I see that most of our games are on this venue. Are there announcers, or is it just a live video feed? Thanks.
Announcers, or I think that’s what they are, haha. Some are better than others, each school has their own announcers and production crew.
Arkansas’ production crew is one of the better in the conference; won several awards its first year. The announcers are an acquired taste, but I will give Arkansas’ credit in that they aren’t as homer-ish as other schools. I know some want the announcers to cheer on their team, but not me, at least not on a shared TV broadcast. The Missouri series was a pretty rough in that regard.
I prefer the shared broadcast announcers be neutral, too. I’m all for homerism on the school’s network. Not so homer-ish that they won’t be honest, but other than that, I’m all for the school’s guys being biased for their team.
The worst I’ve seen/heard this year covered one of those Bama games. It wasn’t the one where the usual Bama PxP announcer (Gold?), but one of the others. I think it was the first game of that series. They couldn’t quit talking about Bama, their coach, & their program no matter the action on the field.
That was actually either SECN or ESPN that was going on about Bama and their new stadium and the coach.
The Bama crew was quite good
Even interviewed Blaine Knight after his great performance
The announcers are Alex Pearlman and Troy Eklund. Troy was an All-SWC outfielder for Norm in 88-89. They do a nice job together. I assume when the Hogs play at Auburn, it will be the Auburn crew.
I have to keep things in perspective. The main thing is that, these days, I get to see about 90% of Arkansas’ baseball games one way or another. That’s fantastic!
The “price” I pay is having to listen to “our” announcers (mentioned above) for about half of them. The problem is over exposure. I’m sure these guys are pleasant enough people, and I’m doubly sure they do 10 times the job i, or most, could/would do if we were broadcasting a game (not nearly as easy as most of us think!). But if you’ve seen this pair do one game . . . or two, you’ve seen and heard everything they bring to a broadcast. They have a very limited repertoire of terms, stories, etc. and they recycle them over and over and over . . . there just isn’t a lot of insight to be gotten.
For example, Pearlman seems obsessed by the term “Mendoza line”. I know what it means, and so do most baseball fans. But we don’t need to hear the phrase multiple times in each broadcast. Unfortunately, for quite a while we had two players (stunningly, in light of his last month, Chad Spanberger; and Eric Cole) who were hovering around that .200 Batting average for about a month. Almost EVERY time Cole came to the plate, Pearlman would mention that he was still 'below the Mendoza line". Sure - it was true; but can’t you figure out some other way to mention it? “He’s been mired in a slump” . . . “he’s still trying to get his batting average above .200” . . . “DVH knows that Cole is a better hitter than his numbers for the last month show”, etc. Maybe use the “Mendoza” reference once every 4 to 5 games? Fortunately, Eric’s recent hot streak has him about 40 points above “the line”, so we haven’t heard it mentioned as much the last 2 or 3 games.
For Eklund, every hard hit ball is a pellet or BB. Fletcher’s arm is a hose or a cannon. In other words, he falls back on too much baseball “jargon”, and it’s not varied enough. Every now and then, he’ll bring out a Norm or DVH story that adds to the broadcast, but those are few and far between, relatively speaking.
Another thing this duo does that gets under my skin is that they start assuming wins waaaaay too early. I know that their doing so has NO effect on what happens on the field; but as a nervous Arkansas fan, I don’t want the announcers talking about how so-and-so hasn’t hit into a double play in a month moments before he comes up with the bases loaded in a key situation and - you guessed it - hits into a double play. Or how our pitchers aren’t giving up walks before they do. Most of all, they talk about where a win would put Arkansas in the SEC standings when we’re ahead by 3 runs in the 6th inning. Still a LOT of baseball to be played at that point.
I have listened to other "home’ broadcast teams this year and been a lot more impressed with them than I expected to be. I used to love listening to Chuck to our baseball games; IMO, it was his best sport to call. I respect that he had personal reasons for cutting his schedule, but I sure do miss him on the call.
Dave, as a true baseball fan, you would really enjoy listening to Phil Elson call Razorback games. The first few times that I heard him (when he was a substitute for Chuck) I thought he was a bit repetitive. He would refer to ducks on the pond or a can of corn. But now that I listen to him for each game, I realize that he does use those phrases, but not all that often. He is a real baseball guy and as a baseball nerd, he and Rick are well suited in the booth. He loves baseball history, talking yesterday about the fact that Jax Biggers was leading the club in batting average from the nine hole. He wondered if that had ever happened.
