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Monday, January 23, 2012

Blazers Mute Project continues to reward

We've been enjoying the Blazer games on TV a lot more with the sound turned off, and the radio on sometimes. We get the radio call about a second ahead of the picture, but that's o.k. In this screwed-up partial season, everything about the pro hoops game is a little off anyway.

Watching the tube without audio is pretty revealing, especially the ads. It's a lot easier to perceive how the images work on your mind without the cover of the sound.

Probably the most revealing aspect of our Mute Strategy is to get a good look at the announcer guys we've shut off. Especially Mike Barrett, the television play-by-play guy. His commentary is so boring that we can't stand it. And the look he gives when he's on camera -- well, it just screams "I hate this job." Never smiles, never shows any enthusiasm -- his facial expressions alternate among suspicion, fatigue, and anger. What a way to suck the life out of what is supposed to be entertainment.

And don't get us started on the ads. Adjourning to the bedroom with the Spirit Mountain babe in the red dress gets creepier by the month, and it's a lot more obvious without the audio track. We've had a lot of fantasy fun with her, but now it's over. We request an annulment. It's not her -- it's us.

Comments (29)

Yeah, I really miss Steve Jones and Mike Rice. Now they had real chemistry even though Mike Rice was a bit loopy. But at least it wasn't boring!

I really think the Blazers blew it first by firing Schonley and then effectively turning all of the radio/TV employees into being nothing but frightened "yes men".

I am sorry, but whatever magic the Blazer Organization had at one time is long gone.

I know nothing about which you speak in this post, revered blogger and co. Television involving advertising has been long banned in these parts. However, Netflix has a lot of streaming things you might consider, in lieu of weird uninvited celluloid babes in red dresses enacting basketball blackmail.

We watched 1940's Charles Laughton, with Marlena Dietricht in "witness for the prosecution" for new year's eve- fab, fab. No horrible sportscasters. High noon, more recently, with Grace Kelly and Gary Cooper. Last night we watched Barbara Stanwick and Fred McMurray in Double Indemnity.

Just saying.

Yeah, the Spirit Mountain gal in the red dress was oaky for awhile but has about worn out her welcome; but the freaky little nerd in the top hat asking if we "need more time" got old a long time ago.

I'm also mildly bummed about what's happened to the post-game show Talkin' Ball. Back in the day, it was Dwight Jaynes and Jim Pasero, literally in a bar, just talkin' ball. Now Pasero's gone, and Dwight's in an overlit studio, with either the motor mouth "comin' up next" guy from Seattle or the new young Asian woman they have sitting there. Plus a retired bit player or another bald old sportswriter -- oh, and there's a young Pigpen guy sometime. They've always been in search of good chemistry, but they seem to be moving in the wrong direction. Oh well, whatever Comcast wants, I guess.

Right now, with three chrome domes side by side, it's more like Talkin' Bald.

You know what's happening in the NBA this season as far as entertainment? The Minnesota Timberwolves. Rick Rubio has the clever assists that made Andre Miller so much fun to watch.

One thing that struck me from the Blazers recent 6-game road trip was how many teams aren't drawing. It's easy to see the NBA as an exciting place when you hear the Rose Garden crowd, but go to Atlanta or Detroit and it gets that pointless feeling really fast. I think the announcer said Detroit was down 35% from last year.

Still, I'm in it for the long haul. It's winter in Portland. What choice do we have? I am concerned about my favorite Blazer Nic Batum. He appears to be bereft of joy right now and only shot once tonight. Oh well.

Incidentally, there are radio delay units available that will take care of that synch problem for around a hundred bucks.
Personally I don't mind Mike and Mike unless Rice goes into his Nostradamus routine and tells us what's about to happen. Very annoying - especially when he's wrong. It turns it into a celebration of his basketball genius and I'm not feeling that.

Interesting you mentioned the Blazer announcers Jack. We have the NBA League Pass package, so we get to see just about all the Blazer games - both home and away.
Last night, for example, we got to see the Blazers play the Kings, but got the Kings announcers doing the play-by-play on TV. Even my wife noticed they were a lot more enthusiastic and funny than the Blazer twosome. This despite the fact that the Kings are having another losing season and might even see the franchise move out of Sacramento. And they even had corny local ads that were a lot more interesting and fun than the Spirit Mountain dreck.

There's a man in the Eugene area (or maybe Grants Pass) who supposedly invented a device to allow you to listen to the radio play-by-play in synch with the video on TV. The Eugene affiliate might have info on that. Barrett is a humorless not too happy kinda guy off camera.

sorry Bill didn't catch that last part of your post

Long ago, I hit the mute button on ALL TV sporting events. Who needs so-called "know-it-alls" to tell you what your eyes have already seen?

My employer has been known to satellite in foreign (and live) broadcasts of the Olympics so we don't have to deal with NBC and Costas and the dumb story lines... just the events.

If you have satellite radio, you can also substitute the announcers if the game is carried. And don't one or more of the cable/satellite monopolies include Sirius/XM?

I am boycotting the Blazers this season because they gave significant resources to Yes-to-Portland-Public-Schools-Mega-Sized-School-Building-Orgy this past May. They almost help spike my property taxes by $400 or more per year. (P.S Northwest Natural and PGE were also in on this taxpayer rape attempt...so maybe give some negative comment at the Oregon Public Utility Commission website when they apply for rate increases just like Northwest Natural is currently.)

