at that point.

David said...

That irritated the heck outa me... at least admit your mistake and not pretend like you never said anything...

if this game was chosen by the NFL network to be reaired later this week (probably will not though) then everyone would notice what fools they are and that they made no intentions of apologizing for their error.


just another reason i hate NFL CBS announcers ... they are barely any better than Brian Billick calling Steve SMith Steven Smith.... i mean did they call MUSHIN MUSSAIN? what the heck is wrong with these idiots...

GO PANTHERS beat the GIANTS... the only thing i can look forward to is a halfway decent game to be called by Madden and Co.

JAWS did great on the monday night game...

Kevin Heldt said...

What was most unforgivable is when they even PUT THE CLOCKS ON THE SCREEN but they still didn't catch on because they were looking at the play clock (which is SUPPOSED to stop when the play starts) instead of the game clock. I saw 10 seconds on the game clock originally, then saw it change to 17 (even though I didn't notice the ref make any mention of it) -- it wasn't that tough to follow. I indeed was on of the Panthers fans yelling at my TV, and I too get frustrated when not even one of three paid professionals can manage to follow the game.

704Champ said...

CBS seems to have some inherent AFC bias sometimes. They usually cover AFC games, and probably didn't want their beloved Broncos to lose to the lowly NFC Panthers. Good thing Steve "Smath" wasn't going to allow that.

Kevin Heldt said...

By the way, it sure is a great time to be a Panthers fan. I have been trying not to "drink the Kool-aid" all season but at this point with how they're gaining momentum each week and some of the other NFC teams are falling back, I have to think they are the logical pick to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

Joseph said...

I dislike lazy announcers...be it sports or nation news. Just goes to show you that no one is perfect, even those "expert" announcers who usually have their heads buried so far up their you-know-what. I'm glad the Panthers won...too bad people have to pay more more $ for entertainment when you get all the added opinionated commentary...what ever happened to objective journalism? Idiot announcers...

Rob said...

Much ado about nothing. Everyone knows that official time is kept on the field. For the announcers to overreact was idiotic especially since they've PLAYED football and know the official time is kept on the field. I doubt it warrants an apology other than an "Aha! We got it wrong..."

Karl said...

CBS = Caught Being Stupid.

I was at the game and the official very clearly said that they should reset the game clock to 17 seconds, which we kind of groaned about because we thought this would be to Denver's advantage. If there was a failure anywhere, it was in the CBS broadcast booth. All three of those jokers should be suspended for a week so they can attend remedial "how to pay attention" training.

Andrew said...

I'd like to thank Patrick for his valiant effort but, just like the Denver Broncos, he has come up short.

ultracajun said...

I heard the commets and didn't think it was that big of a deal.

Keep in mind that Fouts and Cross are "Color Commentators" which to me means they just shoot from the hip you don't have to take them so seriously.

Think of them as your buddy who's at the game with you but has had a few too many.

Karl said...

A few too many shots to the head, maybe.

Dale said...

I think someone should apologize for the first 20 minutes of the game being completely silent! Never have I seen a network go that long without sound.

Michael said...

Get over it Panther fans...your team won the game 30-10 and is 11-3. Who cares what two has-been NFL players said before halftime! No one is going to apologize to you for anything.

Kris said...

These CBS morons almost made me miss Tony Boselli. Almost.

Emily said...

not to mention they didn't even show the last few minutes in the game when they switched to the steelers game.

Matt said...

While watching this game I was just thinking what a nice break it was to get from the "superminds" that Fox usually blesses us with. Guess I'll have to toss that thought out (although I do think Enberg is one of the better announcers on TV). Even though the Panthers and Broncos are both division leaders, this really wasn't one of the more marquee games this weekend, so I guess it would have been too much to ask for better quality analysts.

But - next week's game is primetime and we'll get one of the best announcing duos in football - Al Michaels and John Madden. Biggest game of the year, can't wait!

J said...

Fouts didn't even study the rosters. He mentioned several players by number, including Muhammad. He referred to him as "#87". He's a joke and always has been.

wordmunger said...

Yes, it was a boneheaded move by the announcers, but I could see how they continued to be confused: the replay had both the play clock and the game clock on it, and the play clock happened to read "10 seconds" as the play started. But then it reset to 40 on the snap and it was obvious that was the play clock. At which point the announcers truly proved themselves to be boneheads.

