Not one of their best seasons

Groo hits on something I meant to mention – that Uncle Verne and Gary Danielson don’t seem to be on top of their respective games this year.  By that, I’m not suggesting bias on their part, at least not anymore than they’ve displayed in the past (nobody has really filled Tebow’s shoes for Lundquist in 2010), but that their observational skills aren’t as sharp as what they’ve displayed in past seasons.

Take, for example, the call on the play where Reuben Faloughi was hurt.

My first thought on hearing Danielson’s comment about the home crowd booing was that he was being dryly sarcastic, but he said nothing as a follow up during the replay about what actually happened, which meant that he was playing it straight.  And Lundquist completely whiffed on his description of what occurred, despite the clean camera work.  All told, there was a strong disconnect between what they were saying and what had taken place on the field.

Couple that with Danielson’s puzzling comment during the broadcast of the Georgia-Florida game that the Gator defense wasn’t doing anything special with its secondary coverage of A.J. Green when it was clearly rotating towards him all day long (something that Todd McShay, of all people, neatly illustrated during last Saturday’s GameDay show).  I can’t figure out how Danielson missed that; it’s the kind of analysis he normally does in his sleep.

This isn’t a Georgia-related observation, either.  Their call and commentary of the Alabama-LSU game was fairly pedestrian, given how riveting the game was.  (And when you get down to it, the game that really got my attention to how skilled an analyst Donaldson is was a Florida-Tennessee game from a few seasons back in which he was predicting UT’s playcalling at an uncanny rate.)  Danielson seemed content with picking up fairly obvious bits from the replay camera.  And Verne might want to think about scaling back his use of his trademark “wow!” a bit.

Everyone has their moments when they’re not at their best.  (To some extent, you can say that about this SEC season, too.)  And even their less-than-best effort betters many of the hacks that ESPN trots out.  Still, I’m used to getting more from them and I hope they step it up with what’s left of the season.

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24 Comments

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24 responses to “Not one of their best seasons

  1. Russ

    Verne’s gotta be getting up there. I think he’s been slipping for the past few years. Danielson has just been mailing it in for a bit, too. The play you posted is a great example. Of course, Faloughi threw Verne off by hobbling to the other side of the field before stopping. The big “95″ on his back wasn’t a good enough clue for anybody on the crew, and that includes the spotters/people in the truck. They usually catch these types of things.

  2. Russ

    Just checked, Verne turned 70 this past summer. Not ancient, but more easily distracted, I guess.

  3. heyberto

    I think I could live with Gary Danielson.. but Verne’s gotta go.

    If you’re interested:

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Fire-Verne-Lundquist-and-Gary-Danielson-from-CBS-Sports/152999944744384

  4. Bulldog Joe

    CBS promotes the SEC’s BCS-bound teams, likely an unwritten understanding in the agreement.

    The spin and “human interest” pieces draw in the casual fans and helps the SEC state its case for two BCS teams and the revenue that comes with it.

    For the educated college football fan, the spin is annoying, but these fans will watch the broadcast regardless of who is calling the game.

    I thought the Alabama – LSU game was evenly called as both teams had a good shot at a BCS bowl. Also thought the Georgia – Florida game was evenly called.

    Georgia’s suspensions and poor starts at the beginning of the last five seasons have too often put us on the wrong side of the spin, which we enjoyed in the four years prior.

    This has been a very successful formula for CBS and the SEC and I don’t expect it to change anytime soon.

    • Spin isn’t what disappoints me about CBS this year. (In the absence of the GPOOE, it’s actually down a notch.) It’s just that Danielson hasn’t been as insightful as I’m accustomed to and Lundquist has clearly lost a step.

      • Bulldog Joe

        With Danielson, I believe the spin and the inconsistent analysis are related. He sees what he wants to see.

        With Verne, I believe it has more to do with his age.

  5. gatriguy

    Who did color commentary with Ron Franklin during the ESPN night games in the mid-90s? For my money, those were the best produced games. Maybe it was just a simplier time…

  6. Regular Guy

    I was shocked that Danielson didn’t scrutinize the pass interference call on Rambo more — Rambo beat the WR to the ball, and if anything the WR interferred with HIM catching it. Those are the types of calls that Danielson is usually all over, regardless of who the teams are. Not that his opinion would have changed the penalty by any means, I was just surprised at how dismissive he was. I think Uncle Vern may be dragging Danielson down a bit — as a general rule, I consider myself to be a fan of Danielson’s analysis — but maybe he’s tired of carrying the load.

    • Ben

      I don’t recall that PI call. Anyone have a link to that?

    • W Cobb Dawg

      Yep. If Rambo had caught that INT and took it to the house, the game may have been much different. Instead awburn was given 15 yds and marched down for a TD. I thought that call, combined with Dawgs turning conservative when they got the ball back, was the turning point in the game.

      • Griff

        Ben, it was a 3rd and 9 (I believe) early in the 4th quarter. Rambo was making a play on the ball and hit the receiver as the ball was getting there. Rambo actually looked like the intended target because he almost picked it off, but of course since he’s the defender got called for PI. I didn’t like the call but if I was an Auburn fan I probably would’ve been upset had they not called it.

  7. Ben

    In the spirit of continuing to find things wrong with the way that Auburn played, that looked like an awfully low hit on Faloughi. I’m sure the intent wasn’t to hurt him, but when the back goes low to block a defender I didn’t think it meant “hit them right on the knee caps.”

  8. Bryant Denny

    I really like to hear Ron Franklin call games and I think Blackledge is the best color guy.

    • Newt

      We don’t hear him much anymore, but the times I’ve heard Franklin, I think he’s lost a step in the last couple years, too. Nessler/Blackledge is the best combo out there right now for my money. CBS would be wise to try and pull Nessler away in the next couple years. Gotta think he’d love staying closer to home every week doing SEC games, but his basketball work might be what keeps him with ESPN/ABC.

  9. AnonymousDawg

    One of the plays that ticked me off the most (and no one seems to be talking about) is the one where the Auburn defender rolled up the back of Sanders Commings legs near the goal line. Danielson kept calling it a great block and I was screaming WTF!!

  10. JudgeDawg

    Mark Richt, and JudgeDawg, were screaming something similar to “WTF!” also.

  11. I especially like when the dumba$$ said that Nick Fairley had his facemask stuck to Aaron Murray when he was trying to dig it into his throat! Danielson needs to hang it up.

  12. peacedog

    It wasn’t just the play you and Groo harp on. As per the Wiz’s post on Fairley’s shenanigans, the play where he cut Murray Danielson said “their helmets must have stuck together”. I had completely forgotten about that. It was completely intentional and Fairley was being dirty as shit. He arguably should have been ejected on that play and absolutely should have drawn a penalty. There’s no other way to slice it. He stayed pressed down on murray for seconds, driving his helmet into Murray.

    And Danielson tried to play it off as inadvertent. What a joke.

  13. HottCheesE

    I don’t know what I’m doing with this you tube stuff, but Uncle Verne and GD Danielson have been slipping for a few years. Knowshon Vs. LSU (and Uncle Verne and GD)

  14. Sam B

    The WOW hit its peak with every game he covered with the GPOOE. I have mocked him ever since. When my friends ask who are the announcers I simply reply, WOW just as Verne likes to say it.

  15. ugafish

    I was wondering if they were always this bad because they have been awful all year long. My wife even caught onto how clueless they are.