BTW, the only people that seem to dislike Phil are those who are Razorback fans, but not particularly baseball fans. They miss Chuck and just don’t like Phil.
This is a very good summation. I tend to find myself being annoyed by Alex Perlman, the PBP guy on the UA broadcasts.
He does fine but seems to go out of his way to prove he isn’t a homer.
That is sometimes grating. But, I can’t blame him. He looks like he is 12 yrs old but he has been in this spot for a bit now and is undoubtedly trying to climb the ladder (and it probably is about time if it is going to happen).
And, when you hear broadcasts like the MO ones it makes you appreciate his attempts at objectivity.
The MO guys did nothing to hide their lack of the same.
I remember this. It was odd.
The talking about wins before they are final drives me insane. I think they did it just before the Sat. LSU meltdown.
Elson is solid. You make an interesting point about announcers repeating the same phrases. As you know it’s virtually impossible when you announce 60-162 games a season.
I think whether it annoys us largely depends upon whether we like the announcers. My favorites have all had them but I enjoyed them–looked for them, even–from guys like Jack Buck, Mike Shannon and Chuck Barrett.
I always wanted to be baseball PBP guy. I would do the games as a 10-yr old and record them. So, I listen to a lot of them and compare notes.
Chuck is right up there with the best. Had he wanted to ride on minor league buses I have no doubt he could have made The Show and would have overcome that he doesn’t have the classic (annoying) radio guy voice.
I always loved his HR call…That ball’s got a chance…that ball’s gone!" Ironically, I don’t think he ever got to it on one of his best calls–The Toops Grand Slam.
I missed the second game at Bama. I heard Eli Gold and his Bama sidekick call the Friday game and they were very evenhanded, giving Blaine Knight a ton of praise as he mowed down the Bama hitters. Then the SECN crew turns into homers. The PBP guy Saturday was Clay Matvick, who has no Bama connection whatsoever. Maybe he thinks he’s just supposed to cheer for the home team.
Thanks to Brady himself, who put video with Chuck’s call on YouTube, you can hear for yourself:
It never gets old watching & listening to that call
I’m sure you’re right, Marty. In fact, I have heard Phil call a game or two and my general impression is favorable. Have not heard enough games called to have an opinion on how well he “wears” in the longer run, but expect that I’d like him.
I was specifically talking about the two that Clay referenced. Note that I always go in with a “clean slate” mentality - meaning that I had no impression one way or the other before I first heard these two calling games (last year, I believe). All things being equal, I’d prefer to enjoy them, so I guess the glass was actually “Half full”.
To be clear, I do understand and agree that some repetition is to be expected, and actually can be enjoyable/comfortable when it becomes a welcomed signature phrase. Paul’s “Oh my!” comes to mind. The repetition I mentioned in the prior post, that bugs me, is in cases where there are MANY ways a situation could be described, yet the announcing team repeatedly uses the same tired phrasing over and over and over (“Mendoza line”). As I mentioned - these guys are just too limited in their stories and general baseball background to hold my interest over the long haul. The nature of baseball is that over the course of a 3 hour game, there are normally long stretches where there isn’t a lot of action going on. Baseball announcers, more than any other sport, have to engage and hold your attention during those stretches. These guys don’t do that for me.
They’d be fine for one or two games each season. But they are over-exposed doing 20, or whatever they’ve done this year. At least, in my opinion.
That’s the ringtone on my iPhone.
Oh, I understand exactly what you mean. Since I am at the games, I do not hear the local TV commentary. With the advent of more efficient cell phone apps, I can even use the ARK Gameday app when the radio is not functional (as it was not on Saturday until after the game began.) The delay is much less than in the past. You might even be able to sync up the radio broadcast (via app or ArkansasRazorbacks.com) with TV if you are so inclined.
I’ve been told Alex won’t be back at Arkansas next year.
I’ve noticed same thing about Pearlman. I would think the UA – and they pick the home announcers – might be in the mood to change that aspect of the broadcast. I would.