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The Reason Why we all Hate Versus

The Sabres have showed up on national TV seven times already this season and still have one more to play.  Many times when we play games on Versus or if we are so fortunate NBC we see comments such as:

I hate when the game is on this damn channel.  I’ve had burnt toast that more lively then these two guys. ughhh

I put the radio on. Cant hear VS anymore.  So much better, isn’t it?

these announcers are very boring

John Buccigross said something that was fairly poignant in his column on Tuesday.

Just about every local fan thinks his announcer is the best because of the shared interpretation and judgment of events and an often-shared enthusiasm. A beloved local announcer needs to exude pain as well as pleasure. This is when he becomes loved. It also is a pleasure when an announcer such as Jeanneret acquires so much equity that he can call out a bad play by the Sabres or admit an official made the right call even if it was close and went against Buffalo. This is what we all should strive for: seeing and interpreting the just cause despite our perspective.

This attempt at neutrality also is why national broadcasters almost always are universally hated. They don't broadcast the game through one team's perspective, so fans interpret their broadcasting as not wanting their team to win. National announcers don't continually validate what one specific team is doing. I have been writing the following in this space for years and years: Barry Melrose, Keith Jones, Brian Engblom, Ray Ferraro and most other national announcers do not care who wins.

He is honestly right.  Buffalo Sabres fans have been blessed with a handful of long-tenured play-by-play announcers and color commentators.  Rick Jeanneret started with the Sabres doing the radio play-by-play in 1971 and still calls both television and radio to this day.  Ted Darling was the original voice of the Sabres, starting during the inaugural season and working all the way until the 1991-92 season.  Both of these men have given Sabres fans a memory that makes the game just that much better.   A random moment like Game 4 of the 1993 playoffs against Boston, the infamous "May Day" game, or Game 5 of the 2006 playoffs, the "Now Do You Believe" game. 

National games have their roles in the world of hockey, spotlighting teams that fans wouldn't normally watch unless they order Center Ice.  But the local games, with the "homer" announcers, give fans the feeling that everyone is rooting with them. They have that feeling of rooting with you instead of rooting against you.  National announcers always never care who wins but it feels like they hate your team because they never talk about it enough.