Marv Albert won’t be going anywhere any time soon
Marv Albert will be 77 in June, but in his mind, he is much younger.
“I feel like I’m 35 years old,” Albert said during a phone conversation.
For Albert, there are no plans for any retirement tours or final games. At least, not soon.
“Basically, I feel like I’ll know when it will be time,” Albert said. “There are several years left on my contract. I will know when it is time to say, ‘OK, that’s it.’ Right now, I feel almost the same way I did 20 years ago.”
Albert is already established as the greatest NBA play-by-player in history, and he has been calling games longer than any of the 18-35 target demo has been alive.
Though he admits he can’t do the workload he once did, he said he thinks he has a lot left as he enters what should be a very intriguing Western Conference finals between the Warriors and Rockets. Albert will team with Chris Webber and Reggie Miller beginning Monday night for Game 1.
“Just before we are about to do the broadcast, I say to myself, ‘There is no other place I’d rather be,’ ” Albert said. “That is a great feeling to have for a job that you have been doing for a long time.”
SNY field reporter Steve Gelbs did a bad job during the start of Mickey Callaway’s postgame interview following the Mets batting out of order game this week.
The way the postgame process works on regional networks is that all reporters cede the opening questions to the team’s TV reporter. In this case, Gelbs received first crack at Callaway. His first two questions were about the offense instead of the Mets batting out of order.
The question is akin to asking Joe Pisarcik in 1978: How do you think you played in the first half?
The question Gelb should have asked didn’t even need to be confrontational, as Gelbs could have simply said, “Mickey, what happened in the first inning?”
That is all anyone wanted to know, and Callaway later said, when the all the reporters started asking questions, that the Mets’ mistake probably cost his team the game.
Gelbs has replaced Kevin Burkhardt, who worked the sideline job as good as anyone ever before moving to bigger opportunities. Gelbs is affable enough, but in this case, he needed to ask about the biggest storyline by far. SNY and Gelbs declined comment.
Another septuagenarian baseketball broadcasting icon is not going anywhere either. Dick Vitale, 79 next month, has signed an extension with ESPN through the 2020-21 season. Vitale has always been a polarizing analyst, because of his over-the-top style, but probably the key to Vitale’s longevity is how he treats people and his charitable heart. People who work with him all rave, “It’s awesome, baby!”
This week, ESPN officially unveiled its new “Monday Night Football” team of Joe Tessitore and Jason Witten with Booger McFarland as a sideline analyst and Lisa Salters as a sideline reporter. Besides Salters, none of them have ever worked an NFL game as a broadcaster. So this is a big risk/reward choice.
ESPN is looking to McFarland as having equal time on air as Witten. McFarland, though, will be on the sideline in what appears to be like the role that Tony Siragusa used to have on FOX’s No. 2 team years ago.
Stephanie Druley, who is ESPN’s senior VP of production, said using McFarland on the sideline won’t be done in the same way as Siragusa, but didn’t exactly say how it would be different.
“To us, Booger is a seamless part of the booth who has a unique perspective of being at field level, seeing what’s going on in the trenches, seeing what’s happening on the sidelines,” Druley said. “I just think the perspective will be different and will be really interesting. But at the same time, like the goal for Joe and Jason and Booger is to have it feel seamless.”
We are a big believer in actually watching broadcasters do a game before making any declarations. However, we are not sure about having the third person on the sideline is the best way to have the chemistry and teamwork that ESPN emphasized was so important about its new team. It is easier to establish this side-by-side, with eye contact than when one analyst is located elsewhere. But, we will give it a chance.
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