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.