LaMont-Bentley Duo Keeps Viewers ‘Into the Game’

BY KELSEY KOHLMAN

The sports broadcast I chose to analyze was the Wednesday night Mid-American Conference football matchup between Bowling Green State University and Ohio University, which occurred on November 16. The commentators for this event were Dave LaMont and Ray Bentley. To start out the coverage, the broadcasters emphasized the importance of the impact players for each team. They seemed very knowledgeable when speaking about each of these impact players, as they backed up their opinion with stunning stats that were some of the best in the nation. 

In addition, they informed viewers of the Bowling Green offensive line starting lineup change. Also, the MAC overall standings were shown, as well as a complete explanation of what is at stake in this game for both teams. Occasional “In Game Updates” of the Miami (Ohio)/Western Michigan matchup were shown, since the outcome of that game made a difference in the MAC West Conference race. Overall, they gave a great brief introduction to the matchup. Throughout the game, the commentators showed equal enthusiasm for both teams when explosive plays occurred. They commented on almost every play instead of drawing out unnecessary conversation about previous plays or getting off-topic. This keeps the viewers interested, enthused, and into the competition. The commentators were also very well informed on the style of play of both teams. They explained how Ohio University adopted their hurry-up offense from Troy University.

Another unique aspect of telecast was the showcase of the Stroh Center. This is the brand new $30 million athletic facility on the campus of BGSU. A clip of the YouTube sensation, “Stroh Center Rap” was shown, which showcases the interior of the facility as well as recognizes the multi-million dollar donors. A live interview with the star of the video, BGSU student/rapper Mikey “Rosco” Blair, was conducted by the commentators in the media box. During this interview, viewers were encouraged to watch the full clip of the video on YouTube (which currently exceeds 121,000 hits), as well as follow the young rapper on Twitter. In addition, footage of Dick Maxwell’s lecture that occurred in the Sport Media class Tuesday night was shown.  LaMont and Bentley followed this footage by saying how honored they felt to be a part of the lecture and in the presence of a prestigious member of sport media. I thought it was excellent to see aspects of our campus, student talent, and Sport Management program at BGSU showcased on national television.

Although this was a great telecast, there were a few minor mishaps. In the first half, the commentators kept conversing as the program went to a commercial break, as if the commercial took them by surprise. In addition, there was numerous cut outs of the referee microphone, which caused brief confusion in penalty clarifications. Also, when the Stroh Center was first shown, one of the sportscasters said “the official opening of the 30 million dollar facility will be tomorrow night with a women’s basketball game against Michigan State.” However, this scenario is totally false, as the volleyball and men’s basketball teams have played in the arena; not to mention the women’s basketball team plays Purdue not Michigan State. However, after the next commercial break, the commentator corrected himself saying that the facility had already been used.

Overall, I was very impressed with the way the game was broadcasted. Normally mid-major college football games are broadcasted by no-name sportscasters, and mediocre work is expected. However, both men had a very enthusiastic tone of voice during the whole game, which keeps viewers excited and “into the game.” Being very well informed of both teams, as well as incorporating unique aspects to the telecast made it very easy for viewers to stay tuned in, which is a sportscaster’s main goal.

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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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