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FOX EXPERIMENT WITH NO PLAY-BY-PLAY: REVIEWS ARE MIXED
Published December 11, 1995
Several media writers commented on Fox's use of Terry Bradshaw and Jimmy Johnson as co-analysts during Saturday's Chargers-Cardinals game without the use of a play-by-play announcer. USA TODAY'S Michael Hiestand says there were "plenty of glitches and dead air," but that the two improved as the game went on (USA TODAY, 12/11). In Miami, Barry Jackson writes the "telecast was a yawner" as the two "simply spent too much time analyzing individual plays and strategy in a game between two mediocre teams." They "should have talked about other hot issues -- like teams changing cities" (MIAMI HERALD, 12/10). Larry Stewart in L.A. writes, "Nice try, but it didn't quite work ... It really wasn't a bad telecast. It just wasn't a particularly good one, and certainly wasn't revolutionary" (L.A. TIMES, 12/10). The Baltimore SUN's Milton Kent writes, "Silence may be golden, but not in a football telecast" (Baltimore SUN, 12/11). In Toronto, Rob Longley calls the telecast it an experiment "gone awry" (TORONTO SUN, 12/11). In Chicago, Steve Nidetz notes without a play-by-play voice, there "were some dead spots" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 12/11). Phil Mushnick of the N.Y. POST pans the broadcast, writing, "Thank goodness Fox didn't choose to abandon graphics along with the play-by-play man" (N.Y. POST, 12/11). But in Washington, Dick Hellar calls the combination a "winner" and writes the pair "just might put a lot of play by play announcers out of work" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 12/11). In Atlanta, Prentis Rogers calls it a "qualified success," but suggests Fox enhance the audio of the public address announcer to help viewers with play-by-play details (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 12/11).