On the way home from a small get together for the Super Bowl, I was tuned in to Westwood One's post-game coverage. Lo and behold, there was a voice that I had not heard in quite some time, a voice of disdain, smugness, and holier-than-thou all rolled into one tight and wiry package of brooding passive-aggressive behavior.
Yes, Jim Gray was back amongst the living of broadcasters. I always marveled at his ability to ask questions irrelevant to the moment and seemingly without a care for the feelings of the person he was interviewing. No, he wasn't as bad ass as the only man who could give Pat Summerall a run for his money drinking hand grenades, Larry Merchant:
But still, I always perked up when he was on-screen, since I knew that it wouldn't be the usual rote interview that we're all used to hearing. To reduce him to a radio gig is to rob him off half of his power. His visual aesthetic, if you will, is a cross between the look of a doppelganger of Peyton Manning's elongated forehead and the smugness of Ed Begley Jr.'s own sense of self-satisfaction.
So hearing his interview with Jim Caldwell but not being able to see it was anti-climatic in that sense. Trying to salvage the situation though, the producers assigned Jim Gray the loser's interview, but unfortunately it lacked Gray's trademark cruelty. In his younger days, he would have asked a completely inappropriate question about the Rooney rule and then chased after Caldwell as he stalked off in disgust. Beating a man while he was down was Gray's specialty, but apparently he has lost his touch.
So tonight, a tip of the cap to you, Sean Payton: avoiding Mr. Gray's interview was the icing on top of your bread pudding with bourbon sauce. Well done. And congratulations to Breesus, one of Austin's own.