I would usually be the first person to take a cheap shot in the general direction of Brent Musburger. This week, though, I just have to laugh at the “controversy” he has kicked up with the USC Trojans over this giving away secrets thing.
To his credit, Pete Carroll doesn’t seem to be affected by it. If you don’t know yet, here’s what Musburger said on the broadcast this weekend…
“John David told us that his signal when he finds one-on-one and they’re coming, it’s that ‘hang loose,’ that familiar sign you’ve seen surfers use,” Musburger said.
Now, what prompted this was that one week ago on the broadcast of the OSU/Texas game, someone with ABC noticed that in one on one, defense coming situations, the Longhorns went to a tap the helmet signal. Musburger wanted to know if the Trojans had their own signal and John David Booty, the USC QB, told Musburger the signal. Musburger relayed this info on the broadcast and USC wasn’t amused.
“We’re supposed to be partners in this,” USC sports information director Tim Tessalone said, “but this is certainly going to make us think twice about trying to help them have as good a broadcast as possible. What he did was unconscionable. In my 28 years, I’ve never seen such an egregious breach of trust. Brent is not a rookie at this, and he should know better.”
Please…unconscionable? A stupid gimmick on Musburger’s part because you know once that came about he was just dying to talk about surfer’s on a broadcast. Musburger lives for this sort of crap. 4 years ago, Penn State had a Freshman running back by the name of Austin Scott. You likely don’t know the name because he has been a bust, with only slight glances of his great potential. Well, four years ago, Penn State had about three plays for the kid…so Musburger on the broadcast starts going off about the “AUSTIN SCOTT PACKAGE” on the ABC telecast. Scott barely played, but got a ton of talk from Musburger. Suffice it to say, Musburger latches on to gimmicky stuff.
But, unconscionable? Not at all. You want unconscionable, well, at this time I request Shawn Glasser to come into the comments of this post and give me the UCC definition of unconscionability. USCs coaching staff hasn’t given a damn…and why should they? I mean, first off, it’s all on film. So, the opposing staff is going to note (I’m not quite sure the sequence, but…) the single coverage, the hand signal and then what happens. Then they’ll see it happen several times and, I don’t know…FIGURE IT OUT?
Carroll and offensive co-ordinator Lane Kiffin are essentially Oakley’ng the entire situation (not giving a damn), but USC is making noise about it. They don’t want Musburger on their games and what not. That’s just silly. Aside from the ability for other teams to find out about it naturally and the ability to change the signals constantly (which Carroll and Kiffin say USC does), USC could use this to their advantage. In the end, it was just a silly thing that Brent probably should not have said, but it doesn’t much matter at the end of the day.
The best comment on this was from broadcaster Keith Jackson. Who is better at this whole broadcasting thing than Brent Musburger likely ever will be.
“I would have stopped [Booty] in mid-sentence,” Jackson said. “I would have told him I don’t want to know.”
And you know why Jackson doesn’t want to know? Because he’s an impartial observer that sees the action and calls the action. You know, what a true broadcaster is supposed to be. I don’t need to hear all this inside information junk when watching a broadcast. I just want someone who will enter my living room, tell me what’s going on so if I miss something or otherwise need to hear a soundtrack to the action, I know what is going on.
Jay Mariotti was on Around the Horn calling Musburger a broadcast journalist and that it is his job to research and find these things out. That’s not Musburger’s job. His job is to tell viewers about the game as it unfolds. Not try and look slick. Brent’s a fool for saying what he said, but that’s because it cheapens the broadcast, not because he did anything wrong from USCs perspective.