SPORTO: Auto-Tuning CBS’ Eagles Broadcast


sportsguycropped.thumbnail.jpgBY MIKE WOLVERTON SPORTS GUY You saw the Eagles game yesterday, but did you hear it? Maybe you were at the bar and missed out on the insight from the CBS broadcast. Or maybe you heard but couldn’t believe your ears. I’m here to fill you in on what you missed. It’s Week 3, and CBS has sent Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots [PICTURED, BELOW RIGHT] to cover what does not appear to be a marquee matchup. These two are listed as the #4 announcer pairing, not high enough to rate a sideline reporter.

Harlan and Wilcots did a good job of telling you what personnel was on the field and Harlan will even tell you what linemen are getting good blocks as the play unfolds. This is rare, and I liked it. That said, this pair is a little dry.Wilcots’ attempts at humor were limited to statements like, “Vick took a lick.” And “the Eagle has landed, big time”. Actually that 2 nd line would have worked well during a replay of DeSean Jackson’s endzone leap, but Wilcots was so anxious to use it that he burned it early, when the Birds went up 14-7. So maybe Wilcots isn’t funny, but he isn’t annoying either…and he provided some solid insight.

There were a few other moments that amused me. After an unsuccessful Chiefs possession, Harlan said, “Three and out for the Chiefs, they get as far as the 19 kevin.jpgyard line”. But they had started at the 20! Later, after a Chief penalty negated a nice run, Harlan dropped this stunner, “The Chiefs consistently shot themselves last week”. I know it blows to be on the Chiefs, but that is a severe overreaction! And I admit I couldn’t help but laugh whenWilcots informed us that “There’s so much penetration by the defenders for Philadelphia….just filling in every gap”

When Jeff Garcia came in the game late in the fourth quarter, CBS ran a highlight package detailing his past glories. On the first play, Garcia fumbled the snap and the Eagles lost the ball.Wilcots said, “Inauspicious”, which is the perfect description. Then he must have realized that the vast majority of his audience doesn’t know what inauspicious means, so he immediately dumbed it down to, “Not what ya want”.Wilcots at one point also used the big-boy word “cognizant”.

There were a couple production gaffes by CBS, such as going to commercial while Harlan was still talking, or not following the ball on oneKolb pass. But on the whole this was a good effort with a solid (if unexciting) announcing team. This is the third straight Eagle game that has been a blowout by the 2nd half, maybe the excitement (and screwups) will ratchet up under the pressure of a tight contest.

Next week: The Eagles have a bye, then it’s back to FOX for Birds-Bucs in Week 5.

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