Mute Is the New Black

My truce on moronic announcing is over. I thought the subject played out. That play-by-play men and color commentators were prima facie incompetent and that ridiculing them is piling on. I got a taste too much with Brian Billick, and then Dick Stockton and Charles Davis piled on. Announcing is not a privilege and announcers should not be able to spout nonsense and lies because no one is there to check them.

In back-to-back plays, Stockton and Davis misguided fans to false conclusions. The first was forgivable, but frustrating. Deion Branch made an incredible move to beat Tim Jennings' press and slide into the right flat for an easy 22 yard reception. The move was sick. The pass was a little too high to a wide-open man, but, all in all, not noteworthy. Davis, a former defensive back, did not credit Branch for discarding Jennings to get wide open. Davis did not criticize Jennings for taking too long looking in the backfield after he was beat. He credited Wallace for his throw. Every NFL quarterback could and should routinely make that throw.

The next play blew my mind, though. Wallace didn't throw the pass away. I wish he had, but he didn't. I don't wish he had because it would have been smart, it would have been stupid, but I wish he had because then this would be a case of bad decision making instead of bad play. No, Wallace targeted Houshmandzadeh, as he should have, but the pass was uncatchable. Stockton said he had to throw it away. Davis said Stockton was exactly right.

About this.

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Seattle's multi-millionaire possession receiver beats the press and gets a step on Jennings to the outside. Housh has six inches and twenty pounds on Jennings. Jennings is behind Houshmandzadeh on an outside route and has no help. This pass isn't a gimme, but it also is one of the easiest passes a professional quarterback can make. A possession receiver isn't going to get more open in the red zone, so you target his outside shoulder and throw a bullet. Wallace didn't mean to, but he threw it away.

Davis and Stockton didn't need to credit Housh, though they should have, they didn't need to discredit Jennings for having his press beat back, though they should have, but they have to identify when the quarterback screws up. They didn't. They sung Wallace's praises for smartly throwing the ball away. And too many NFL fans believed them.

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