People & Personalities: Boston Analysts At Top Of Their Game
In Boston, Steve Buckley writes local sports fans are "living in pretty good times" in terms of what they are getting from the "ex-jock, on-the-scene color analysts." They are "delivering championship commentary and entertainment." Red Sox analyst Jerry Remy is "funny, informed and on top of the play," while Dennis Eckersley "brings a Hall of Fame resume and his trusty Eck Dictionary to the booth." NESN viewers "are the better for it." Celtics radio analyst Cedric Maxwell is "goofy, he’s irreverent, he’s unpredictable ... and he’s really, really good at breaking down a game." Maxwell has a "unique talent for turning off the laugh track when the game gets serious, and serious words need to be spoken." Meanwhile, young fans "really dig" Celtics TV analyst Tommy Heinsohn, a "homer who wears the badge proudly." Bruins radio analyst Bob Beers is "great at sizing up the entire ice surface on the fly, and for a guy not raised in Boston he seems to know a ton of Bruins history." Patriots radio analyst Scott Zolak is a "homer’s homer who often doesn’t even need a microphone to get his point across." When a "play needs ’splainin’, he ’splains" (BOSTON HERALD, 8/10).
STANDING FIRM: PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Michael David Smith reported NFL Network is "standing by its decision to fire former commentator Heath Evans, who bashed the league-owned cable channel on Twitter for the move." NFL Net in a statement said, "Heath’s employment was terminated as a result of his own misconduct -- which he freely admitted to on Twitter." Evans acknowledged on Twitter that he sent “pictures of a sexual nature” to Jami Cantor, a former NFL Network employee who sued for sexual harassment. But he also indicated that there is "more to the story, and that he has information damaging to the league" (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 8/9). Evans believes he was "unjustly let go and is using social media to try to clear his name." He indicated that he has "wanted to fight the charges publicly, but NFL Network would not allow him to" (N.Y. POST, 8/10).
CAPTAIN AMERICA: AWFUL ANNOUNCING's Shlomo Sprung noted former USMNT G Tim Howard "knew that it was the right fit" to join Turner Sports as an analyst for its UEFA Champions League coverage. Howard said, "It’s something that I want to be a part of as I come to the end of my career. It’s where I see myself. So part of that is getting in with the right company, which is the right fit for me.” Howard became the first active EPL player to "broadcast matches" in '14. He will do it again on Wednesdays during the Champions League season for Turner, while "remaining the starting goalkeeper" for the Rapids. Howard has maintained that the Turner analyst gig "isn’t something he had to do in order to make the next step into a post-playing broadcasting career, but saw it as something both he and Turner wanted to make work" (AWFULANNOUNCING.com, 8/9).
HE'S IN THE GAME: In Indiana, Chad Lindskog notes broadcaster Brandon Gaudin is the announcer on EA Sports' "Madden NFL" video game for the third straight year, and he has "grown comfortable in the role, which requires more work than it may seem." Gaudin, who broadcasts games on FS1, Big Ten Network and Westwood One, said, "It is play-by-play in a sense, but it's really more acting." Gaudin and analyst Charles Davis are the "sixth broadcast team in the 30-year history of the EA Sports flagship." They also "update the commentary every week during the season to reflect news from around the NFL to ensure gameplay always feels current" (Evansville COURIER & PRESS, 8/9).