Yesterday, with the help of Twitter, I came up with a list of possible TV broadcasters for the Royals in 2012. Today, I’m pleased to follow that up with the input of Ryan LeFebvre himself.
The caveat, of course, is that Ryan can’t comment on any specific names that have been thrown out there. I understand this, and you probably do too. But I did ask about what attributes an ideal broadcast partner for him would have, and this is what he had to say:
I really believe that the TV analyst should drive the broadcast. As a play-by-play announcer, my job is to set-up the analyst. On radio, the play-by-play announcer drives the broadcast for obvious reasons; nobody knows what’s going on until he or she begins to speak. Television is much different. As soon as you turn on a TV broadcast, the score, the inning, the position of the base-runners, and the count is right in front of you. These are all details that must be reviewed regularly on radio. Because the viewer can see what’s going on, the announcers must dig deeper on a TV broadcast, in my opinion. The viewer can see the game but it’s the job of the analyst to explain why things happened and point out what the viewer might have missed. So the most important skill on radio is to describe; on TV it’s to inform (if that makes sense).
So back to my original point: if the play-by-play announcer is driving a TV broadcast, that’s not good. I’m hoping for someone whom has the ability to inform and educate as well as somebody whom isn’t afraid to take control. There are times when the play-by-play announcer has a story or an insight but, for the most part, his job is to set-up the analyst. The best example of this was the Pat Summerall/John Madden pairing for NFL football. John Madden was entertaining, extremely informative, and revolutionized sports on TV (using telestrator to explain how/why plays worked or didn’t work). He took control of the broadcast. Pat Summerall knew how to get Madden going and how to get out of the way. He was a man of few words but his skill at managing the broadcast was incredible. So those are the very basic expectations.
Additionally, I hope the new analyst has a good sense of humor because we do try to have a lot of fun with the broadcast. I hope it’s somebody whom enjoys coming to work everyday with the humble attitude that we are broadcasters and the reason people watch is because of the players. We have certain opinions and perspectives but we’re not smarter than anybody on the field. The viewers watch because they love the Royals and the game of baseball, not because of the announcers. I believe that’s something an announcer needs to come to grips with as soon as possible.
This is some pretty great stuff from LeFebvre. When the season starts, it will be interesting to compare the work of the new announcer (whoever it may be) to these philosophies. What TV tandem do you think displays the setup/analysis combination the best?