Nov 11, 2011
Johnny Goodman - See all 177 of my articles
By now all of you are well aware of the situation at Penn State. Paterno has been fired, Spanier canned, replacements – - albeit likely temporarily named.
By all accounts there is still a football game to play this weekend.
Nebraska Athletic director has called for increased security to protect Nebraska fans who are travelling there.
According to remarks from NU Regent Tim Clare “Happy Valley is a pretty interesting place on a normal football Saturday,” Clare said. “Given what’s developed the last several days, particularly last night, we have a duty to ensure that our football student-athletes, staff, coaches and our fans are safe.”
And…while that game may pale in comparison to the bigger story going on at State College. ESPN has their announcing team in place for the game this weekend.
This was the topic of lunchroom conversation at work this week. Who would ABC/ESPN bring in to cover this game? Who would WANT to cover this game. There could be many moments of awkwardness. I would even venture to say that this is the most bizarre setting for a football game since the Army vs. Navy game played a mere week after the assassination of President John F Kennedy.
Well the choice of the crew to do the game day coverage is interesting to say the least.
Don’t envy this job for these guys. The setting is strange, emotions are high, there could be countless things (or absolutely nothing) happen this weekend. I think it is anyone’s best guess as to what side stories will develop during, and after the matchup between the Huskers and Nittany Lions.
Not surprisingly Tom Rinaldi is going to be at the game. He has been covering most of the story for ESPN all week so it would seem natural that he would remain “in house” and likely add some bit stories during the telecast. I just hope that ESPN does not do what ESPN often does…..try to create some sort of Emmy award winning documentary situation with every little side story that gets talked about. My only concern with Rinaldi being there is that ESPN will want to be the story, the off- field stuff will continue to get top billing and the game coverage will be a complete afterthought.
Chris Spielman will be the color analyst for the game. Spielman is one of my favorites as he has straight-forward comments, mainly stemming from his status as a great player in college (he was a two time All American at Ohio State) and his time in the NFL. I always enjoy his commentary and his presence is normally good for any telecast. Interestingly ( and not surprisingly, Jerry Sandusky recruited Speilman to play college football at Penn State. I always enjoy his commentary and his presence is normally good for any telecast.
Dave Pasch will be the play by play person covering the game for ESPN. Pasch is most noted in the broadcasting world as being the voice of the Arizona Cardinals. Pasch has reportedly reached out to some fellow broadcasters such as Bob Costas, Mike Tirico and Sean McDonogh about preparing for the strange setting at Beaver Stadium this weekend. I think Pasch may have more trouble juggling the fact that he has not one, but two colors guys in the booth this week. The other being former Florida Coach, Urban Meyer.
The only reason I can explain that Meyer is at this game is that it is a “interview” process for taking over the head coaching job at Penn State. It has long been speculated that “Urb” was the heir apparent to Paterno – if and when Joe decided to hang up the black Riddel coaching cleats. Well the time frame just got moved up….. Meyer will have the chance to be at the pulse of the situation, doing a broadcast of the most unusual of circumstances, and if all goes well, it would be a huge Public Relations boon for Meyer if he looks to move into the spot as Top Lion.
Shame on ESPN for putting Meyer on this game. But it just proves to all of the conspiracy theorists out there that when it comes to football in particular, and it does not matter if it is NFL or College, ESPN has a far reaching spread of influence that borderlines on monopolistic.
My bet is Meyer will get “ a blank check” at the end of the year to coach at Penn St. This will be his first opportunity to shine in the midst of the current maelstrom.
Let’s all hope for a safe and good game this weekend in light of all that has gone on this week.
Until next time, stay classy Gainesville, FloridaShare this article via email Johnny Goodman writes a weekly sports column for The Soap Boxers. His articles can be found in The Goodman File. Like this site? Subscribe via RSS, Subscribe via Email, or Follow us on Twitter or Facebook. The permanent URL for this article is: