Wednesday, September 20, 2006

One Horrible CFB Change Too Many

*You can create a 5th BCS bowl by stiffing any number of the good non BCS bowls and instead having a ridiculous 2 Fiesta Bowls this year, the 2nd of which serves at the national championship game and doesn't even have a name really.

*You can sell the TV rights for the BCS Bowls (except the Rose) to Fox Sports through 2010, ensuring that I have to put up with stupid robot graphics, unneccessary sound effects every 14 seconds, and a giant arrow superimposed on the field every play showing down, distance, and the direction the offense is going (if there is a single man, woman, or child who watches a football game and can't figure out which way the offense is trying to go when both teams are lined up then I would be stunned, yet Fox persists with the giant arrow anyways).

*You can change the rules of the game to cut out 10-12% of football as a reaction to the fact that game times became excessive due to added commercials, which of course were not limited.

*You can create a new replay system where every major play is reviewed, more than half rather needlessly and for way too long, which kills momentum for teams and fans at the stadium and irritates knowledgeable fans watching on TV.

*You can create a new "Coaches Challenge" rule for instant replay which approaches absolute zero on the intelligence scale by only allowing 1 per game and only if you have a timeout.

*You can slowly erode ESPN GameDay from great must see TV to barely better than shit, and cap it of with a fundamental change whereby they no longer go to the best game of the week but rather whatever game happens to be on their showcase network, resulting in them overly hyping USC-Nebraska last week, a game where SC was favored by 17 points, while passing on Auburn-LSU, Notre Dame-Michigan, Louisville-Miami or Tennessee-Florida, all of which were better games with more evenly matched good teams.

OK. None of these are anything approaching good, but I can turn the other cheek and tolerate them because my love of CFB is big enough that as much as you lessen it's greatness it is still pretty damn good.

But you cannot take our beloved Ron Franklin, the best CFB announcer out there, and remove him from the ESPN Saturday night feature game that he has been calling since I was a wee lad. This is just too damn much. It's unacceptable.

Ron Franklin is the best voice in CFB by a mile, and he certainly is the voice of the big Saturday night game on ESPN. My sis donned him "Uncle Ron" about 10 years ago because his voice is so great and comforting/comfortable that he sounds like your favorite uncle calling the game for you at a weekly family gathering. As damn near all things ESPN related have turned to complete and utter shite around him the last 15 years, he had remained one of the very few great things that remain at now-shittastic ESPN.

A Saturday night institution no more.

Franklin was pulled from the Sat. evening primetime game, which most weeks is one of the best games of the week, and has been moved to the late afternoon slot on ESPN2; he has been replaced by former ESPN NFL Sunday Night Football announcer Mike Patrick. So last week Ron was relegated to the utterly meaningless (sorry BON) Texas-Rice late afternoon game on ESPN2 while Mikey Patrick got the ESPN primetime matchup of FSU-Clemson.

Now Patrick is by no means horrible, he is actually pretty good, but this it is just wrong to have him doing this game instead of RF. It would be one thing if Franklin's contract expired and he moved to another network, but it hasn't and he hasn't. And it is not like Franklin has gotten so old that he has lost his sharpness a la Keith Jackson, who last year could not longer correctly tell if a field goal was good or not until Dan Fouts corrected his mistakes. Dude is as on top of his game as ever.

Another thing that makes this move terrible is that the Sat night primetime game on ESPN is usually a good SEC matchup or great ACC matchup, but almost always a big matchup involving football in the deep South. Franklin has a distinctly Southern voice (he is an Ole Miss grad) - not rednecky, but rather that of a Southern gentleman - which fits perfectly with a big night game atmosphere from Baton Rouge, Tuscaloosa, Auburn, Athens, Gainesville, Tallahassee, Clemson, Knoxville, Oxford, Fayetteville, Columbia, etc, etc. Mike Patrick's voice is distinctly NOT Southern - I don't know where he is from but my guess would be Northeast or Midwest. Either way, the distinct Yankee-ness of his voice is misfit and out of place for these games when compared to the perfect fit of Franklin's.

Of all the changes in college football this year, this one pisses me off the most, which is a pretty massive statement considering the other changes, especially the clock rule.

ESPN is evil - they might as well just go ahead and put me out of my misery by abandoning their horse racing talent and coverage, and replacing Andy Katz with Seth Davis, thereby destroying the only 2 good things remaining over there.


Anonymous said...


Now, I don't actually know the answer to this question, so consider it just that - a query.

But: Ron Franklin is an Austin native. I suppose it's possible that Franklin did the Texas game in Houston rather than trek to Tallahassee? Just for this one week?

I sure as spitfire hope so. I agree with you 100% - his voice IS Saturday night football. Mike Patrick - you're right - is decent, but he's not even in the same league.

Fingers crossed that it was a one-week anomaly. If yo uknow otherwise, let me know.


Kanu said...


No, because Mike Patrick did South Carolina-UGA the week prior, and this article confirms the change:

Sucks ass.

Anonymous said...

Franklin's voice calling a SEC night game is like smelling Southern Comfort at a UGA home game. You just can't separate the two. I would like to see CBS pick him up and replace "VERNE".

Anonymous said...

I bet you can not eat or sleep. This is a tragdey. We should have a memorial for him and for you. How do you go on with your life?

I am gong to have a nervous breakdown thinking about this terrible news. My child was so sick over this news she will no longer eat. Which is probably good beacause she is overweight.

I just want to say stay strong, have faith, and believe. You are strong, throw on some Ludacris and let make you smile.

S said...

i knew something was up. ESPghey at it again.

Anonymous said...

He is moving to another time. He is not dead, sheesh. Oh, yeah BSPN is gay. Right, dude?

