I think it goes without saying how I feel about the CBS broadcast team of Dan Fouts and Ian Eagle. It’s like listening to Ben Stein and your grandfather converse about a football game over a bowl of Werther’s Originals. Their humdrum and lackluster attempt to call an NFL game can put an intoxicated fan to sleep, and a passed out drunk fan into a coma.
So yanno. Just not a fan.
But even for those who may not be as harsh on the Walter Matthau & Jack Lemmon of the NFL broadcast world (Grumpy Old Men, IMDB it kids), after listening to Ian & Dan try to explain the final play of the Ravens 19-14 victory over the Bengals should have you ready to tune out and join my dark side.
So let’s break this down, shall we?
First, the Ravens set up for the 4th down play after taking the Delay of Game to ensure every last second could be squeezed out of the game clock.
The ball is snapped back to Sam Koch, every Raven holds every Bengal, and as flags rain down on the field, this is what we get:
Ian Eagle: “Koch goes to the back of the end zone as time expires… but there will be probably holding on the play…so that’s gonna throw a monkey wrench into this ending.”
Dan Fouts: “Yea, the Bengals will get one more play. You’d expect the Ravens to do the same thing wouldn’t ya? How much time will be left here…”
At this point I think Fouts hesitates, unsure of the result of the flags, yet still confident he’s in the right here.
He goes on.
DF: “He couldn’t have been holding all of them, although there are three flags out there… looked like all the Bengals were on the ground… that one at the 25 may be on the Bengals for holding the gunner. We may have offsetting penalties here…”
Wh…what? Who is ‘he’ when referring to holding ‘all of them?’ And where in God’s name did you see a Bengal holding a Raven on this play? Offsetting penalties, Dan?
Despite his confusion, I believe Fouts still holds his head high, with every ounce of his being positive the Bengals would get this phantom untimed down…
…Until head official Clete Blakeman makes his declaration:
Zebra King: “There are multiple fouls against the offense for holding. The result is a safety, the 2 points will count. By rule there is no extension so the game is over.”
At this point, Fouts must realize ‘oh crap, I said there’s an untimed down for the Bengals and I was wrong… time for damage control.’
DF: “That is brilliant coaching though. They were holding intentionally, knowing the clock would run out. Because there’s no pressure at all on the punter Koch, he steps out of the end zone, ballgame.”
TOO LATE FOUTS.
Your secret is out, Danny Boy. 14 years as an NFL quarterback, and nearly thirty years in the booth… and yet, he had no idea how the rules worked in this play. Not to insinuate that this is a common play by any means, but I’d venture to say most Baltimore fans who watched the Ravens’ most recent Super Bowl victory knew exactly what this play was.
Dan Fouts was more confused than Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
Dan Fouts was more lost on this play than Tom Hanks in Castaway.
Dan Fouts struggled more than Melissa McCarthy trying to make an original joke.
Dan Fouts had more people laughing at him than Kanye during a mid-concert rant.
I could do this all day, but you get the gist…
Either way CBS, see the red, flashing warning signs and heed my words: IT’S TIME TO MOVE ON. Get younger in the booth and steer away from the old guard. Add some spunk (tries not to snicker…). Some excitement. Some actual knowledge of the game instead of guys like Fouts who clearly need to take some more Ginko Biloba, or maybe just listen to Tom Brady when he suggests everybody else ‘study the playbook.’
It’s time to move on.