Broadcasting Unprofessionalism at its Worst
Forget that I’m a Flyers fan. Forget that the Flyers are going up against the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Semifinal round. Forget about all of that for a second. The following argument is based solely on professionalism in broadcasting.
In case you didn't know what I do, I’m a hockey broadcaster for Millersville University’s hockey team, and a counselor at Scholastic Play by Play Camps. These camps teach kids the art of sportscasting through people who have done it before (such as myself) and actual professionals in the business. I’m a proud graduate of this camp.
As a hockey broadcaster, I was taught over and over again that professionalism should come first. There should be no attacks on individuals. There should be no out-of-context rants. Your priority is to tell the story of the game, to bring the game to an audience, peppering this "story" with a bit of entertainment along the way.
Jack Edwards is further proving, with every game that he broadcasts for the Boston Bruins, that he is a disgrace to broadcasters everywhere. More and more, his blatant attacks on professional hockey players and conceited post-game rants show how much of a complete buffoon he is. He is presenting Bruins hockey as a complete biased joke.
Mr. Edwards, you sir, have crossed the line. Again.
I have a source in the league that tells me that Edwards has gotten in trouble several times with the NHL. It’s a great sign to see that the NHL doesn’t always approve of this unprofessional behavior on-air. If you think about it, though, he still has his job. And everyone in Boston that loves their B's loves their Jack Edwards, too, without any doubts of his professionalism in their minds. Just look at the comments section of the video of his “Royal Rant”.
They don’t care about his unprofessionalism, and he still manages to cling to his job at NESN.
Let’s go back to the incident with Randy Jones a few years ago. Jones completely decked Patrice Bergeron into the boards during a game, causing a severe concussion to the Bruins forward. Sure, it was a questionable hit. Then, just a few months later, Milan Lucic does the same to Jones, and Flyers fans understandably didn’t like it.
This is what Edwards did to show his displeasure:
Bias is inevitably going to come through sometimes. As Chelsea Frajerman (@cfraje on Twitter, give her a follow) put it, “I think most broadcasters love their teams and can't hide it all the time. He just jumps far over that line.”
Preachin’ to the choir.
There are times that I will love what the team I cover does. They may execute a hell of a play, or take a hell of a shot, and I'll love every second of it. But if that situation is reversed, I will show my respect for the quality of the other team as well. Any team can beat any other team on any given night. We have seen this happen too many times, especially in recent history. As a broadcaster, you need to be mindful of this.
Do you know of any other broadcasters worth their salt that do out-of-whack things like Edwards?
Let’s go through the list: Mike Emrick? No. Dave Strader? No. Gary Thorne? No. I could go on. They all understand the extreme importance of professionalism. That is why they are my broadcasting inspirations, and not a complete joke-fest like Jack Edwards.
I know what you’re going to say. Edwards is merely entertaining his audience! He must be good at what he does for him to have this job, right? Well obviously, yes, he has had quite a bit of success as a broadcaster. He has done hockey games for ESPN in the past, as well as having covered the World Cup on a few occasions.
Sure he’s successful, but that doesn’t excuse him from his perpetual unprofessionalism.
As a broadcaster myself, I am embarrassed to see him say these garish things and get away with it. Edwards is right about one thing, though: he talks about fighting the good fight, and how fighting the good fight can be a whole lot of fun. All the time, I hear that once you slip on-air, you get fined by the FCC, and your job is instantly put in jeopardy. You should always watch what you say. If you don’t want to say something on-air, step away from the mic. (I’m looking at you, Howie Rose...)
Edwards has no fear. He has cajones.
Still, there is no excuse for repeated unprofessionalism. That is the crime that Edwards commits night in and night out. Enjoy your job while it lasts. I’m pretty sure the true professionals that are fighting the good fight will be the ones to have the last laugh.
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