Astronaut Mike Dexter said...

Uncle Ron was the baritone soundtrack to some of my most memorable football Saturdays in college -- not all of them memorable for the right reasons, but still, he is bar none the best announcer in CFB broadcasting right now. I cannot recall ever having read a single remark about him or his style that wasn't positive. For ESPN to take him for granted like this just adds to my creeping dread that they have turned, like Cartman's Trapper Keeper, into a giant morphing blob that just sucks up everything it wants, spits out the rest, and gives no thought to what the people actually want.

Anonymous said...

Ron Franklin is one of the best announcers in sports, period. You are completely correct to conflate "Autumn Saturday night" with "Ron Franklin's voice." I noticed this as well, and it really annoyed me; why did ESPN do this? Was his voice considered "too regional?" That can't be the case, can it? Was it because he is too subdued and professional? I don't know, but when you combine this with the decision to ruin the punch bowl of Nessler/Griese by adding the turd of Paul Maguire, it really makes me think that ESPN/ABC doesn't understand college football fans...

Anonymous said...

There is just no end to the beyotches in Bristol being able to fvck up an otherwise perfect scenario. It isn't bad enough that USC and Notre Dame fit that network with a pair of chin nuts at the start of every season, but the latest less intelligent than a slug decision made by these morons is a total case of ignoring the saying if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Ron Franklin should finnish his contract with these peter puffing shrews and then sign with any other network that does college football. How can you take the talent, voice, and overall easy to listen to style RF brings to the college game and relegate it to a minor broadcast? I'm GAWD DAMN MAD that one of the few talented play by play men in the business is being shuffled in favor of a guy who could not hold his jock. While I enjoyed hearing his broadcast of the Texas-Rice game this past weekend, Saturday night without his commentary and input will be sorely lacking. Color me fed up with these cocksuckers and their ignorance when it comes to recognizing talent and letting that talent take the main stage. Things like this really make me long for the days when the Humble radio network was the outlet of choice when it came to following the old SWC. At least you knew that Kern Tipps, Connie Alexander, et. al. were going to be calling the big matchup of the week and not some minor talent chosen by the suits in corporate. by PCH

Anonymous said...


Get over it. Why don't you go buy Mr.Franklin some hos so he can get over it.

Anonymous said...

I am glad to see other fans share my same outrage over ESPN's decision. Ron Franklin is college football's best play-by-play guy.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see that Ron Franklin withdrawal is widespread and for good reason - he's the best, especially on SEC games.

A few years back during Keith Jackson's FIRST last season, Brad Nessler was throwing public tantrums since ABC wouldn't make a final decision on the #1 team. In fact, they have continued to juggle Team Musburger and Team Nessler to this day. I say the hell with both of them - Ron Franklin for the #1 ABC job. I always find it amazing that big network decisions continue to be monopolized and skewed by the VP-of-the-month commuting on the LIE in his Lexus. The bulk of his exposure to sports media and actual games has been the NY teams and stations - 'nuff said. NY has lost any college football scene it may have had and Mr. Long Island has no clue what college fans (especially Southern fans) really want.

For the record, Mike Patrick is a native of Clarksburg, WV. I'm not sure how long he lived in the state, but we in WV are usually considered Mid-Atlantic even though we don't touch the ocean. Southern states consider us Northerners (especially considering the origin of the state during the Civil War) and Northerners view us as Southerners (read: hicks or hillbillies) due to our Appalachian heritage.

The (northern) WV accent is a strange, even unique combination of Pittsburghese (bitten-off consonants and tall vowels) and country drawl. By contrast, the southern WV accent is largely indistinguishable from western Kentucky, northeast Tennessee and southwestern Virginia.

Patrick has lost all traces of accent by accident or design so it's understandable that he's believed to be a Yankee.

The O'Brien's Team said...

I enjoy reading the love for Ron Franklin. It is interesting that some people consider him an SEC voice. To me he is the voice of the Big 12. I really missed him this year!

He speaks knowledgeably about the players, coaches and team histories. He refers to the towns, high schools and coaches in the region. These are touchstones for fans in the Big 12 area where local identity and high school football are so important. I always get the sense that he is a real fan, someone for example you would love to engage in a conversation over a beer about where Adrian Peterson ranks among OU's best backs. I am glad to read in SI that he has no plans to retire even though he is almost 65. Can ESPN/ABC please let RF do the the #1 games of the week next fall rather than Brent Musberger? If not, can they replace Brent with an empty chair? It would be an improvement.

Anonymous said...

i was pissed when ron franklin was missing from the first saturday night game of the 2006 season on ESPN. it genuinely had been a long, long time since that had happened.

but mike patrick is really good, too. i'm a georgia fan and i thought that he did a great job witht the uga/ut game. i've watched it one tape about five or six times, and mike patrick is really good.

rod franklin and mike patrick are both southerners and definitely the two best play by play guys, other than sean mcdonough.

my dad is from hingham massachuseetts and remembers sean mcdonough when he was a tiny little baby. sean mcdonough did the sec games for cbs and i really grew fond of the telecasts. i still have no idea why they replaced him. verne lundquist at age 60-something is no sean mcdonough.


gin said...

I miss Ron. I watch him anytime I can find him on the tube. He is a class act. I hope Ron sees this. I knew him before he could walk. He and his family lived in McGehee, Ark. Our mothers were good friends and if I remember correctly were kin somewhere down the line. His voice is nice and easy to listen to. Why, not? He was born in Mississippi!!!!!!!!So was I!!!!!!!!! I like having the privilege to comment in this space,, but I wish people would mind their manners and language.You can express yourself without using foul language.