Is Kevin Harlan A Good Or Bad Sports Announcer?

Kevin Harlan

Is Kevin Harlan A Good Or Bad Sports Announcer? | Sports Takes & News | TooAthletic.com

From the start of the NFL season until deep into the NBA Playoffs, sports fans hear the voice of Kevin Harlan, the CBS sportscaster for the NFL and March Madness to TNT’s NBA coverage. Harlan, who hasn’t met a microphone he didn’t like, has a unique style and personality that jumps out at you through your television or even a radio, and has spun some interesting lines over the years that have become legendary for their cleverness and awkwardness. So, I ask you, do you get excited when you hear Kevin Harlan, or do you cringe when you hear his voice knowing something strange could take place at any moment? 

Kevin Harlan is getting credit for announcing to fans watching the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament this year that “The Oral Roberts University” stunned Ohio State while doing an update from the game he was broadcasting on Friday. The line, which came after the 15th seed defeated the second seeded Big Ten school, was, to me, an example of a broadcaster picking low hanging fruit since anyone who roots against the Buckeyes knows they refer to the school as THE Ohio State University, with Harlan using that to score some cheap points.

This was not the first or even the most awkward March Madness moment that Harlan has offered viewers. Four years ago, when Syracuse mounting an Elite Eight game comeback against Virginia on a certain Sunday afternoon, Harlan offered this “One Shining Moment” by telling viewers “Jim Boeheim and Syracuse have done it. Back from the dead on Easter Sunday!”

Harlan, like many sports play-by-play voices, often tries to make every moment sound epic, and instead of letting the moment speak for itself like most broadcasters do, will throw himself neck deep into by trying to spin a soundbite worthy phrase. Even when unexpected things happen, such as when a streaker took to the field during this year’s Super Bowl, Harlan, working on radio at the time, provided play-by-play coverage. His comments, during which he said the streaker should “be a man,” drew national attention and were called “toxic” by Newsweek magazine. 

I, for one, have never really found the play-by-play calls interesting or entertaining from Kevin Harlan, and honestly don’t know how or why he has been elevated to such a high stature in the sports world when he so often seems to be entertaining himself more than the masses. Harlan, to me, seems to be more set on creating soundbites for social media than just calling the game he has been tasked to work and letting the athletes provide the entertainment for fans. I am sure there are many more talented announcers that don’t need to be trending to feel like they are trendy while doing games; but, for whatever reasons, CBS and TNT continue to let Kevin Harlan work high profile games, with him seemingly finding a way to put his foot in his mouth on a regular basis.

Please, Mr. Harlan, take a look at yourself and ask why you feel the need to spin such corny, unnecessary phrases instead of regressing to a high school announcer who needs to make a point. And please, those who make the decisions at CBS and TNT, re-examine who is on your depth charts and start moving other names up and Kevin Harlan down. 

 


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Is Kevin Harlan A Good Or Bad Sports Announcer? | TooAthletic.com

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