Generally speaking, I like Cris Collinsworth. Compared to Troy Aikman’s “analysis” of an NFL game, it’s next level stuff. You can learn something while watching one of his games. Collinsworth will actually explain coverages, educate the viewer on technique, and usually has a good grasp on game strategy and play calling.
He’s better than Jon Gruden, who has virtually morphed into the exact spoof character Frank Caliendo does on ESPN. And I’m not yet sure about how I feel about the much-raved-about Tony Romo, who may be brilliant, or he may just be a guy who likes to call out plays before they happen. Romo also needs to let his games with Jim Nantz “breathe” a bit, by not trying to jam every moment between plays with chatter.
But on the whole, Collinsworth is pretty good. Which is why I almost choked on my remote when I heard him say late last night (paraphrasing): “I’m not sure Aaron Rodgers would have done much better tonite than what Brett Hundley did.”
Sure, Hundley had one of his better (best?) games yet for the Packers, tying his career high with 254 yards passing, and 3 TDs over no INTs. But two of the TD’s were wide-open broken coverage plays to Cobb and Adams. The other was a 2 yard flip to Jamal Williams on a screen play that went 54 yards to the house.
Furthermore, Hundley got the ball 3 times at his own 40 or better, and also presided over 4 three-and-outs, including the final “non-drive” with 1:20 left in regulation.
So why would he say something so insultingly dumb like “I’m not sure Rodgers would have done any better?” It would be like Collinsworth grabbing a fistful of that grass in the picture above saying: “Mmmmmm! Tastes just like… CAKE!”
Is Collinsworth aware of what has happened since #12 went down? The entire team has collapsed like a fake Hollywood movie set in a gust of wind. If Rodgers wouldn’t have done “much better” than Hundley, then why was Twitter all moist between the keyboard when they showed #12 slinging warm-up passes almost 50 yards in sweats before the game?
Giving Aaron Rodgers the ball with 1:20 to play, and a timeout in his pocket, is akin to signing your own death warrant. And while the refs might have missed a flaggable helmet-to-helmet shot on TJ Watt, the point stands: saying Hundley=Rodgers was a ridiculous broadcaster gaffe. What Collinsworth SHOULD have said was: “Man… this is where the Packers would love to throw some pads on Aaron Rodgers and his broken collarbone. No offense to Brett Hundley, but this is what Aaron Rodgers lives to do. Win games in the final minute.”
If it seems like I’m making a big deal of one line, it’s only because I feel like the modern NFL announcer/analyst treats us viewers at home like we’re idiots. We also… listen – and far more carefully than they seem to think we do. If a buddy on the couch said: “I’m not sure Rodgers would have been much better tonite” he would be bombarded with insults and scorn.
Even my “Brother In Law Todd, Who Knows Just Enough Sports to Be Dangerous!” wouldn’t say such a thing.
I guess I just demand a lot from the top level broadcasters on NFL games. I expect an old dinosaur like Dick Stockton to fuck up 5 names per half. I assume an old warhorse like Dan Fouts will reference concepts in the game that went out in 1989. But last I recall: that song which comes on TV before this game every week, sings loud and proud that “Al and Cris are THE BEST ON TV!”
If Hundley played well, explain the precise how and why of it. But also point out where he didn’t play so well. And don’t peddle some nonsense that 245 yards passing was about all anyone could get against that Steeler defense. We’re out here, and we’re listening. Act like we didn’t start watching football last Tuesday.