Besides this, the Blazers are not likely going anywhere this year. Salvation Oden hozed the Blazers I suspect. He gets $8.5 million for staying around this season but then announces next day his knee won't let him play.

Stumptown is pretty much a major league sports less town. Maybe that's no so bad.

Red-dressed Spirit Mountain lady has a place in my hotel room anytime. I'm just sayin'.

I will take spirit mountain lady any day to the weird, cheesy/creepy nerd in the hat who keeps mugging during the ad. Not sure who thought that was a good idea. But the few times I have been there I have seen more creepy guys in hats than hot babes in red.

The Blazers current broadcast team is like vanilla ice cream on Wonder Bread, wrapped in wax paper. I heard better play-by-play and color watching late night chess matches in the early days of ESPN.

This Blazers team is a million times more exciting than that tired broadcast duo could ever complement or come close to describing, even with a running start. Another glaring sign of how the Blazers ownership and management have been staggering blind and lost in a desert wilderness for a long, long time, chasing Paul Allen's mirages at his command as emitted by smell in binary code. Or something.

And why every game is not broadcast on a local tv station is another of the same kind of thing. What a killjoy. GFY, Paul Allen.

P.S.: Mike Rice? Gimme a break. His 9-yr. professional coaching record (not including his 13 years at the high school level) is 137-116. Ho hum. Pass the Wonder Bread....

P.P.S: His son, Mike, Jr., is a quality coaching talent, though, rising in the ranks. Currently at Rutgers. Scared #10 Georgetown Saturday, 52-50.

I just had a conversation about the opposite yesterday!

I have been watching via league pass to all the blazers game this year, Mike and Mike are by far the most interesting and entertaining to listen too. Some of other teams announcers are so bad, making Walton and Barkley sound like word smiths. The New Orleans announcers spent 30 minutes talking to a 65 year old Wrestler going so far as to have the camera on him during game time! If there was not a time delay I would just listen to the radio during the game than have to listen to some of the nonsense from other announcers. I cheered yesterday when I found out it was Mike and mike….

Even my girlfriend who could care less about basketball, commented on the difference of the quality of announcers.


I like Mike and Mike. I often multi-task when watching a game so they are not a constant audio input. Their many theme (one Mike cool, one Mike crazy) is not always entertaining, but they have their moments. In this PC world, they really don't have much leash.

I would much prefer George Carlin and Robin Williams, but one's dead and the other is busy.

You just discovered that you can mute the ads?

um... don't you want your home announcers to be homers just a little bit? Even so, Barrett and Rice are always impressed by good plays, no matter what team made them. Also, have a listen around on League Pass and tell me if you can find a more exciting home broadcast. They all sit around FOREVER without talking. Maaaaybe the Bucks home broadcast is better. The only time I get frustrated with Barrett is when one little layup goes against the Blazers, and it wouldnt matter if Portland was up by 18, he would start to freak out and say "Here we go again..." Barret and Rice are top notch. You won't know what you had until its gone. Seriously. NBA League Pass. Try it.

Um, Bob Clark, I think Oden ended up with a contract that's around 1.5 million.

The Blazers have supported PPS in a variety of ways over the years - all of the gym floors were redone a few years ago, albeit with the Blazers "Make It Better" logo installed. And, I think the developers/construction companies probably put a whole lot more into supporting that bond measure - I suppose something to look at if you were remodeling your house, or building a new one.

Lowest common denominators, eh? And systemic. Gimme hockey any day. The NBA's been pickled. Put it on a shelf with MLB.

Now how 'bout this? --

Pay college athletes, Ohio lawmaker proposes
January 12, 2012


“Universities make millions and millions of dollars from these athletes,” he said. “It doesn’t make sense they have to struggle and sell rings and other stuff (for spending money).”

Such a stipend, Luckie said, would keep athletes from “doing the crazy stuff.” Under his plan, it would be up to each university to determine which sports pay stipends to their athletes and set the amount of payment. The $8,000 proposal is four times higher than the $2,000 the NCAA is considering for athletes. Luckie thinks the NCAA stipend is ridiculously low, and he said his higher amount is based on what an average college student would make a year by working a part-time, minimum-wage job.

“I hope every state representative across the country passes the same (kind of bill),” he said, to pressure the NCAA into backing a higher stipend.

don't you want your home announcers to be homers just a little bit?

I don't mind homer-ism, per se. The guy on the radio does that right. The TV guys alternate between deadly boring and second-guessing every referee call. No sense of history, no enthusiasm for the game. It gets old quick.

I met Mike and Mike personally recently and I believe they enjoy their jobs and it looks like they enjoy it on the air too. I watch most of the games on TV and my wife and I really enjoy Mike and Mike.

You're right about the Spirit Mountain ad, but I think you're wrong about Mike Barrett.

The Snapper is a tough act to follow.

I never said Mike Barrett hates his job. But on TV, he definitely looks and sounds as though he does. No joy about the game, and no sense of humor, whatsoever.

Where is the game on the radio??

750 AM.

For the most part, I think Mike and Mike are fine. Mike B isn't a crazy homer who screams and yells and tries to be funny like so many local sports play-by-play guys...and Mike R is a competent analyst. But I HATE the hard liquor ads when so many kids are watching (remember when there were NO hard liquor ads on TV?) and those stupid behind the basket camera shots. All they do is eliminate much of the court and hide a lot of the action. Makes me nuts. Use 'em as replays. Jack..I agree with your Talkin' Ball take. I'm sure the reason they can't get a regular team on that show is that Comcast doesn't pay much.

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