Ben said...

Scott, I will avoid as much as I can any CBS broadcast - WRAL in Raleigh switched from the Panthers game to the Ravens-Steelers and left it there for about 10 minutes. The guise was, to check the progress of the other game - usually a 30-second deal. But in this case it was 10 minutes of early 4th-quarter Panthers time. When it FINALLY returned to the Panthers game it was no longer in HD, but in 4:3 format for ANOTHER 10 minutes until that was corrected. CBS S*cks!

Spadebo55 said...

Not only did the announcers drop the ball, but the cbs did as well. I live in Winston Salem and we had no volume for the 1st quarter of the game. Every channel worked on the television except CBS. I was very disappointed in their broadcast of the game.

Brian said...

CBS on TW in Charlotte had no sound problems.

Unfortunately, as I probably aged 5 years yelling at those morons for accusing us of 'home cooking.' I'm glad this issue was written about, as it really upset me.

My gf noted that their 'acknowledgement' at halftime of their error was basically a non-acknowledgement, but frankly I was happy to see them address the situation at all. As far as I was concerned the announcers had already made asses of themselves.

Brian said...

Along with being a huge Carolina Panthers fan, I'm also a pretty big Ohio State football fan. I remember Dan Fouts was a total Miami cheerleader during the 2003 National Title game. Fouts was totally biased towards the U and at the end said that there were really "2 champions" in his mind, despite the fact that Ohio State won. Dan Fouts is easily one of the worst announcers in football and is only riding on his career as a player.

South Carolina Regulators said...

Thank you Scott, Yes they most certainly do owe an apology. If we don't go all out defending our team, then how can we expect the players to go all out for us? It wasn't only that they accused us of cheating, but that they did it with great anger. It's the way Fouts venomously said it, that uncovers his true feelings, hatreds, and bias. Fouts could not hide his bias for Denver and finally he lost it. With great anger he accused us of a cheap trick to manipulate the game - this with our leader Mr. Richardson in attendance. The man came into our house, kicked our dog and slapped our wife. There's a word for men who will allow that to happen and not fight back. If Fouts had only looked at the 50 yard line he would have noticed that we are one of the few teams that has an NFL logo there. Not a Panther logo to intimidate the refs, but an NFL logo. The stadiums belong to the cities where built, but the fields all belong to the NFL. We are the only team where fans from other teams are welcomed with sincere hospitality. However CBS and Fouts are a disgraceful lot and I suggest we let them know that they are no longer welcome in Charlotte. Petty, obviously biased in who they wanted to win, and unprofessional are CBS and Fouts.

martymcflyy said...

I too was rolling my eyes when this happened. But to demand an apology? That's taking it a little overboard. What we saw was nothing worse than some of the stuff we've had to deal with the Fox announcers. I do believe CBS tended to lean towards the AFC team, just as Fox leans towards the NFC teams. For every replay we saw of Clady "manhandling" Peppers, we saw as many replays the week before of how "amazing" Peppers is making an ordinary tackle. Ron Jaworski is the best announcer in football. If only we could have him every week.

Brooks said...

Comments on the comments:

Enberg is a good announcer, albeit quite aged. Not many games left for him.

ALL color commentators are jokes, because they don't know anything about broadcasting. They were professional athletes for a reason.

ESPN has hit a home run with their broadcast team. Tirico is quality play by play, Jaws is one of the better minds in football, and Cornheiser is comedic relief.

To all those who look forward to the Madden/Michaels call of the game: do you actually listen to them? They might be the most incoherent broadcasters in the business. Madden cant even complete a thought, and Michaels just seems disinterested. The only upside they have is that they aren't up each others rears.

GO PANTHERS.

I said...

None of the announcers heard it because they were so busy talking about old times they never hear anything except what comes out of their mouths. They were so perfect and didn't make a mistake while they were playing (not!) they think they can badmouth anyone whenever they make a mistake. The announcers, (the ones on FOX sports are even worse) do not like the Panthers anyway so most of the time I just turn the sound down and listen to the radio broadcast. How Tony "Kornholer" got on MNF I'll never know. My girlfriend can do a better job than him (and she's a lot more funny.