Reason # 1348 that the South Side Sucks

March 30, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

So last Thursday, I'm in a car (not my car per se...I'm being driven in a black sedan by a man who I will refer to as 'Pubes', but that's a story for another time) on the way to O'Hare airport. I say to the driver, "Pubes, will you flip it over to some AM sports radio, see if there's a game on?" Pubes obliges and starts spinning the dial like a child on his third can of Pepsi Twist. After urging Pubes to just calm down and make good use of the 'Seek' button, we finally settle on The Score, AM 670. They are broadcasting a White Sox game vs. the Brewers. Since the Cubs aren't on, I urge Pubes to keep it here. He happily obliges and and turns his attention back to the gridlock that lies ahead.

I settle in, hoping to hear a one Steven Stone's dulcet tones emitting subtle genius from the speakers. Alas, it is not to be. It is an old man, whose birth name is Ed Farmer. He is broadcasting alongside a younger man, whose name I don't know. This man sounds like he is Caucasian and probably favors golf shirts and ketchup. Dejectedly, I make an unwise decision to listen to the game anyway.

Upon initial listen, it appears that an inning is just getting over. I can't recall who was leading, but it was a close game. Commercial break. I quiz Pubes over the weekends upcoming weather. Pubes is of no help, but to his credit, throws out a guess ('cold and blustery') just to humor me. Thank Christ the game comes back on and I can stop making awkward small talk with Pubes.

Then things take a turn for the worse on the Sox Broadcast. All of the sudden, it turns into what one normally associates with a post-game wrap up. The two old men on the radio start yammering about the Sox fifth starter and then have the gall to start taking calls from listeners. I figure that the game must be over, although there was no real game wrap-up after the last inning, which seems odd to say the least. But wait! After about 5 minutes, they interrupt their inane analysis regarding the Sox 5th starter woes to say, "And Jim Thome just hit one out of the ballpark to tie the game." This is all they say before taking another call.

At this point, my blood pressure is beginning to rise. What is going on? I unbutton a few buttons on my shirt to cool off. Jeeves looks at me in the rearview mirror and winks. Awkward.

The game proceeds on like this. Two old men babbling about the Sox chances, every so often "interrupting" their own analysis to announce that it was either the end of the inning or that there was a run scored. Keep in mind, they weren't even stopping to announce base hits or outs. Just runs and commercial breaks. I heard them refer to it as a 'interactive' broadcast. It was ludicrous. Dare I say, sacrilegious. Is this any way to listen to a game?

I asked Pubes, "Are you hearing this?" Pubes too was upset and didn't understand this madness. We wondered aloud as to why they couldn't just do this 'analysis' and whatnot between pitches, as most capable announcers do. For the love of God, a ballgame is usually 3 hours long. Plenty of time to both call the action on the field and talk about the upcoming season without neglecting the fact that there is a game going on.

By the time I got to the airport, my equilibrium was totally off. I have no way of knowing if the game was over at that point, or God forbid, what the score was. I felt as if I was drunk. (Ed. note: I was.)

No Steve Stone (clearly he wouldn't stand for such idiocy and probably boycotted the broadcast). No play-by-play. Just a bunch of assholes talking about Lance Broadway and who was going to bat 9th this year. Unacceptable. It was a travesty agaisnt mankind and also the good name of Abner Doubleday.

Fact: (Steve Stone aside) The Chicago White Sox have the worst announcers in the history of Major League Baseball, dating back to the inception of the game in the late 1800's.

*Seriously. This whole story was true, except for the part about me being drunk and unbuttoning my shirt. And my driver's real name wasn't Pubes. Actually, maybe it was.