If you happen to watch a college basketball game, or even a professional game on television this season, it’s likely you will have to listen to a former coach or former player as the color commentator.
Like all vocations, including coaching, you’ll have good ones and bad ones; no surprise there. You’ll have your hard workers and the guys who say they work hard. You’ll have the pretty boys with the gel in their hair and the manicured nails and you’ll have the guys who make sure they get a shave and a shower in before they begin their day, all the while walking out of their front door holding a stat sheet in their hand.
As of late, when I sit down to take in a game on the boob-tube, I have been reaching for my remote and pressing the ‘mute’ button. But one thing is certain, when Fran Fraschilla of ESPN is working the game, I’m all ears.
This morning I came across an article from the Daily Texan on-line written by Colby White. In his piece, Mr. White (I’m starting to write like journalists from the New York Times with the ‘Mr.’ reference) stated having to listen to Fran. Click the link and read on. But to save you the time, here’s what he said.
But if you somehow missed the memo, ESPN was quick to issue a reminder with some of its trademark viral advertising. The media giant broadcasted the game on its ESPN2 network, which meant fans were forced to listen to the questionable color commentary of Fran Fraschilla all night long, but at least they watched.
Forced to listen to the questionable color commentary of Fran Fraschilla?
This guy must be kidding?
It boggles my mind when I read something like this. Fraschilla is a basketball junkie. The guy eats, sleeps and drinks basketball.
I could sit here all day and bash a lot of former coaches who are trying their hand at commentating, but it doesn’t make any sense. Hey, they’re trying to make a living and they’re trying to stay visible. But when scribes begin to pounce on a guy like Fraschilla, it’s an injustice.
Fraschilla knows the game. He does his homework (observes film over and over all year long) he is well-versed on where players played their high school ball, AAU ball and he travels the summer camp circuit to not only work camps but he gets to know the players. He knows x’s and O’s. He’ll tell you what a team is trying to do, how to attack a 1-2-2 defense and he’ll let the viewer know what options a team has running a half-court set.
If you’re going to knock someone, knock someone who makes countless mistakes on air, watch Fraschilla long enough and that will be hard to do.
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I hope all those people (journalists included) in Manhattan, Kansas who thought Frank Martin was NOT the right guy for the job when Bob Huggins left for West Virginia are writing their letter now and sending it to the KSU athletic department thanking them for hiring Martin.
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GO TO WORK LIKE YOU APPRECIATE THE OPPORTUNITY.