Friday, August 04, 2006

Notre Dame Blows It

As anybody who is a long-time reader of this blog knows, I'm a Fighting Irish die-hard. That's why I was really disappointed to learn that Westwood One, which broadcasts all of the Notre Dame games, canned long-time play-by-play man Tony Roberts and replaced him with Don Criqui. This happened back in May, but was done very quietly (or maybe I just wasn't paying attention). I only stumbled upon the news of his firing in the last week or so.

I think that Tony Roberts was just great, and I can't believe anyone would replace him with a cardboard cut-out like Don Criqui. Okay, Criqui's a Domer, but he's as lifeless and corporate a play-by-play guy as they come. Tony Roberts, on the other hand, was a professional, but he was also not ashamed to be a fan. He knew his stuff, but man, he'd get as pissed as I did whenever the Irish did something stupid. I liked that. In fact, when Notre Dame messed up, Roberts would get that same exasperated quality to his voice that the great Nev Chandler used to get when Belichick called Metcalf up the middle on 3rd and 4 for the bajillionth time.

When Roberts was partnered with former Notre Dame assistant Tom Pagna, people called them the "Domer Homers," and for good reason. They wanted Notre Dame to win, and they weren't afraid to let you know it. But they didn't pull any punches either--I used to really love it when they'd fight with each other. Pagna got shoved out six years ago, and I guess it was now Roberts' turn.

Tony Roberts did a great job for the Irish for almost 30 years, and he got thrown away like an old sock. He deserved much better than that. Notre Dame says it had nothing to do with it, but does anyone believe that this would have happened without the university's tacit approval? This guy doesn't, and neither do I.

Shame on you, Notre Dame. You've managed once again to play into the hands of people who hate you, while at the same time taking some of the enjoyment away from those of us who live and die with what your football team does on Saturday afternoons.

Don Criqui, here's the act that you've got to follow. Good friggin' luck.

1 comment:

Vinny said...

Sheesh. Who's next? Joe Buck? I know he'd make your Rhino heart skip a beat or two.