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Announcers May Hate, But They Must Never Lie

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Why not let an abashed hater of another team call your game? You know announcers have biases, but that does not mean they won't call the game accurately. It also means the game could be infinitely more entertaining, if Italian soccer coverage is any indication of the fun to be had when you let an unabashed homer like Tiziano Crudeli loose in the booth. ↵
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↵This runs counter to the thinking of Yahoo's Doc Saturday, who sees this statement by Chris Spielman as reason for him to be kept as far away from announcing the Michigan/OSU game as possible. ↵
↵⇥ "[The Wolverines] stink, they're not very good. They don't play offense ... they can't run it consistently, they can't throw it consistently, they can't stop the run, they're not very good defending the pass, they're not very good covering kicks, they're not very good returning kicks...I love seeing them beaten down, man. It's great," Spielman said. ↵
↵One important point needs mentioning here: It doesn't mean Spielman won't call a fair game. Furthermore, calling a fair game does not necessarily mean calling an unbiased one, either. The odd approach taken towards sports coverage as some kind of sterile scientific affair always struck me as being at odds with the assumption of basic intelligence of the viewer. For the most part, we know who we root for and what's happening on the field. The announcers are there to clarify and expand, sure, but they're also people, and to pretend their biases don't matter is an effort in willful blindness and laziness on the part of the viewer and the provider. ↵

↵Look to political coverage for the lead: while former party hacks like Karl Rove and Donna Brazile are clearly labeled as "former Republican/Democratic strategists," they don't keep their jobs unless what they say at least corresponds to the reality unfolding before them. Ditto for admitted OSU homers like Chris Spielman; if he openly pulls for OSU on Saturday on the air, that's fine so long as we're all in on the joke, and Spielman doesn't let it taint the basic analysis of what he sees on the field. If that holds, then it's more ANDIAMO! and passion in a sport that derives its power from rivalries like Ohio State and Michigan. ↵

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↵(Better still: put a Michigan announcer in the booth with Spielman and see how long it goes before the thick-necked Spielman -- who looks like he could still bench press a Dodge Ram -- attempts to rip off the Michigan guy's arms and beat him with them. Our guess: three minutes into the second quarter exactly.) ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.