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The Verne Lundquist School of Proper Sports Broadcasting Etiquette and Technique

Or VLSPSBET if you’re into that whole brevity thing.  How can you tell it's the offseason?  Two posts about sports commentators in two days that's how... this one is a resurrection of a bit that failed to turn into anything was something that BB and I implemented last year to rave reviews two whole comments on our old site.

Why Verne Lundquist you ask?  Allow me to first assert that I’m offended that you asked in the first place. SEC folk (shudder) have been privy to his talents for years.  Verne is still whipping young pups in this broadcasting game with his smooth delivery, clutch performances, and salient understanding of several sports.  All of that while a myriad of analysts out there can’t seem to get a something resembling a basic grasp on just one.  Think about this, in the Masters alone, Lundquist has been immortalized TWICE:


Today’s topic for VLSPSBET: The old trusty reverse, what it is, and what it is NOT!

Few plays in football are so often mistaken or misidentified by announcers.  The reverse is not a new play, it has been around for a quite a while… and yet, it appears that somewhere in the textbook of football commentating, the "END AROUND" was mistakenly switched with the definition of "REVERSE"… naturally it follows then that when a team runs a true reverse, the fools in the booth fall all over themselves to add to its grandiosity, labeling the play "a DOUBLE reverse"!!!! Don’t be that fan, don’t be the one who stands up and screams reverse during a football game when the play is merely an end around, you’d disappoint Verne.

So how do you avoid this most basic of mistakes? How about actually recognizing what each play entails? Without futher ado:

An END AROUND: Is a play where the quarterback hands off to a wide receiver in the backfield. The receiver motions into the backfield as the ball is snapped and receives said handoff from the quarterback, he then proceeds (if all has gone well and according to plan) towards the opposite end of the line from where he lined up, hoping to, as they say, "catch the corner".  If we had a dollar for every time this simple play (and dare we say, when properly used, effective) was exasperatedly called a reverse, we would be enjoying many fine things.

A REVERSE: A reverse is usually built off of your basic sweep play, in which the quarterback takes the snap and pitches the ball to the tailback, who for the purposes of this discussion proceeds to run towards the eastern sideline. Meanwhile, the receiver who started out on the east side of the formation begins to motion in the opposite direction… that would be westward. The tailback then proceeds to hand-off or pitch the ball to the receiver, who is now headed towards the western sideline and hopefully in the opposite direction of all 11 players on the defensive side of the ball. Note the key here is that the ball REVERSES DIRECTION… Not exactly a difficult concept to grasp now is it? What about the ever so rare double reverse? Well gentle reader, simply add yet another exchange on the end of your usual reverse with the ball now in the hands of the third ball carrier on the play (HB – WR – WR) and headed back in the original direction, which for our example is East.

You have a pet peeve regarding football announcing?  Of course you do!  Whether it be Mike Patrick talking about anything but football at crucial moments of the game or Brent Musberger screaming "ANTHONY AVANT!"  there's more than enough examples of horrifyingly poor announcing out there to choose from.  Tell us the ones that sent you flying for the mute button.