UFC announcer and human blooper reel Mike Goldberg got a crack at calling the Lions-Vikings game on Sunday, which this writer actually happened to be watching. The first thing I noticed? Brendan Ayanbadejo (also a newcomer to the booth) continually calling Vikings coach Mike Zimmer “Don Zimmer.” Don Zimmer is dead.
Wrong sport, wrong era, wrong realm.
The next thing I noticed was that Goldberg — who clearly was new to Fox’s play-by-play duties — kept misidentifying players. Greg Jennings was Golden Tate. Chase Ford was Rhett Ellison. Joique Bell was everyone but Joique Bell. Also, Ayanbadejo didn’t seem to know who the Lions’ head coach was (“I gotta tell ya, Norv Turner has been a great addition to George Caldwell’s staff”). It’s Jim Caldwell.
At one point, I even thought I’d heard Goldberg refer to Matt Asiata as “Matt Asiago.” That’s a cheese.
Eventually it appeared as if the duo was watching an entirely different game, estimating distances on plays with the accuracy of someone sitting in a blimp. “That run was good for six or seven yards,” Goldberg said about a play that netted Joique Bell 12 yards.
“And that brings up third and 17,” he said on second and nine (when the game was 17-3, mind you).
It was bad, with one Lions commentator calling it “The worst broadcast of a football game I’ve ever seen” — and Twitter let Goldberg know as much. He did not back down:
[PFT] In a series of tweets, Goldberg dropped the F-bomb on one fan, called another fan an “a–hole,” and a third fan a “douche.” Not exactly the most professional way to conduct himself.
SPOILER ALERT: Fox has yanked him from next week’s broadcast of the Vikings and Bills.
The game’s greatest hits, er, misses, below…
UPDATE: We added a couple more clips highlighting Goldberg’s seeming inability to see tell much yardage the players picked up on each play. Here’s Joique Bell running well past the first-down marker — Goldberg calls it as “close to a first down.”
Later in the same drive, Bell runs to the right side and gets dropped before reaching the line of scrimmage — Goldberg calls it “one, maybe two [yards] at best.”
It may seem like nitpicking, but if your job is to call the game, these are important things not to mess up.