* The following is a letter that I wrote to ESPN this week when I saw Paul Maguire calling college football games.
Dear Sir or Madam:
First of all I want to thank you for all you have done to make the fabulous sport of college football more accessible. I remember back in the 1980s waiting with bated breath for the Jefferson Pilot SEC Game of the Week and that was as good as it was going to get. Now, thanks to your diligent efforts and considerable investment there is college football on almost every night of the week. Granted, some of those games are horrendous but Im thankful that they are on nonetheless.
However I was very disturbed and distraught over a change that you made in the college football announcing lineup this season. I was all jacked up for the Cal/Tennessee opener but I nearly swallowed my tongue when the game started. No, it wasnt because of an overdose of too much Volunteer Orange. I was shocked and saddened to see the angst filled cane toad Paul Maguire joining the college football announcing crew.
I gnashed my teeth and spewed venom at the television screen. How in the name of God could you put such a disgrace to the sports broadcasting community as Paul Maguire on there? Paul Maguire, aside from the ungodly games that were on, was the sole reason that I quit watching Sunday Night Football. Listening to him verbally challenge every single solitary play with Joe Theismann was one of the most difficult things Ive ever attempted to do. I wouldnt doubt it one damn bit if his constant bitching was what caused Mike Patricks unfortunate heart disease.
Now grated I can understand how a pudgy ex-military type like Maguire would feel a little intimidated sitting next to that big slice of beefcake Theismann. Hell, Id feel a bit envious too but I wouldnt air my grievances on national television. Im surprised that he didnt issue a dick measuring contest with Theismann during halftime. Nobody should have to subject the tiny hairs of the inner ear to Maguires incessant bickering.
Ah, but lets not waste time crying about the past. Let bygones be bygones. We all make mistakes. But we must still address the personnel gaffe that you made by putting Maguire on the college football team. The biggest reason he is completely unqualified to call a college football game is his pessimistic attitude. He is the anti-Brent Musburger. Musburger is a phony too but at least he is optimistic. Musburger could convince you that McNeese State versus Rice is the most important game in the history of tackle football whereas Maguire would try to convince you that the Houston Texans versus the Detroit Lions is better than the NCAA Championship Game.
Maguire fit in with the NFL types because they are all life and death mercenaries that think every loss is a reason to slit your wrists. That kind of attitude does not mesh well with the college game. College football, although serious as a heart attack, is in no way near as bloodthirsty as the NFL. If a college player loses his starting job its depressing but at least he still has a scholarship and an endless supply of supple young female flesh to lessen the blow. If an NFL player loses his starting job chances are he will be released and end up like perennial hooligan Maurice Clarett.
And that is a big part of Maguires problem. Hes still living in his NFL announcing past. During Tennessees drubbing of Cal he started spouting off a bunch of gibberish about how the college game should be like the pros and not stop the clock after a first down at the end of the game. Someone needs to remind him that this is college football and there is a seedy element (i.e.-boosters) that is constantly present. Some rich booster could pay the chain gang to fall down at the end of the game if the home team was in danger of giving up the winning touchdown. Stopping the clock eliminates such a scenario. Im sure in the coming weeks he will make numerous NFL-College Football comparisons and I am not looking forward to it one iota.
Ok, no sense bitching unless I have a solution right? If you absolutely have to have Maguire calling college football games do us all a favor and put him on the noon Big Ten game. Nobody watches that game anyway. Or better yet put him over on the Spanish ESPN Deportes. And do something ballsy while youre at it. Put Pam Ward in Maguires place. Not only would it be a joy to have a woman replace the smug Maguire itd win you a lot of brownie points with the viewers. Now Ill admit that I was skeptical when I first saw Pam calling a college football game but she quickly won me over. Viewers can relate to her. That ol girl knows her pigskin and she (presumably) likes to check out the bubbly cheerleaders during breaks.
Am I going to quit watching football because of the addition of Maguire? Nah, Im not that self-righteous. I will probably hit the mute button and have my neighbor Tyrone come over and do the play-by-play. Now theres a novel idea. Why not have a man of color do the color commentary. Its surprising that there arent more black people announcing considering college football teams, at least the good ones, are 90% black. Marinate on that for a while if you will. Call me, well do lunch?
Your humble friend,
College Football Addict