When the New York Rangers had Sam Rosen and John Davidson in the broadcast booth from 1986-2006, they arguably had the best announcing tandem in the entire league. Both fed off of each other and had unbelievable chemistry. Rosen was the hawk-eye announcer, while Davidson, an ex-Rangers’ goaltender lent his unbiased expertise while adding humor on a nightly basis. Win or lose, listening in to MSG Network for a Ranger game was enjoyable—it was pure entertainment.
After the 2005/06 season, John Davidson left for a job in the front office with the St. Louis Blues, and we were left wondering who would be able to fill his immense shoes. The job would go to Joe Micheletti, the former color commentator of the New York Islanders, but someone who had done nationally televised games and actually was somewhat popular with a big name in the business. Right off the bat it was realized that he would in no way even come close to matching Davidson, but we were not expecting him to. All we wanted was competence, and what we have gotten for five seasons, including this one, is a horrendous display of mediocrity and babbling. Monday night, between him and John Gianonne, who was replacing Rosen due to the snow, I was just seconds away from putting on the Islanders’ broadcast to hear Howie Rose and Butch Goring. It was just that bad.
I cannot remember a time when I was more disgusted with a broadcast team. Sure nationally televised games with Mike Emrick or Joe Beninatti involving the Penguins or Capitals are sights to behold regarding bias and ridiculousness, but this Rangers duo takes it to a whole other level.
Joe Micheletti: I am someone who cannot stand a homer. I like my announcers to be fair and balanced, while they can lean slightly towards the Rangers. This is why I can’t take listening to Chico Resch, who is so far up Martin Brodeur’s
ass nose, that he can feel his shoes on his chin. At first, Micheletti did not seem too bad. Davidson was always the first to call out a Rangers mistake, and I applauded him for that. Sometimes I wonder if there was some tension between the Dolan’s and Davidson, who felt he was being too critical of the team. Nevertheless, the problem I have with Micheletti is not that he’s critical of the team, but his constant gushing over opposing players. Games where they play the Penguins are almost nauseating. We know that Sidney Crosby is a good player, Joe, you don’t have to make mention of it every single time he touches the puck, or how Evgeni Malkin is good too. We get it!
Also, every team the Rangers play is coming off a great game, even if they are having a horrible season. It does not matter if they lost ten in a row, they had to play well doing it. It is almost as if Micheletti is trying to make a loss to a bad team not seem like a big deal, if he is constantly telling us how good they are. And how about the next game, against the Lightning; how many times will we have to listen to how amazing Stamkos is, and that he is a “good kid”? Nothing against any of these players, but fans are not stupid. We do not need to be reminded of their play every five minutes.
As for Rangers’ players, did you happen to know that Marian Gaborik has a powerful stride and quick release? It seemed to slip my mind, even though Joe M. has mentioned it about a million times this season. And how about him always asking questions? “Hey, Callahan’s having a great game, isn’t he Sam?” is just an example of one. Sometimes I think he is just talking to hear himself talk. No, Joe, Callahan is having an awful game, which is why you brought it up.
When he talks, it is borderline rambling. He says things that do not make any sense. Oh, and how can I forget, Tyler Myers is the second coming of Bobby Orr, or should I skip straight to Jesus Christ?
John Gianonne: At first, Giannone seemed like the nicest guy in the world. I requested an interview with him and he got back to me saying yes and that he actually read my site and liked it. This was all done through Facebook, and next thing I know, I am no longer friends with him and he will not talk to me anymore. Since I don’t hold a grudge, I moved on, but it was only then when I started to realize how awful of an announcer he is. When filling in for Rosen, Gianonne and Micheletti combined have the smoothness of Howard Cosell and Gilbert Gottfried calling a backgammon match. His voice is screechy, he consistently makes mistakes, and he appears to be allergic to the word “the”.
How many times do I hear him say, “Puts it toward net” or “Toward goal”? What about, “Puts it toward THE net”? Ever hear of that magical three-letter word? Did we skip schooling and go right to broadcasting? He must have known one of the Dolan’s to land a job like that, because it wasn’t talent that brought him there. Listening to him almost makes me want Mike Crispino back…on second thought, no one is that bad.
Now let’s move on to his brilliant interviewing skills, when he asks brain-busting questions like, “Are you happy about the win?” or “Are you upset about the loss?”. No John, Lundqvist is thrilled that he just lost a game, and Gaborik is crying buckets over a game where he just recorded a hat trick. One of these games I am just waiting for a player to stand up and pop him one right in the kisser.
Sam Rosen: The gripe I have with Rosen really is not in what he says, but how his senses are failing him. I am not going to make fun of his old age and severe loss of hearing and eyesight, but when a player rips a slapshot off the post and it makes a ping that everyone and their mother heard, and you say with an astounding stupor, “I think it hit the post!”, there is a problem. But then he does something that confuses me: a shot will barely glance off the iron and he will declare that it hit the post, when no one else heard it.
Dave Maloney: Move on over Foster Brooks, Dave Maloney is the next lovable lush. In all honesty, I am not going to accuse him of alcoholism on the air, but he sure seems like he has a few belts before he does the Rangers pre and post-game shows. He slurs words and mixes up players’ names like a champ, but he actually does provide decent insight and is very, very honest with the team’s play. I would take him over Micheletti in the TV booth any day. My only concern is that his breathe will one day melt the microphone.