No TV Mute for Wiltsie in Lions v. Broncos Matchup

BY ANDREW WILTSIE

In this matchup, we find the resurgent Detroit Lions traveling to Sports Authority Field to take on the struggling Denver Broncos, led by their exciting second-year quarterback, Tim Tebow. The level of anticipation of this game was particularly high on both sides with Detroit looking to bounce back after dropping their previous two games with dismal performances, and Tebow making his first home start of the season. Excitement was in the air. The broadcasting team for this game was FOX Sports broadcasters Dick Stockton and former Denver Broncos’ safety, John Lynch.

I cannot stand the Tebow fad that is going on, so I was skeptical going into this game on how the commentators would be, especially when I found out a former Bronco would be part of the broadcast team. Given the hype and anticipation behind Tebow’s first home start, I was quite pleased with the commentating done for this game (this could be in part due to Detroit dominating the game). Stockton mainly focused on the play-by-play portion of the commentating and did a good job at bringing some emotion into his broadcast. Lynch took on a coach-like persona during the broadcast and analyzed the action that took place. I may be biased, but it seemed as though he took a particular interest in the Denver Broncos, specifically Tebow. The focal point of the broadcast, for the most part, was Tebow, which would normally disgust me, but, due to the nature of the game, most comments were in fact negative toward him. Stockton and Lynch would both take jabs at Tebow’s throws, pocket awareness, but mainly his decision-making. Two instances that stood out to me involved Tebow: The first was when he threw horribly toward a receiver late in the first quarter and Lynch went on a small rant about his ability to navigate the pocket and make the throw. The second involved Tebow scrambling for a 15-yard gain late in the game and he was up-ended by Detroit safety, Louis Delmas, which sent him flying feet-over-head. Both commentators then took the time to seemingly coach Tebow on how an NFL quarterback should not risk himself that way, but they then retracted somewhat and said that is how he is and maybe that is how he should play. Beyond comments involving Tebow,  not much was directed toward the Broncos during this broadcast.

When looking at Detroit, there have been numerous accounts of dirty play from the Detroit defense following a loss from the Atlanta Falcons. So, during the beginning of the broadcast, we heard a lot about the issues surrounding Matt Ryan’s injury and the controversy that followed. An early portion of the broadcast also focused on Matthew Stafford and his ankle injury, which occurred the prior week, but those comments focused on how well he looked playing and how much his ankle appeared to be bothering him. Aside from comments either praising the play of Calvin Johnson or talking about the controversy involving Detroit’s “Dirty” Defense, the commentary toward Detroit was relatively positive and somewhat playful. The biggest example of this came following a sack of Tebow by Lions’ linebacker Stephen Tolloch. Tolloch went down to a knee and “tebowed” which is a new fad started by Tebow himself. The commentators both took this as a playful joke amongst players and laughed it off the way it should have been. But, in the days following, the media has put a negative spin on the whole joke saying that Tulloch was mocking Tebow’s religion, which is a complete joke. Tulloch was just having fun with the whole fad and the media is just trying to keep the bad boy persona going for Detroit.

As a whole, this broadcast was well done, in my view. If anything, I feel they could have done a better job on keeping the coaching down and more on the broadcast in general. It is nice to get insight every now and again, but Lynch seemed to scrutinize every mistake made by the Broncos. Overall, this was an exceptional broadcast, far from the typical broadcast, which require my TV to be put on mute.

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About The Richard A. Maxwell Sport Media Project

The Richard A. Maxwell Sport Media Project is a hub for teaching, research, and service related to sport media. The Project benefits students and faculty at Bowling Green State University, and offers outreach and media consulting to area and regional groups that work with student-athletes. Through collaborative efforts of the Sport Management program and the School of Media and Communication, BGSU students have the opportunity to learn such skills as sports writing, reporting, broadcasting, announcing, public relations, media relations, communication management and production. Faculty and other scholars have access to resources about the commercial and sociological aspects of sport.

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