In College Park, The Play-by-Play's The Thing
As a proud University of Maryland graduate -- Class of '81, without honors -- I am never prouder than when I gaze longingly into my 32-inch Sony and see fellow Terrapins littered across the national sports television landscape.
Sure, Yale produces presidents, Harvard produces Nobel Prize winners and Johns Hopkins produces approximation theorists. So be it. College Park, my friends, is the cradle of sports broadcasting.
(And, sure, Florida is the unprecedented home of the national football and men's basketball champions. But can anyone in Gainesville write "SportsCenter" copy, use a Telestrator or analyze ace-queen off-suit? I think not.)
You can't turn on the TV without tripping over a Terp.
In years past, Syracuse University stood tall as the sports-television titlist. The Upstate New York campus was a frozen breeding ground for play-by-play broadcasters. But black-and-white gave way to color television, and, eventually, high-definition TV passed the Orange by.
Here is Syracuse's current TV lineup: Marv Albert, Bob Costas, Ian Eagle, Sean McDonough, Dave Pasch, Dave Ryan, Dick Stockton, Mike Tirico.
Here is Maryland's current TV lineup: Bonnie Bernstein, Tim Brant, Len Elmore, Norman Esiason, Tim Kurkjian, Jimmy Roberts, Scott Van Pelt, Pam Ward.
Final score: Maryland 92, Syracuse 67.
Did you look at those Syracuse names? I love Marv Albert like I love my maternal great-grandfather, but he's got to be 110 years old by now.
Stockton, I believe, worked the last NBA Finals before the 24-second clock was instituted.
Costas is still kind of relevant, but he spends most of his time reorganizing his baseball card collection and preparing for the Olympics -- heck, who watches the Olympics anymore?
The College Park crew, meantime, has deep depth. We've got a lawyer (Elmore), we've got a fella who played in the Super Bowl (Esiason), we've got women!