This is one of those situations that isn't easy to digest for several reasons. The Detroit Lions and WKRK-FM 97.1 have decided not to bring back play-by-play man Mark Champion for his 17th season when the team begins play this fall. Long time color commentator Jim Brandstatter is also reportedly going to be replaced, likely with a former Lions' player. I always thought that the team of Champion and Brandstatter was one of the best in the NFL -- both guys pretty much called it as they saw it, and didn't hold back against giving well-deserved criticism.
It's easy to get attached to a broadcast team and I think that is what has happened to many Lions fans that are upset when they hear this news. That makes it doubly hard to acknowledge that the new team, led by Channel 2's Dan Miller doing play-by-play, deserves a chance to display their stuff before a fair assessment can be made. Miller has experience as he's done work on Fox TV for the past several seasons -- to me he's solid, but not as colorful as Champion has been.
Getting adjusted to this change is more difficult when you like all of the public personalities involved. No one wishes bad things for Champion and Brandstatter because they were good at what they do. Likewise, being mean to Miller doesn't make sense either as he's a good guy too and deserves the shot. When these things happen, we often look for the 'why'... and most of the time we miss on what the real reasons might be. Could the Lions and WKRK have made this decision because they were unhappy with the status-quo? Maybe... but my guess is that the powers think they have a bigger opportunity with a new direction.
Time will tell.