After watching the TV replay of Sunday night's embarassment against the Saints, I realized it might be time for a fresh set of eyes to announce the pre-season games. Paul Keels (current Ohio State Football radio announcer) and Anthony Munoz (greatest Bengal of all-time) have been featured on Bengals Pre-season TV for as long as I can remember, but the amount of errors and omissions mount with each game.
Paul Keels does an excellent job as voice of the Buckeyes, but he clearly does not do his homework when it comes to the Bengals. He constantly gets the incorrect player on a tackle, and in previous seasons has mis-pronounced names on a regular basis.
As for Munoz...(to quote the legendary Bruce Dickinson), we need more cowbell. Munoz is considered the greatest left tackle of all time, and I wish he would pass along some of his vast knowledge during the broadcasts. I'm not sure if Munoz is uncomfortable talking about his craft (maybe he thinks what he says is too technical for viewers), but it seems like Dave Lapham is able to weave football knowledge into his color commentary in an entertaining and informative way. Plus, by being the Bengals version of George Grande, maybe Munoz realizes who is signing his checks...and also knows who gives his uber successful Anthony Munoz Foundation a great deal of support every year. Either way, I feel Munoz is not giving the fans his best when he is behind the mic. And that's a shame.
As a team, the Keels and Munoz duo fail to accurately describe the action on the field. I'm not even talking about being overly critical...I'm just talking about objective descriptions of the play. I offer up two examples from the second half of Sunday's game.
Example # 1 - On a roll out, Saints QB Mark Brunell was running out of room towards the sidelines...with two Bengal defenders giving chase, Jonathan Fanene simply gives up running well before the play is over, allowing Brunell to get off a ball to a wide open Robert Meacham in the endzone (he was overthrown). Keels and Munoz simply say the Bengals finally 'got some pass rush' on that play. On top of that, the very next play, Fanene just takes the play off. Again, the two say nothing. Check it out for yourself.
Example # 2 - In the fourth quarter, on consecutive plays, Jeff Rowe has two passes (albeit completed) clearly tipped at the line of scrimmage. On both plays, Munoz describes the accurate, tight spirals thrown by Rowe...and fails to acknowledge the fact that both passes were tipped at the line, and possibly his release point is too low. The production team even did SLOW MOTION replays. It made Munoz look silly, frankly.
At the end of the day, it is just pre-season football. Munoz lives in Mason, while Keels is just up I-71 in Columbus. I realize that there are a lot of other things wrong with this franchise than the pre-season TV announcers who will do a max of four games per season. I also am not advocating for the return of Dennis Miller or anyone that will force me to get a dictionary during a Bengals game.
All I am asking for is a review of the overall performance of Keels and Munoz, and to start the conversation of who would potentially be good replacements if the two decided to move on.
Feel free to offer up some suggestions in the comments section of this post.