Denver is a great sports town, I don't think I'm telling any tales out of school when I say that. Unfortunately if you were to watch the local sports coverage, you would probably think that Denver was hiring high school marketing students when it came to advertising and... well pretty much everything else. ROOT Sports recently took over the Rockies broadcasts and have been widely panned due to their overly fan-centric coverage and clerical errors like showing Dexter Fowler's name on screen after Jason Hammel hit a home run.
Altitude is the other big name in town when it comes to sports coverage, covering pretty much every team owned by Stan Kroenke. (In Denver, that is; we won't be seeing any Rams or Arsenal coverage any time soon.) They've been doing the Avalanche, Nuggets and Mammoth for years but only after last year's championship run have they shown any interest in taking over the Colorado Rapids coverage.
We really wish they'd give the coverage back to local station Channel 2, the
Ever since Altitude picked up the Rapids it's been a complete comedy of errors. Avalanche backgrounds have been used for Rapids pre-game coverage screens. Lineups have been completely mangled - was it the New York away game where they had Amarikwa listed in the midfield a full 20 minutes after the Rapids had actually released their line-up? - and on occasion names have been misspelled because it's very hard to look up how to spell 'Larentowicz' on the interwebs.
But mostly, the play by play has been anywhere from barely passable to completely embarrassing. With Altitude seemingly refusing to bring in anybody from out-of-house, we've seen Marc Stout - who was actually quite good paired with Marcelo Balboa last season back when the games were aired on Channel 2 - replaced with a steady stream of Altitude announcers as he moved over to ROOT to work Rockies games. Marcelo Balboa staying on the team is a god-send but the mane man can only do so much with the play by play that his color commentary is provided with.
Mike Haynes isn't a terrible hockey announcer - although he has his flaws and can be a bit of a desperate homer at times - but calling the Rapids he was a complete flop. He just had to keep a steady stream of play by play coming out which doesn't always work with the slower pace of the game of football and especially the Rapids often possession and passing filled games. I still have nightmares about him saying "And sent away" twice in a row in one sentence against Chicago. Plus his goal calls for the other team always seem more excited than the ones for Colorado for some reason, it's like the antithesis of his Avs calls!
So Mike Haynes didn't work out and they moved on to Marc Moser, the Avalanche radio guy.
I love Marc Moser, he's a great analyst who can keep up with fast paced action and makes interesting and fun calls. He's a fantastic hockey announcer because of his knowledge of the game and his ability to see action developing on the fly, something you won't find in some hockey announcers who seem to lose control of the action in their commentary sometimes. A football play by play man though, he is not. His soccer knowledge is lacking and you can tell that in his broadcasts he struggles occasionally to follow everything with his commentary slipping by too fast. However Moser is learning and has been the best Altitude member by far at play by play. If they were to keep him around full-time I think we would be seeing some great stuff out of him.
So naturally, he's not on full time and last night we saw a taste of Chris Marlowe, Nuggets play-by-play man and, well, this might have been the worst one yet. The worst flub on the night was when Chris accidentally let it slip that he didn't know whether or not Chris Tierney's red card meant an ejection, leading to quite a bit of ribbing for the guy on twitter. (Mostly from @Soccerinsider) He also didn't seem to realize that a referee pointing to the spot indicated a Penalty Kick as after both PK's he spent a good couple of minutes trying to figure out if there would indeed be a penalty kick. These were just the biggest problems among a whole plethora. An embarrassment to the Rapids, their fanbase, and Altitude as a whole. The station has good Nuggets and Avalanche coverage, but I think even I could have done better play by play than Mr. Marlowe last night.
You can see some of the carnage here. Altitude, please for the love of someone, give Rapids fans some consistency if you're going to continue to force us to watch on your two-bit station.