clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Altitude Should Broadcast with Listeners, Not Just Viewers, In Mind

New, 5 comments

I was likely the only Rapid fan listening by radio Saturday night. How nice it would be if Altitude broadcast with the listeners in mind, not just the viewers.

Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

When I cannot get a feed to the Colorado Rapids game, I listen to the radio feed on Mile High Sports (that's 94.1 on your FM dial, sports fans).

Before I say anything else, let me just say this: Rapid nation should be grateful for a gift like Richard Fleming.  His dignity, his economy of words, his general jubilation at any and all goals (especially the "crackers") enhance the game in a way that is exciting but not over the top like our commentators south of the border.

I must say this upfront because I do not want anything I say from here on out to reflect on Fleming.  I realize that very, very few people will listen to a radio broadcast.  That's probably 89th on the list of options our users use to listen to the game.  But I believe that broadcasting with listeners in mind, not just viewers, would enhance the call of the games significantly.

Growing up, I used to watch the Chicago Cubs play on WGN with the legendary Harry Carey.  I remember one game when they were playing the Dodgers (I don't know the game or the year) and Carey introduced a Dodger reliever whose name Carey majestically butchered.  He then proceeded to spell the name.  The guy watching it sneered: "Why is he spelling the name when we can all see it?"  We then realized that Carey was not simply doing the TV commentary, but his TV commentary was broadcast over the radio waves as well.

This, I believe, made men like Harry Carey, Red Barber, Vin Scully, and others in baseball so iconic: even as you were listening, the pictures they painted with their words made you feel as if you were there.

As a fan, I suggest this subtle shift: keep the listeners in mind, not just the viewers. Broadcast in a way that provides word pictures and some education about the game (an aspect I'll address in another post).  This is why I don't mind Marcelo Balboa's calls--but even with his calls, you hear him say, "Let's go to the replay.  Yeah, see?  You see how Torres was juuuust offsides."  No, in fact, I couldn't see.

Nitpicking, you say!  Maybe, I say!

The risk to my suggestion is that the viewers will start writing in and asking, "Why were Fleming and Balboa talking to us like we couldn't see what was going on?  We have eyes, you know!"  So there's a tradeoff.  It's fiscally silly to have a dedicated radio team for a listening audience of, say, one (this guy).  Since this isn't a feasible solution, I would suggest that this slight shift in painting the words pictures as if it were a radio broadcast.

Just some thoughts from the South Stands.  What say you?  What are your thoughts about the coverage?