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Re: Please stop doing this in your play-by-play

Posted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:00 am
by Bill Czaja
Playing devil's advocate, who's to say when to use the nickname of, say, Dennis Boyd or Jim Hunter? At some point, some broadcaster said to himself, "Self, why the hell not?"

Re: Please stop doing this in your play-by-play

Posted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:53 am
by Jon Chelesnik
Many great points have been made in this thread. I wish I had chosen different words for my title on this thread. While I'll never be a fan of broadcasters referring to the players they cover in the diminutive (Ex: Cabby instead of Cabrera or Jonesy instead of Jones), there are certainly situations where nicknames are acceptable, especially if the nicknames are popular among the public. My personal preference is still to avoid them when the nicknames are only used primarily in the clubhouse.

How about avoiding THIS in your play-by-play?

Re: Please stop doing this in your play-by-play

Posted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:34 am
by ktomasch
malden153 wrote:I believe the main point is that the broadcast should not be as informal as the clubhouse. I find the clubhouse-style nicknames to be very off-putting on the air. To be blunt, too often they make those who use them sound like jock-sniffers.

Because no matter what, no matter how much you think you're "a part of the team," no matter how much you think the players accept you, there's a wall between you and them.

As there should be.

Using a nickname is far from the worst example of being too chummy with people you cover (and it's only human nature to get to know and like likable people you cover, I'm not saying be a completely standoffish jerk about it), but I have heard stuff from early in my career when I did that and I cringe.

(One that sticks with me - it wasn't me, but someone else - was from years ago, a college basketball team had a player named Herb. The pbp guy was quite the homer, and with Herb on the free throw line late in a game, he said, very earnestly, "Come on, Herbie, COME ON, BABY!" I can't remember if Herb hit the free throws or not, I was laughing so hard listening on the radio. To this day - probably 20+ years later - when I want something to happen, whether it's in a game I'm watching or I'm hoping for an opening in traffic or for a file to download in time, I almost always say "Come on, Herbie, COME ON, BABY!" as a goof. It's a part of speech now.)

Re: Please stop doing this in your play-by-play

Posted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:41 am
by AkSarBen
I think you have be careful with nicknames. I think as a second reference they are ok since they are tied to the persons actual name.

Re: Please stop doing this in your play-by-play

Posted: Wed Mar 17, 2021 10:15 am
by Jon Chelesnik
I've pulled this topic from the archives. Thought it might be fun to get some fresh perspectives on it.

What are your thoughts?

Re: Please stop doing this in your play-by-play

Posted: Thu Mar 18, 2021 11:00 am
by PhilGiubileo
Well, the world is MUCH different in 2021 as opposed to when this thread was created in 2013.

On one hand, we now live in a world where Kevin Harlan will describe (with great accuracy and entertainment value) the exploits of a streaker or a black cat on a football field, the former at the Super Bowl. Nicknames are probably the least of our concerns. So in some respects, all bets are off! Meanwhile, I don't have a problem with using nicknames, especially if they're well known by the audience that you're broadcasting to. In many respects, today's social media brings a certain level of closeness between the athletes and the fans, and nicknames can be a part of that. There's always a level of moderation as the PxP announcer that you have to bring to the table, and you cannot only use nicknames, or use them exclusively.

What I'd rather see curtailed are broadcasts w/announcers that try to make it more about themselves as opposed to the players that they're covering. I mentioned Kevin Harlan above, and there's a real entertainment value for when he gives attention in those strange situations. For every Kevin Harlan though, there seem to be many more announcers that attempt to go viral with their highlight calls - or at the very least, you hear/see more of it because it's easy to post online. That said, it feels like a disservice to the audience and the players that you cover when certain calls feel a bit more self-serving than they should be.