Learn the Rules Before You Commentate A Game

You need to click this link and read some of the comments and follow some of the links related to ACC Television broadcasts. The trainwreck that is Lincoln Financial television coverage continues to provide sad entertainment for us each week.

With just over 12 minutes to go in the 4th quarter today, NC State’s John Dunlap caught a pass near the sidelines and was wrapped up by a Maryland defensive back. Dunlap’s motion was stopped before he could get out of bounds. Multiple officials blew their whistles to stop the play including the official closest to the play who blew his whistle and raised his hand to indicate the end of the play.

A couple of seconds after the blowing of the whistle a Maryland player came in and laid a late hit on Dunlap. Multiple flags (rightfully) were thrown for unnecessary roughness against Maryland and soon after the ‘brilliant‘ Steve Martin and ‘Doc’ Walker began criticizing the call because Dunlap was not out of bounds yet when the hit occurred.

Forgive me guys…but how do you continue to pull a pay check to not follow what happens on the field right in front of you? At what point do you think it is a part of your job to learn the rules of college football? (See last week’s classic “knee was down while he was still bobbling the ball that never hit the ground” phantom rule).

Anyone who knows football – anyone who is not a Maryland fan or a Lincoln Financial television announcer – immediately understood that the issue was NOT that Dunlap had not yet gotten out of bounds. In fact, the proximity of the play to the sidelines was simply an irrelevant coincidence. The issue was that Dunlap’s motion had clearly stopped and the officials had clearly blown the play dead long before the hit came.

How the announcers did not realize this when the play happened is scary. How the announcers did not figure this out after the play is embarassing.

The video producers of the broadcast showed multiple replays of the play that all included the closest referee in the frame of the picture. About four different angles showed the official clearly raising his hand signalling that he had already blown his whistle and the Maryland player coming in extremely late for a hit.

Never did Martin or Walker get close to figuring out what had happened on the field.

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23 Responses to Learn the Rules Before You Commentate A Game

  1. Lock 10/21/2006 at 3:09 PM #

    Don’t get a TV feed out here, so I was spared that frustration. Personally, however, I’d like to start with a source much closer to home. What kinda pressure does it take to get Gary ‘Check It’ Hahn removed from the booth?

  2. vtpackfan 10/21/2006 at 3:15 PM #

    Good observation. This was bar none the worst commentating I’d ever heard. The big guy obviously either went to or wanted to go to UMd. At the end of the game he even knew the name of the awarda most valuable player of the week for the Terps gets and wished it to Hollen-blaaaah.
    There was another play at the end of the game when Dunlap caught a pass over the middle and “maybe” fell on it, causinf an injury time out and a clock stoppage for the Pack without burning a TO. It was pretty obvious w/o watching replay that we was milking it just a little. Here’s what I heard for high caliber commentator. “Oooh, yees! Another big time hit by the terrapins. He really laid him out.”
    Later the other stooge replied, “I think he just landed n the ball.”
    “Oh, yes, you’re so right. Thats what makes you so fantastic at this.”

  3. StateFans 10/21/2006 at 3:17 PM #

    ^ It is funny you say that. Walker lives in the area and has a radio show on DC radio. He is known to be close to the Maryland program and loves the Terps. You figured that out without even knowing it.

  4. drhammondo 10/21/2006 at 3:32 PM #

    I had a comment about the announcing in the Live Blog post. After DE’s second interception, Walker talked about how it was forced by Maryland’s D putting so much “pressure” on Daniel, and them backing up an O-lineman into him. But the problem was that the O-lineman was blocking NOBODY and just backed into Daniel on his own.

  5. NCSUDude17 10/21/2006 at 3:35 PM #

    Yeah, I found myself correcting the announcers all game long.

  6. vtpackfan 10/21/2006 at 3:42 PM #

    yeah, just like i figured it out that my wife didn’t like it when I came home reeking of beer and cigar smoke. It was about that obvious. I guess I shouldn’t really care since it was nice out and if i wanted to I could have gone outside and mowed the lawn (chop wood for you in the north country). But I wanted to watch the game with my father-in-law. We hardly ever get to see game together, much less a W vs. those crazy red necks from Md. Just really hampered the overall experience having one commentator so bias to begin with only to be rapidly descending upon the Terrapin Mojo wagon the rest of the game. Probably in line with keg cup in hand as I type this. Oh well, atleast it will be his wif tring him a new a## and not mine.

  7. wolfonthehill 10/21/2006 at 4:15 PM #

    I say it almost every game… the announcers honestly do NOT understand the rules as well as I do as a casual fan. But did you listen to the end of the Duke-UM game on the Deuce? The color guy on there didn’t call anything right – he didn’t know basics & made the mistake of trying to explain things he didn’t understand.

    So seriously – how much do these guys get paid? ‘Cause I could do it, and it’d be a lot more fun than my job…

  8. 38packfan 10/21/2006 at 6:12 PM #

    On Toney Baker’s almost fumble in the first half they said something on a replay to the effect of…”right there, his hand was down, and the ball is not out yet”. What was all the talk about players earning holding penalties on the offense?

    SFN: Yep. The Toney Baker “hand down” was horrible. Toney’s ELBOW was down when his hand was down. It was the ELBOW that marked him down before the ball came out.

  9. vtpackfan 10/21/2006 at 6:28 PM #

    “What was all the talk about players earning holding penalties on the offense?”
    Yeah what is this a new stat category for the mentally impaired?

  10. Packaholic1 10/21/2006 at 7:12 PM #

    Don’t forget the horrible celebration penalty on DB – we are apparently the only school on whom this penalty is called.

  11. packpigskinfan23 10/21/2006 at 9:17 PM #

    ^saw Mike Hart from Michigan NOT get called for one today…

  12. metrowolf 10/21/2006 at 11:23 PM #

    Ahh yes the celebration penalty. Saw that one in person today from Row H of the State section. It look remarkably like the one in Maryland’s own highlight reel. Yep. Their’s was so spectacular we got to see it several times.

    Meanwhile, how dare a State player dive over the line at THEIR stadium!

  13. stejen 10/21/2006 at 11:24 PM #

    I am going to go one step further and say the whole coverage sucked. I can remember at least two times when a commercial break occured and then when the game came back on it was clear that a penalty had been accessed because the ball bad been moved. Once nothing was ever mentioned, the other they just said “a penalty was called on Maryland” but never said what or why. And how many plays did the cameramen get faked out and we watched somebody running on one side of the field while the QB was rolling to the other side of the field to throw a pass? Also, how many times was a penalty called but Martin and Company were too busy trying to impress themselves that we never heard the official call? It was awful. Not just that one play and not just the announcers, but the whole production staff did a terrible job.

  14. metrowolf 10/21/2006 at 11:25 PM #

    Also enjoyed the ref holding on to the ball at the end of the game while the clock wound down before he’d declare it ready for play. WTF was that all about?

  15. wallacepark 10/21/2006 at 11:52 PM #

    they goofed on that one…but all in all I thought they were pretty kind to us, especially in the first half.

  16. BoKnowsNCS71 10/22/2006 at 11:53 AM #

    Are the refs consistent with that diving call? I know they are in the ACC but I saw a higlight last week of a running back for a top 20 team do it but no flags.

    IMHO — The rule is meaningless. You can jump over people on the goal line and it’s ok. But if you are just running ahead of others — you can’t. It’s not what I would call taunting or excessive celebration.

    On the other hand — it is showboating and the term “act like you been there before” comes to mind. But not for a penalty.

  17. Micky McCarthy 10/22/2006 at 12:25 PM #

    This stuff is not new. JP/Lincoln Financial has sucked for 30+ years.

  18. Winston Wolf 10/22/2006 at 1:28 PM #

    All the guys calling the game including the fella on the field are horrible. It makes the ACC look like a third-rate football conference.

  19. ADS95 10/22/2006 at 7:43 PM #

    On the diving call, they aren’t consistent with it in the ACC, or even within the same GAME. Last year against Ga Tech, each team did it once. We were flagged for it, Ga Tech wasn’t. What made it worse was that in our case (may have been Blackman again), he dove to avoid being tackled, but it was flagged as unsportsmanlike.

    On the commentating, one example of how clueless they were…at the end of the first quarter, as Maryland was kicking a field goal, the commentators were wondering why the crowd was booing, assuming that the boos were because Maryland wasn’t going for it on 4th down. Well, the play before was a pass to the end zone that Maryland fans felt there was Pass Interference on, and they were booing because it had apparently been replayed on the jumbotron.

    I mean, for the play-by-play guy to not know the last play had some controversy that upsets the home crowd? Go back to doing High School games.

  20. wayofthemaster 10/23/2006 at 10:18 AM #

    Did anybody keep track of how many times the camera lost track of the ball when Maryland ran a misdirection play.


  21. Cardiff Giant 10/23/2006 at 10:19 AM #

    I have to agree, that call on DB was one of the worst ever. I am betting it was Rick Page who called it, too. Does anyone know?

  22. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 10/23/2006 at 12:57 PM #

    So it is up to the Ref to make a determination if the player was thinking he wanted to dive to avoid getting his feet slaped from under him or if the dive was for the purpose of celebration. Have we reached a point where the NCAA makes rules that require the officials to guess what a player is thinking in order to call a penalty? I hope we don’t dive over the pile later in the year from the one to get in the end zone lest we be flagged for celebration. How does a ref determine if a dive is needed or not needed? I’m guessing these ‘experienced’ gentlemen that ref games don’t do much jumping or diving at this stage in their life so I doubt they ever think a dive would be necessary.


  1. StateFans Nation » Blog Archive » Saturday Live Blogging - 09/15/2007

    […] 12:22pm – UVA 0 UNC 0 – I know that we say this ALL OF THE TIME…but how does Steve Martin and Doc Walker keep their jobs without being able to understand the rules of football and without the ability to naturally and immediately assess what develops on the football field in front of them? On a Cedric Peerman run for a first down on UVA’s first TD drive both of these Einstein’s could not grasp the OBVIOUS development andconcept of “the ground causing a fumble”. […]

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