Sports Outside the Beltway

Asleep at the switch- Rich Gannon and Kevin Harlan miss Ted Ginn TD punt return

Yesterday’s CBS broadcast(I taped it while attending the golf) should be shown to all future football announcers to demonstrate what not to do when play is occuring on the field.

On third down, Philadelphia QB Donova McNab failed to complete a pass in the light rain. Seconds after the play was over, CBS cut to the booth and have Gannon and Harlan talk about how hard it is to throw a wet ball and what teams try to do to make it easier. While this is going on Philadelphia lines up to punt from their own 40.

Dolphin WR/KR Ted Ginn hasn’t done a great deal this year, but he has had two kick returns for touchdowns taken back by penalties in the last five games. You’d think the announcers would concentrate on Ginn.

No Gannon and Harlan are still talking wet footballs as Ginn fields the punt at the 13 yard line. Ginn takes off, Gannon and Harlan keep rambling on(Mostly Gannon), Ginn runs past the entire Eagle special teams unit. It isn’t till Gannon is talking about dryers and Ginn has reached the fifty yardline, that the bozo announcer notices there is a punt return in progress for a touchdown.

“This is Ted Ginn.” Gannon stops to say as the punt returner races to the endzone.

Seconds after the play was over, Harlan mentions a great block that freed Ginn by Michael Lehan that freed Ginn. Lehan made a block but it was totally inconsequential to Ginn’s return. Both were out of the play. Though the person Lehan blocked tried running down Ginn afterwards.

Was Harlan watching the play when it happened, then why didn’t he break into Gannon’s monologue? I make a bet the block was told to Harlan by someone in the production booth.

Here’s the video

You screw up the live call and then can’t call the replay properly either. Great job CBS.

Update- The video is from the Dolphin game, but that is not the CBS announcing crew.

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Having spent some years in the truck, I can tell you that the decision was not the announcers to show a wet football. That comes from producers and related people. You should know that. Having watched Gannon and Harlen earlier this season, I know that Gannon is just getting started-a tough job for any pbp announcer. And I havent heard any announcer give more detail about formations, etc than that pbp guy. Very detailed. Your case is weak. And my suggestion is that you know all the facts before you go writing. A friend who knows you forwarded me this and thinks you are wrong as well. That’s the problem with columns like this-not knowing all the facts.

Posted by Bill Jamison | November 21, 2007 | 10:31 am | Permalink


I have the game still on VHS, having taped it while I was out on Sunday. Gannon and Harlan start talking about wet footballs not long after McNab’s last incompletion, the talk continues while Philadelphia punts, Ginn receive and takes off down the field. It isn’t till Ginn has returned the football 35 yards till mid-field that Gannon stops yacking about wet footballs and notices there is a punt return in progress for a touchdown.

So you’re the one without the facts. I got the video, and the video don’t lie.

Posted by Bill Jempty | November 22, 2007 | 10:03 am | Permalink

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