Noth­ing ’mag­i­cal’ about call of Ravens’ vic­tory by CBS

Baltimore Sun - - RAVENS INSIDER - David Zu­rawik david.zu­rawik@balt­ twit­­rawik

Ifor­got how much I missed my mag­i­cal fall Sun­days with CBS Sports. But it all came rush­ing back to me Sun­day watch­ing the Ravens’ 13-7 vic­tory over the Buf­falo Bills.

What could match the thrill of see­ing the game in­ter­rupted late in the third quar­ter for tech­ni­cal dif­fi­cul­ties at CBS Sports? They lost video of the game, but had a State Farm com­mer­cial fea­tur­ing Green Bay Packers quar­ter­back Aaron Rodgers frozen on screen a few sec­onds into the in­ter­rup­tion.

To the folks who tweeted SMH: I was shak­ing my head, too, par­tic­u­larly when they went to the ad for a se­cond time and stopped it again a few mo­ments later.

That’s an­other thing I for­got: how the NFL, CBS, NBC, ESPN and all the other out­lets never seem to cause us to miss any of the ads, just the game cov­er­age. The “tech­ni­cal dif­fi­cul­ties” ap­peared to be the net­work cut­ting to the Rodgers ad too soon. It was the ad that ul­ti­mately ran in full when there ac­tu­ally was a com­mer­cial time­out in the Bills-Ravens game a few min­utes later.

Speak­ing of ads: Wow, have I ever missed the higher vol­ume lev­els and re­lent­less pound­ing break af­ter break of pro­mos for CBS shows “NCIS,” “Big Bang The­ory” and “Bull.”

Next week dur­ing the Ravens game, I am go­ing to bring an anvil into the liv­ing room, put my head on it dur­ing com­mer­cial breaks and ask my wife to hit me re­peat­edly with a sledge­ham­mer for 30 sec­onds in lieu of let­ting the CBS pro­mos play.

And then, there were the an­nounc­ers: Spero Dedes, Solomon Wil­cots and side­line re­porter Dana Ja­cob­son.

On the plus side, they clearly had done their home­work. Un­like some of the crews that came in here and barely seemed to know who was on the field, this crew had anec­dotes and facts on Ravens run­ning back Ter­rance West (Tow­son Uni­ver­sity, North­west­ern High), tight end Den­nis Pitta, wide re­ceiver Bre­shad Per­ri­man and others in­volved in key sto­ry­lines this year.

They knew, for ex­am­ple, the sig­nif­i­cance of the first catches Sun­day for Per­ri­man and Pitta, who have long been out with in­juries. They seemed to know how much those mo­ments mat­tered to diehard fans.

On the other hand, the hype of their game call was al­most as an­noy­ing as the CBS pro­mos. I love en­thu­si­asm, but don’t say hamburger is filet mignon again and again and again.

I counted three times the word “mag­i­cal” or some vari­a­tion of it was used to de­scribe a play or mo­ment that, at best, should have been de­scribed as very good. (That’s why I used it in my first para­graph.)

With 2:43 left in the first quar­ter, Joe Flacco rolled out and com­pleted a pass to Ka­mar Aiken.

Dedes called it a “a magic trick by Flacco.” Nice pass. No magic.

With 5:17 left in the first half, Bills quar­ter­back Ty­rod Tay­lor shed a tackle and com­pleted a pass. Very nice move and pass. But def­i­nitely not mag­i­cal.

Early in the fourth quar­ter, Bills tight end Charles Clay came back to­ward the ball and caught a pass in traf­fic.

Dedes called it a “mirac­u­lous catch by Clay.” No mir­a­cle here; he didn’t even make a first down with it.

Mag­i­cal and/or mirac­u­lous is Flacco hit­ting Ja­coby Jones for that 70-yard pass late in the 2012 play­off game in Den­ver. Don’t de­base the word by us­ing it three and four times a game for plays that don’t de­serve it. That’s not howyoumakeafairly bor­ing game seem spe­cial.

This is not to rip Dedes or Wil­cots. Over­all, I think they came to play and put in a de­cent ef­fort. Dedes was sharp enough to in­stantly catch him­self call­ing Ravens kicker Justin Tucker “Justin Kicker” in the first quar­ter. It’s an easy mis­take to make, par­tic­u­larly with open­ing-day adren­a­line pump­ing through your veins. And he quickly made the cor­rec­tion.

As for the pro­duc­tion, I liked the dif­fer­ent re­play an­gles on the 66-yard touch­down pass to Mike Wallace, es­pe­cially the over­head, show­ing the play un­fold as it might have been drawn out. But the broad­cast was light on video to il­lus­trate points made by the an­a­lyst.

One of the bet­ter re­plays showed the left side of the Ravens of­fen­sive line hold­ing up against the rush on a pass play as Wil­cots ex­plained the play­ers with ques­tion marks there.

The tele­cast would have bet­ter with much more of that and less false talk of magic.

* Times for these games could change

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