The plucky network that gave us Just Keith and an innovative pregame and halftime show broadcast from the middle of the Longhorn band tuba section, continues to boldly push the boundaries of broadcasting into imaginary realms of their own devising. I'm in for the journey. Who else wants to hobo with me on the LHN train? All aboard! Honk-honk!
A few highlights:
Play-by-play man Anish Shroff
Since we last saw Anish, he has ascertained Just Keith's last name, now understands that Moreland is an actual part of the broadcast team and perhaps even learned that the red-haired gentleman was a very good two sport star at Texas. Investigative journalism, IMHO.
In tribute to my own early college studying habits, Anish likes to call the game on gut instinct and believes that study is a crutch employed by the weak. This approach yielded me academic probation and a cordial offer by my father to place nearly his entire foot into my ass, but Shroff is on a collision course with an ESPY.
Anish identified the following Longhorn players throughout the course of the broadcast: Shiro King, Gerard and Jonathan Heard, Holden Hall. We have more depth than I thought. Is Gerard the multiple personality that completes slants? Start him. Can Shiro King pass rush? There may have been more mistakes, but I turned off the sound.
Why would I do that?
The Smack Attack. In the middle of the broadcast, Shroff appears to have inserted a lozenge, mint or Jolly Rancher. He started ending each sentence with a definitive smack. Hearing a smacking sound at the end of any pronouncement is just below licking a jagged soup can edge in Things That Make My Skin Crawl. I'd rather watch Hostel again. I'm almost certain you should not audibly smack when broadcasting. Even though broadcast journalism is to college degrees as phrenology is to science, I'm confident they cover no smacking right after discussing how men should properly apply blush.
I like Ahmad. His broadcast featured a learning moment or two.
During a game and broadcast whose entire conceit was honoring the legendary #28 Freddie Steinmark - complete with throwback uniforms, non-stop movie promos about the life of Freddie Steinmark, interspersed clips of a touching dedication ceremony for Freddie Steinmark - THERE WAS A LOT OF FREDDIE STEINMARK IS MY POINT - Ahmad decided that Duke Thomas was wearing #28 because Quandre Diggs was at the game. Someone may have missed a production meeting. Or not noticed....everything?
Ahmad's thinking was that Diggs wears #28 for the Detroit Lions. And he and Duke are pals. So Duke decided to wear his friend's NFL number in a college game because Detroit is on a bye week and Quandre is kicking it in Austin. That would be unprecedented and absolutely impossible, but fair enough. Perhaps the Longhorn throwback uniforms were to honor Matthew Stafford and a time when chubby quarterbacks ruled the gridiron?
Just Keith corrected Brooks very nicely ("I think Freddie Steinmark also wore 28"), Ahmad offered a quick Oops, My Bad and they immediately threw to Jane Slater who explained even more about the Freddie Steinmark dedication which was the conceit of the entire broadcast and game, which, at that point, was sort of piling on to my man, Ahmad.
Ahmad rescued any hard feelings in the second half when he offered this fantastic outburst after the Swoopes touchdown run: "The 18 Wheeler is coming through! CHOO-CHOO!" He said it with real joy. The actual sound that an 18 wheeler makes is unimportant in the face of that joy.
If any of you see Ahmad out and about, please yell out,"Ahmad Brooks down the H.E.B. grocery aisle like a little tugboat. Vrooom-vroom!"
Just Keith didn't have any bad moments because Just Keith is Just Awesome. If you disagree, I hope he chokes you out with his freckly Popeye forearms.
Sharp as always. Kept it together admirably when she quizzed Charlie Strong about the problems in the running game at halftime and Strong replied that the running game would improve if the running game got better blocking and running in the running game. Charles, you silver-tongued devil.
The LHN halftime show
Having learned a hard lesson about the surprising auditory capacity of a major college band, LHN decided to relocate to a dank crawlspace far away from the depredations of the tuba marauders. The set lighting was done by Nosferatu, the set design by an impotent Soviet architect.
Then the totally unexpected absolutely inevitable occurred. A bevy of drunks found the set with their drunkdar like Walking Dead walkers hearing an ankle sprain and proceeded to cat call for the entire halftime broadcast. "I love yooooooouuuuuuuuu Viiiiiinnnnnnce!" and "Blaaaargghhh Tri-Delt Date Dash Blaaaarghhh Gonna Vomit!" Lowell Galindo was shaking his head like the broadcast was cursed. It is. It went on for the entire halftime. A tad distracting.
LHN producers feverishly added more to their diary of learnings:
1). Rice learning: Broadcast is better away from band. Band very loud. Tends to play before, during and after game. IMPORTANT. MUST REMEMBER.
2). Kansas learning: Hire minimum wage fat guy with authoritative windbreaker, flashlight and walkie talkie to keep drunks away from the set. Drunks are loud. Yell so much. Disrupt broadcast, but less than band. So, improvement there!