Vela: Sniff the Jockocracy

Discussion in 'NFL Zone' started by Angus, Jul 1, 2007.

  1. Angus

    Angus Active Member

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    Sniff The Jockocracy
    By Rafael Vela

    In his later, bitter days as a commentator Howard Cosell railed against what he termed the “jockocracy,” a class of former sports stars appointed to the broadcast booth because of their on-field fame, though they had displayed so skills as announcers.

    Old Howard must be spinning at rapid RPMs in his grave right now. ESPN’s Seth Wickersham notes that the NFL has instituted “broadcasting bootcamps” for current players who aspire to stay in the lights once their playing days are over.

    At the risk of sounding like Howard’s crusty colleague, I see no value to this. That Wickersham uses his post (protected) to offer his preferred list of next-generation jockocrats shows that Cosells’ worst fear has long been realized: the jockocracy has become orthodoxy, beyond question.

    Why? I tune in to watch these guys play, not to listen to what they have to say. Some of them do manage excellent careers in the booth, but how many O.J. Simpsons, Joe Namaths, Alex Karrases, Joe Theismanns and Michael Irvins must we endure for one Ron Jaworski?

    Analysts should be able to explain the most complex game in the world in real time. To me, this sounds like a job for the most articulate ex-offensive and defensive coordinators the NFL can find.

    Who would you expect to give you the best rapid-fire explication of what’s happening — Norv Turner or Jerome Bettis? Dom Capers or Brian Baldinger? I already know what the jocks can, or better yet what they can’t do.

    As Sports Illustrated’s Paul Zimmerman points out in his yearly TV ratings, mediocre analysts only focus on the area of play they know; a former running back will lock onto the backfield; the former QB will talk about the passing game. Coordinators watch tape for a living. They focus on attacking whole schemes. They’re skilled at taking in offense or defensive play at all levels.

    I’m not saying that ex-players should be banished, but can we try something else, too? The best pro and college analysts the past 20 years have been John Madden and Dick Vermeil. At the very least, the NFL should balance the ranks of former players with former coaches.

    My ears will thank them if they do. If not, there’s always satellite radio.
  2. theebs

    theebs Believe!!!!

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    amen to that.

    BIGWAY Member

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    Sorry but old Jawz gives me an earache . I think Irvin was rather entertaining and brought life to the broadcasting booth. I also enjoy Ditka.
    Give me someone with some fire and put them in there it does not matter if they are ex players, coaches, or a non professional athlete.
  4. lurkercowboy

    lurkercowboy Well-Known Member

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    How many games did Irvin do? I thought he worked in the studio.
  5. DanTanna

    DanTanna Original Zone Member

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    I agree with Vela. Listening to Bettis, Saragoosa and Shannon Sharp who's tongue is 10 times too big for his mouth is horrible. When Irvin speaks fast you can't understand a single word he says. Now Deion? He had it down and did great IMO. Deion is twice as good as Marino.
  6. cowboyz

    cowboyz Well-Known Member

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    vela is completely wrong. sure hire better technical analysts and watch the ratings drop to the floor. people don't listen to madden for his insight, it's his frivolity that draws people in. that's why fox is the highest rated pre-show.

    football is entertainment, it's not a class.

    irvin's problem was he couldn't turn down the volume or have a conversation. it was all me me me.
  7. theogt

    theogt Surrealist Zone Supporter

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    Yes, the "best" possible choice for mass media is to dumb it down to the lowest common denominator. Thanks for that astute observation.
  8. jay cee

    jay cee Active Member

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    It's worked for the presidency for years. Why not sports?:p:

    Paris Hilton for president anyone?;)
  9. CrazyCowboy

    CrazyCowboy Well-Known Member

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    very good and interesting read by Vela again.
  10. JPostSam

    JPostSam Well-Known Member

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    a lot of the former players stink in the booth, or in the studio.

    aikman, though, is a glaring exception., to ruin that, i have to admit that i enjoyed madden and all his doofy-ness until the last 2 years or so. when he first broke out the turducken award, it was funny. and watching a game with him was fun. then it became pathetic.

    by the way -- where, oh where is ahmad rashad these days?!?!?!?!

  11. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki "You want some?" Staff Member

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    Ugh. Roger was horrid in the booth also after his career ended.
  12. tunahelper

    tunahelper Well-Known Member

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    I wish the Eagles would of hired Jawz as the GM years ago when he applied.

    Imagine the state of the Eagles organization if he was in charge?

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