Friday, November 4, 2011

Macabre Media Men: What Broadcast Team Do You Want At Your Funeral?

“All the world’s a stage, and men and women merely players”
                - Bill Shakespeare

This quote is found in Shakespeare’s As You Like It, a story of love triangles and French forests, and in an era of reality television and split personalities (real life and Facebook, to name two) it seems more relevant than ever.  And what greater stage exists in today’s world than professional sports?  Sports today draw unprecedented audiences, taking place in cathedrals of athletic achievement and unfolding late game drama and intrigue in front of millions of spectators, many of whom are as adrenaline filled as the athletes (if not more).  Thus, the two greatest stages in existence are professional sporting events and life itself.  

At the beginning of any sporting event, the stage is set with the announcement of a pivotal group of people – the broadcast crew.  A play-by-play man, a couple of color commentators and a sideline reporter are all a crucial part of modern televised athletic events.  If that’s the case, then why not have broadcast crews present at the greatest performances of our own life – our entrance and exit, birth and death?  More importantly, which commentators, past and present, would be best suited for the job?

Birth- The Hospital
Play-By-Play: Gus Johnson.  His enthusiastic game calls would be perfect for such a joyous, momentous occasion.  Plus he’s comfortable working with kids.

Color men: Dick Vitale, Peter Gammons.  “Dicky V” has unparalleled enthusiasm for the word “baby” and after witnessing hundreds of diaper dandies is in a unique position to help the newborn start life off the right way (and improve his draft stock in the process).  Both he and Peter Gammons, being of a relatively advanced age (i.e. old) have an appreciation for the fragility of life which they can impart to us through color commentary during the birth.  Although a mother can remain in labor for upwards of 8 hours before giving birth, Peter Gammons has honed his ability to talk for hours on end during an extensive career in Major League Baseball.

Sideline Reporter: Erin AndrewsBeautiful, talented and sports-savvy, Erin Andrews is the total package.  Why not be exposed to perfection embodied as soon as you exit the womb?  One reason: your life can only go downhill from there.

Death- The Funeral
Play-By-Play: Marv Albert.  “Is he dead yet? Yes!!”  Can’t you hear it now?  Marv Albert’s slightly understated oratory will show respect for you, the dearly departed, while still capturing the magnitude of the moment – you’re dead, that’s a game changer.  

Color Men: Dennis Miller, Cris Collinsworth.  Who better to bring levity to an otherwise grim situation than Dennis Miller, arguably the greatest color man who had been a comedian and subsequently fell off the face of the Earth?  There’s no better venue for political humor mixed with a dash of conservatism than a funeral, right?  As for Cris Collinsworth, he’s an idiot.  An absolute idiot.  What better way to cement your legacy than to rise from the dead and kill Cris Collinsworth during the wake, taking him to the grave with you in the ultimate act of self-sacrifice.  The world will be a better place, with you to thank.  

Sideline Reporter: Tony Siragusa.  “Goose” will help to keep things pretty lighthearted, while reminding the audience of its own mortality.  No other sideline reporter in the game blends humor and insight more skillfully, or can eat more hot dogs in one minute.

Joe Silvestro is a regular contributor to Sports Casual, check back every Funday Friday for his witticisms concerning the Wide World of Sports.  Email him at


  1. This column is brilliant - I have a few more ideas.

    Wedding - Jim Nantz (a la "One for the family" at the Masters)
    Midlife Crisis - David Feherty (He will put you in your place)
    First Child - Gary Thorne (greatest commentator in the history of the LLWS?)
    Grandparent - Dan Dierdorf (senile enough?)
    Graduating College- Jay Bilas (did he mention that he stayed at Duke for four years?)
    First Sexual Harassment Charge - Ron Franklin (Hey there sweet baby!)
    and, of course,
    Bar Mitzvah - Mike and Mike (Greenberg on the play-by-play of the service and Golic with the play-by-play of the party)

  2. dennis miller did a great job the first time he commentated life:

    not that anyone has ever watched hockey, but rick jeanneret would be great for birth: