Telecasts should not be biased

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Most southern football fans had to be happy about Florida’s win over Oklahoma in last Thursday’s Bowl Championship Series National Championship game.

Few can doubt that Florida is a deserving champion, though there are many who think Southern California, Texas and Utah are at least equally deserving teams.

As my readers know, I am terribly intolerant of television announcers who openly show their bias toward one or the other team in games they are announcing. Of course, during the regular season, many teams use their own announcers (usually on radio) so their bias is to be expected.

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But Bowl game telecasts should always be handled by announcers who remain completely neutral.

It was too obvious during both the Utah-Alabama Sugar Bowl game and the BCS Championship Game that at least one member of the announcing crew in each game was pulling for Utah and Oklahoma.

I realize that part of the art of producing a college football game on television is to create controversy. That seems to attract viewers, but it causes me to mute the sound and simply watch the action.

Since college football’s bowl season has ended, the next fix for college football fans is spring practice — of course, recruiting is the big thing now.

I noticed Trinity played St. Aloysius in basketball Saturday night. Trinity won both the boys’ and girls’ games. If that can happen, why don’t Trinity and ACCS both start playing Cathedral and maybe Vidalia? Such contests would certainly generate much local interest, and I think would be good for all of the schools.

I can’t really say that officiating cost any of the bowl teams wins this year. While I do think there were some strange officiating calls,  I did not really see much bias. Like last year, several officials seemed to be in over their heads and were a little “bug-eyed.”

I thought a couple of the members of the ACC crew that worked the Championship Game were a little quick on the trigger in calling celebration rule violations.

Technically, they might have been right, but practically, the calls were unnecessary.

Although it does not really affect play, there is a rule in the NCAA book that is no longer enforced. The equipment rule states players are required to wear “soft knee pads at least 1/2-inch thick that must cover the knee and be covered by pants.”

It looks like more and more players are going to short pants. That rule used to be strictly enforced in the SEC, but it is now completely ignored.

And, That’s Official.

Al Graning writes a weekly column for The Democrat. Contact him at