Monday, November 03, 2008

Where's your onions Devlin?

I admit it. I sometimes don't get people. Take the comments section of today's Chris Zelkovich offering.

There, a review of Matt Devlin's (real) first three days on the job turned into an opportunity for the masses to bash the new play-by-play guy, while lamenting the lack of hyperbolic onions on display.

Chuck Swirsky's influence remains strong in the true north strong and free. A generation of basketball fans have grown up thinking that what Chuck did was normal. That's just crazy.

Look, Swirsky did a lot of good things for the team and he always had time for the fans. He deserves credit for that. But, his was an act. A Chris Berman-lite act that turned off as many people as it inspired to buy salami and cheese t-shirts. It's hard to understand, at least to this basketball fan, why people need a sideshow to enjoy a NBA game.

Devlin is a professional. He is fine. And, although I have questions about why they couldn't have found a Canadian broadcaster that could have done as good a job, I think the man deserves more than three games before he's thrown under the bus.

Actually, if things keep going the way they have I couldn't care less if Alvin and the Chipmunks call the game.

Related: William Houston's take


sager said...

Thanks for getting this ball rolling, DGR ...

... I've only heard Devlin twice (opener vs. Philly and home opener vs. G-State) and I would say that he's a total sea change from the Swirsk, but overall he's not bad.

A couple things.

-- He did break out an "are you kidding me?" in the third quarter Friday after Anthony Parker made a three-pointer.

-- Jason Kapono is now "J.K." Sorry, but when I watch basketball I don't want any reminder of the Harry Potter franchise.

-- I'm not sure if Canadians, who are more formal, go for the play-by-play guy calling a player by his given name. It's tolerated when it's from the ex-player analyst ...what Andrea has to start doing here is take full advantage of his height ...but it sounds kind of cloying and chummy from the play-by-play man.

-- His pronunciation of José Calderón is off a bit ... Chuck and every other Toronto voice has always taken their best stab at a Spanish-sounding pronunciation (and in the City of Nations, you have to make that effort). Delvin has been saying José Calderón with the final syllable said the same way as the man's name Ron.

Granted, there was a ballplayer in the '80s and '90s, the late Iván Calderón. If memory serves, that was how announcers said his name.

Anonymous said...

Devlin's Ok, I guess.
But, compared to the Swirsk, he's kinda dull.
Maybe his toned-down style will grow on people, especially now that Jack Armstrong
is doing the colour.
Armstrong is the rah-rah guy now that Chuckie's gone.