April 01, 2009
It's not that Clark Kellogg is bad, per se, it's just that he's not very good. If you wanted Billy Packer gone (and that was most of you), you should have been careful what you wished for because listening to the Final Four this year promises to be a time that tries your (basketball) soul.
In the first round games, listening to the team of Jim Nantz and Kellogg was the auditory equivalent of watching a snail run a marathon ... in slow motion. It was beyond boring. Kellogg was quiet, trite and added almost no basketball wisdom to the broadcast.
Yet in the regionals, it sounded like somebody gave Kellogg a shot of adrenaline, "Pulp Fiction" style. He was shouting, rhyming and using hyperbole as often as conjunctions (and that was all before the first TV timeout). Still, there was little to no game critique.
The transformation from Len Elmore to Gus Johnson in a five-day span seemed calculated and forced, almost as if Kellogg has 10 people from CBS headquarters whispering in his ear about what he needs to do better. It's like they want him to be a mix between Dan Rather, Billy Packer, Bill Walton and Stuart Scott. That's how we get lines like, "Danny Green is as versatile as baking soda."
Jim Nantz, who gets a lot of flak but is as professional as they come, sounds like he doesn't know what to make of Kellogg yet. They trip over each other frequently, oftentimes when Kellogg fails to follow Nantz's obvious set-ups (like in the intro to this clip).
But hey, like pimpin', broadcasting ain't easy. It's still way too early to write-off Kellogg. His chemistry with Nantz can only improve (we hope) and ideally he'll find a style that is best suited to his talents (which we're sure we has, we're just not positive what they are at the moment). Still, as Kellogg experiences his growing pains during his inaugural Final Four, we'll have to endure them as well. Where have you gone, Billy Packer? Our nation turns its over-stimulated ears to you.