No Experience Necessary – From the Bird’s Nest
As expected, The New Orleans Saints announced Zach Strief as their new play by play announcer for their radio network.
Zach Strief? Good Grief.
Strief has been chosen to replace the legendary Jim Henderson and that, by itself, is a losing proposition. The love affair between Saints fans and Henderson is well known by anyone who follows the team. Whoever was going to get the nod was going to get criticized and his biggest fault would be that he isn't Henderson.
But, the Saints had plenty of qualified applicants for the position. Yet, they chose an offensive lineman with absolutely no broadcasting experience, save for sitting in front of a monitor, practicing.
Yep. That's the qualification for being an NFL play by play man these days, I guess.
Now, I will admit, as a play by play man, this offends me a little. There are many in my profession who have toiled doing things that are not the NFL. While the term "paid their dues" gives off an air of entitlement, the reality is, they have experience in broadcasting.
The fact an NFL offensive lineman now has this job, will not, as some have tried to pontificate, bring a different perspective to the game. Nope. The job description of a play by play man has not changed, whether it's done by an experienced broadcaster, an offensive lineman or a plumber. It's play by play. Who has the ball. Where is he running. Who tackled him. The analyst takes care of the other stuff. If Strief has other stuff, he's not doing his job.
Please don't get me wrong. I do not want Zach Strief to fail. As a Saints fan, I want him to be the best in that field. But forgive me if I'm skeptical. You cannot convince me Strief was the most qualified candidate, because he wasn't. That being said, he could turn out to be another legend.
Strief said he may not be as good in August and September as he'll be down the road. Thanks for the apology, Zach, but you just helped prove my point. There is no learning curve here. This is the National Football League, not Holy Cross High School. You have to be good.Immediately.
I do not plan to listen to Strief during the preseason. It's football practice. He gets to practice, too. But it will be fair to judge when week one comes along.
Saints coach Sean Payton congratulated Strief yesterday and said "you are now a member of the media and you will be treated accordingly."
And, he should be. By all of us.