Bruins play-by-play announcer Jack Edwards has received some criticism for jumping up and down when the Bruins tied the Rangers Tuesday night. And I think that's a bit unfair. He was excited. And if I were at the game, I'd be jumping up and down too. What made Edwards look silly were the circumstances surrounding his jumping:
1. Men wearing suits look silly when they jump up and down.
2. Men wearing suits look extra silly jumping up and down when standing next to a man in a suit who isn't jumping.
3. Skinny old men with glasses look ridiculously uber-silly when jumping up and down standing next to a man in a suit who isn't jumping.
People like to criticize Jack Edwards, and use the word "caricature" to do it. And while Edwards's shtick goes well beyond normal broadcasting homerism, I think the people critiquing him should remember that he is an entertainer. He's not covering a Presidential Debate or doing play-by-play of a high speed chase. It's a hockey game. Edwards is the equivalent of a goofy weatherman. He tries to add a bit of fun. And if you're not entertained, that's your opinion. But don't get on a high horse about "broadcasting professionalism" or anything like that. He's not trying to be Dan Rather or Walter Cronkite. He's calling a hockey game.
And when you look back at the all-time most memorable sports broadcasters, who stands out? The subdued, dignified, by-the-book professionalists? Or the nutjobs? Who would you rather listen to, Joe Buck or Harry Carey? Do you want to go back in time and get Yogi Berra fired for being a caricature? Or go even further back and tell Red Barber to stop using southern catchphrases like "walking in the tall cotton" or "can of corn?"
Edwards gets carried away. Which is what being a fan is all about. His routine isn't for everyone, just like any entertainer's. But he does his research, he knows the game, knows the players, and to me seems just as professional as any other broadcaster I've heard.
I would still prefer Kate Upton bouncing up and down instead of him.