Commentary by Art Vuolo, Jr.
Let me sound-off about audio during a sporting event. Radio has it hands down over television. Proof? Have you ever noticed that when a sports team advertises on TV, the audio is just about always from RADIO.
When the Detroit Tigers promote their team, they use radio announcer Dan Dickerson, who is almost a baseball version of the late Bob Ufer of Michigan football fame. The radio guys just sound better. They are, for obvious reasons, more descriptive of the action and they're usually, like us, rooting for the home team. The national TV guys are "supposed to be" impartial. Often, however, don't they often seem to lean toward one team over the other? Doesn't it always seem like it's NOT your team too?
When MSU was in the Big Ten Championship football game last December 7th (a day that will live in infamy), most Spartans fans felt the FOX-TV guys were lame. One of them actually sounded like he had money on the Buckeyes. I've been personally archiving U of M football and some basketball games for years and always use RADIO audio as soon as the play gets underway. I even do a few of the Michigan State games, like that Championship contest and The 2014 Rose Bowl. I've had MSU friends say George Blaha and Jayson Strayhorn were more fun to listen to than Brent Musberger and Kirk Herbstreit from ESPN.
Personally, even as a Wolverines fan, I was sorry to see UConn oust MSU out of its run for the Final Four earlier today. The game, however, was far more entertaining with RADIO audio with the always excitable Will Tieman at the microphone. Will is famous for his screeching yell "He Got It!" especially when three-pointers are scored.
On the flip side of the coin, University of Michigan basketball play-by-play master Matt Shepard, flanked by 1989 NCAA Champion U-M player Terry Mills, has really gotten good. Shepard's huge roster of adjectives to describe noteworthy scores is epic. He uses phrases like: ring it up, jam it, bingo, gimme that, splash and got it! Radio is just better than TV. The only issue is all of the broadcast-delays causing video and audio to often be out of sync. Since both Michigan & Michigan State are out of the running for this year's Final Four, we'll have to wait until late autumn to hear the local college basketball calls again.
The biggest question regarding radio play-by-play and sports in our area right now is WHO will succeed Frank Beckmann as the new voice of the Wolverines? At least five hats, that I have heard, have been tossed into the ring. Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon will probably make the call. We'll talk about it here...soon. Stay tuned!
Contact Art Vuolo, Jr. via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org