St. Petersburg Times staff writer Tom Jones looks back at Sunday's Bucs-Redskins broadcasts.
. How strange, and really, almost disconcerting, was it to turn on the radio broadcast and not hear Gene Deckerhoff, who has been calling Bucs games on the radio since 1989? Deckerhoff, left, had travel delays getting to the Washington, D.C., area from Boston, where he called Saturday's FSU-Boston College game. Deckerhoff arrived just in time to call the second half.
Deckerhoff isn't always on top of his game. He makes mistakes and, in our biggest pet peeve, tends to allow a little too much excitement creep into his voice on nothing plays, acting as if the Bucs fired off a big run when it turns out to be a 2-yard gain. But he's our Deckerhoff, and it was just weird not to have him there.
A big pat on the back to T.J. Rives, who filled in admirably for Deckerhoff in what had to be difficult circumstances. Rives had only a few minutes to get ready for a job that usually requires days of preparation. He handled it well.
. If broadcasting a game is like a meal, you got meat and potatoes Sunday. That's meant as a compliment. The Fox announcing team of Tim Ryan, top, and Sam Rosen aren't Cordon Bleu or London broil. They aren't fancy. They know their strengths and play to them. Rosen calls the game without mistakes; Ryan breaks it down. They don't try to be funny (and there's nothing worse than corny jokes that fall flat) or act as if they're broadcasting to either an audience full of first-time football viewers or full of Hall of Fame coaches.
They strike a nice balance and call a game that never once makes you wince or groan or yell at the screen. They are one of the more underrated pro football announcing teams, and you wonder why they are assigned dog games like Sunday. Because, in the end, they give you everything you need to fill you up.
Best and worst use of replay
. Solid job by Fox to show the bad snap on Mike Nugent's second missed field goal of the day midway through the second quarter. Fox didn't do it, but it would've been a perfect time to go back and show a replay of the first missed field goal and a similar bad snap.
. Why does Fox have analyst Terry Bradshaw doing halftime highlights? He's one of the better analysts on TV, but whipping through six or seven games and 15 to 20 plays in a rapid-fire three minutes is hard for anyone, and certainly not one of Bradshaw's strengths. So why do they keep having him do it?
Best use of sideline reporter
. The biggest complaint about sideline reports isn't that they exist, but many broadcasts don't know how to use them. They either go to them too much or not enough and the information often seems forced, that the only reason you're getting it is just so the broadcast can justify having a sideline reporter. However, Fox's Laura Okmin usually has something interesting to say, such as her reports on Bucs quarterback Josh Johnson's family and Redskins tight end Chris Cooley, whose mother is a cancer survivor. The best report was Okmin filling in viewers about how Byron Leftwich has mentored Johnson. And the key is Fox uses her well.