Monday, June 09, 2003
"Do You Believe in Synergy?...Yes!
If you're like me and watching the Stanley Cup playoffs--and judging from the ratings, you're not at all like me--you have one major aspect of the telecast: how many people it takes to report on the game. The pre-game/intermission duties are handled by John Saunders, Barry Melrose, and (huh?) Chris Berman! (What bet did the NHL guys lose to get stuck with Berman?) In the booth, you have Gary Thorne, John Davidson (no, the other one), and Bill Clement. On the sidelines you have Brian Engblom, Darren Pang, and the woman who's playing Melissa Stark for this series. (Yes, I reveal my true sexist nature by not remembering her name...at least I had the courtesy not to sleep with her before forgetting it). And as backup intermission guy they have Steve Levy on duty. Apparently the producers thought him only capable of introducing the segment because they brought in a co-interviewer...Al Michaels!!!...to do a fluffy movie promo for an upcoming (2004) Disney hockey movie on the 1980 U.S. hockey team starring Kurt Russell. I guess Emilio Estevez wasn't available. I can't tell if Al was called into duty at the last minute as a regular audience member, like a doctor who witnesses a car accident and reports to duty without his white coat, or if he simply understood his role as shill for the company and decided to dress down to limit his embarrassment by leaving the ABC logo off his apparel.
That's ELEVEN people called in to cover a sporting event. Or, one announcer for every person watching the damned game on television. The Super Bowl uses fewer announcers than this (though just barely). It's a wonder the announcers don't address the audience directly: "Robert, the atmosphere here in Anaheim is simply electric." "Robert, did you see that hit?" "Oh, Robert, this is truly top notch goaltending." It's a good thing the NBA playoffs are going concurrently, or they'd have even more broadcasters at the game. Although, that would boost the audience for the game. You wonder how Disney/ABC could be in financial troubles.
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