Written by Jim Brighter
Metro: Philadelphia Edition
March 13, 2007
As most of you have noticed so far this season, our two fall/winter teams have stunk. Sure, the Sixers have rattled off seven in a row and in the truly mediocre Eastern Conference actually have a shot at a playoff berth. The Flyers also have a shot at the playoffs, assuming every team in the East abruptly disbands.
As guaranteed by the United States Constitution, you the citizen have the right not to watch these teams play if you so choose. Us diehards still tune in, but there is another elite group that sits around and comments on these teams through thick and thin. They better — it’s their job.
Think of it this way, when the Sixers of Flyers stink up the joint, you have several thousand options of things to do. And that’s just on your television.
Let’s not take into account the possibility of reading or actual human interaction. The broadcasters can’t exactly get up and leave when the Flyers squander another power play or Samuel Dalembert commits his 11th goaltending violation of the half.
These guys and gals are pros and at least one of them wouldn’t trade his job no matter how bad his team is.
“Being sick is difficult. Dealing with a loved one who is sick is difficult,” said Marc Zumoff, the Sixers’ play-by-play ace. “Calling an NBA game is a privilege.”
Broadcasters are human beings too and certainly possess a vested interest in how successful his or her team is. They establish relationships with players and front-office people. So how do you keep your emotions in check when the product in front of you makes you want to utter more profanity than the screenplay of a Tarantino movie?
“The broadcaster decorum, for lack of a better term,” said Zumoff. “The fan part bubbles to the surface. You know how to repress it.”
That’s why he vaults into my list of top five nicest people I’ve ever conversed with. That’s also why he wins Emmys.