I have to pose a question about Hawk Harrelson and really, criteria for announcers in general. Many people complain about Hawk (and Ron Santo on the other side of town) for being big time “homers.” In fact, whenever an announcer seems to be more invested in one team than in the other, people complain that it is bad announcing.
Now I can see why you would want a national broadcast to have unbiased announcers, but why do people seem to have a problem with a team’s announcer being a fan of the team that they work for? Can’t you make the assumption that it is mostly that team’s fans watching the telecast anyway? If someone who is not a Sox fan is watching the White Sox telecast and wants unbiased coverage, well – they don’t have to watch then. And if they want to watch a White Sox game, they just have to understand that they have to put up with the White Sox announcers. But I don’t see how that makes Hawk a worse announcer. Do all the other teams have announcers that don’t invest any emotion into their specific team?
Now, I will admit that Hawk is probably out of his element as a play-by-play guy, and can be a little annoying at times – but I generally enjoy the emotion he emits from the broadcast booth (plus, the White Sox telecasts already have great analysis in the booth because of Steve Stone alone – I think he’s a great announcer). People I know are slamming him for the “worst moment call ever” with his “YES! x5” yesterday after the perfect game, but really what is he supposed to say. He was silent almost the whole at bat because he was so nervous, and then just went crazy with a loss for words. Basically his actions/emotions exactly mirrored mine (and probably most other Sox fans) because he is arguably the biggest Sox fan there is – and I think that is awesome.
In all honesty, I think the national broadcasts, while they can have good analysis by some good announcers, are missing something when there is no emotion attached to it (Joe Buck nonchalantly announcing “And [Insert Team Here] wins the World Series” every year for the past few years). I was just wondering if someone could shed some light on this for me. What is wrong with being a fan for the team you announce for and bringing emotion to a broadcast?