We all remember when Gus Johnson left CBS and we collectively fretted that the most exciting play-by-play voice in sports wouldn't be calling NFL games in 2011. Then we were relieved when he signed with Fox, a move which cleared the way for Mr. Rise and Fire to call NFC games for the network. Or so we thought.
What was hinted at back in May became official this week: Gus Johnson won't be in an NFL booth much this year. It's been known that Johnson will call only a few pro games for the network while mainly focusing on duties for the college football game of the week on FX. This week, Michael Hiestand of USA Today reported that Johnson's first NFL game will be the Oct. 3 matchup between the Washington Redskins and St. Louis Rams.
So instead of hearing Johnson call the Jaguars' successful Hail Mary or Andre Johnson's last-second touchdown, you won't be listening as he calls the Oklahoma-Tulsa game on a network you'll forget to scan by on college football Saturdays. Thom Brennaman, Kenny Albert, Tim Ryan and Dick Stockton will all be in the NFL rotation. Gus? Unless Syracuse-USC is in your wheelhouse, you're pretty much out of luck.
How can the guy who announces Madden start his NFL season with a Redskins-Rams game in October? That's like if "Mike Tyson's Punch-Out" had used Leon Spinks' second cousin as its title subject!
This seems ridiculous and I'm in the minority who doesn't worship the ground upon which Gus walks. Building a foundation for college football at FX is important but not as important as saving viewers from the horrors of the Kenny/Moose/Goose booth.
- Gus Johnson